The CCS-10. Arte venezolano actual exhibition was one of the most important events ever devoted to conceptual art, non-object-based art, and the use of mixed media and technology in Caracas. Curated by the graphic designer Álvaro Sotillo (b. 1946), the exhibition included ten emerging artists from the 1970s and 1980s who, by 1993 (when the exhibition opened) had already established themselves: Eugenio Espinoza (b. 1950), Sigfredo Chacón (b. 1950), Héctor Fuenmayor (b. 1949), Roberto Obregón (b. 1946), and several others who came into their own later on: Alfred Wenemoser (b. 1954), Sammy Cucher (b. 1958), Meyer Vaisman (b. 1960), Oscar Machado (b. 1953), José Gabriel Fernández (b. 1957), and José Antonio Hernández-Diez (b. 1964).
In Blyde’s opinion, Fuenmayor was an atypical case in contemporary Venezuelan art; this was a crucial observation because during the interview she was more interested in his spiritual process than in landmark events in his art career. He talks about his time as a Zen monk in the United States, sharing stories about his teacher and a parable of a monk who swept the courtyard. He explains why he became a Zen Buddhist, and hints at his views on Christianity. Towards the end of the conversation, Fuenmayor tells Blyde that art is “the only field” he is interested in talking about right now, and briefly talks about an artist’s connections to contemporary socio-cultural environments.
It is interesting that Blyde rates Fuenmayor among the most emblematic conceptual artists in Venezuela. His exhibition Amarillo Sol KYV 68 (Caracas: Sala Mendoza, 1973)—for which he painted all the walls of the room with yellow industrial paint, and placed a little sign on one of the walls with the code of the paint—was in fact a landmark event in the history of Venezuelan conceptual art; it certainly was a controversial event. It is also interesting to note that this interview almost totally ignored the intellectual component of art; it arose when Blyde asked if “your art is a manifestation of energy released from the depths of the unconscious.” The artist reiterates the idea when he states that he is more interested in “revealing the nature of art than critically absorbing the legacy of tradition.”
To read Blyde’s interviews with the other artists who participated in the exhibition CCS-10. Arte venezolano actual, see “Jugando a atrapar el espacio [Entrevista con Sigfredo Chacón]” ; “Por la seducción de ver [Entrevista con José Gabriel Fernández]” ; “Para hacerle ofrendas a la muerte [Entrevista con Roberto Obregón]” ; “De las cenizas petrificadas por el tiempo [Entrevista con Oscar Machado]” ; “Haciendo notas del inconsciente [Entrevista con Sammy Cucher]” ; “Ficción sobre ficción [Entrevista con Meyer Vaisman]” ; “Entre el orden histórico y el caos emocional [Entrevista con Eugenio Espinoza]” ; and “En la búsqueda, pero sin querer buscar [Entrevista con José Antonio Hernández-Diez]” .