South African Curates El Salvador Exhibition

Coca-colonized Exhibition opens at MARTE on May 5, 2011 at 7pm and is on view until July 3,2011

artsouthafrica issues
San Salvador, February, 2010: The Art Museum of El Salvador (MARTE) is pleased toannounce the opening of Coca-colonized, curated by South African born, USA-basedcurator Claire Breukel. Coca-colonized—;a contemporary multimedia exhibition originatedat Brotkunsthalle, Vienna—;launches at the MARTE Museum in San Salvador in May2011. The exhibition features nine artists selected from South- and Central America andAfrica, whose work responds to what it means to live and work in regions ‘beneath’ theirfirst world counterparts, specifically North America and Europe. Furthermore, Cocacolonizedlooks at the influence of mass media that has, through generations, integratedwith local culture to create a multilayered and empowered new ‘third identity’.Coca-colonized features a widespread representation of perspectives including AntonKannemeyer (South Africa), Peterson Kamwathi Waweru (Kenya), Baudouin Mouanda(Congo), Cameron Platter (South Africa), Maria José Arjona (Colombia), Simón Vega (ElSalvador), Omar Obdulio (Puerto Rico), Reynier Leyva-Novo (Cuba) and Emilio ChapelaPerez (Mexico). Through site-specific installation, video, painting, design, sculpture andperformance, the exhibition responds to the ideology that the influence of a massculture on another, what is termed ‘developing’ region, implies an absolute relationshipbetween the influencer and the impressionable. This exhibition questions thisrelationship (neither to prove or disprove) in an attempt to provide evidence of howmass cultural influence has been absorbed, reinterpreted and at times positivelyrejuvenated within these regions.

Often out of necessity these artists create work that is outside of formal spaces, bringingit closer to a public audience and invariably making their work more culturally andsocially interactive.”I believe that artists are agents of cultural preemption responding to and reflectingsocial and cultural truths,” says curator Claire Breukel. “The showing of Coca-colonizedin the museum in El Salvador is especially prolific as it places the exhibition in thecontext of a region from where the exhibition concept originated.”In order to showcase the work of contemporary and emerging artists, the MARTEContemporáneo program fosters dialogues between Salvadorian and internationalpractitioners. It also offers the public the opportunity to appreciate new artistic trendsand aesthetic proposals. This can include exhibitions in one of the halls of the buildingand in designated spaces, as well as other activities organized by the Museum and theMARTE Contemporáneo committee, which supports and develops the schedule andagenda of the program.”The exhibition Coca-colonized by Claire Breukel is particularly interesting because itgathers a group of artists that are linked through their interpretation of a current topic,specifically the cultural impact of industrialized and hegemonic societies in developingcountries,” says Rafael Alas Programming Director of MARTE. “This dialogue betweenselected artists in Africa and Latin America, who share their views and experiences ofthe relationship between these societies, highlights the influences and the cultural”permeability” of groups which share an apparent subordination to these influences,regardless of distance or geographic location.”Breukel first visited MARTE Museum in 2008 on a curatorial trip sponsored by Miamicollector Mario Cader-Frech. During her 35 studio visits, Breukel met San Salvadorianartist Simón Vega who was later invited to create a site-specific installation for theVienna exhibition and who will create a new piece for the MARTE museum showing.Coca-colonized is accompanied by a color catalogue translated into Spanish.For more information please visit www.marte.org.sv or contact Mélida de Arrieta at