Thursday, July 7, 2011


Museo de Arte de El Salvador (MARTE)

MARTE Contemporáneo


“Mesoparasitio” by Patricia Villalobos

July 21st through September 25th, 2011

Mesoparasitio <13 ° 41’ 33”N 89°14’30”W> is part of a series of onsite installations that invade the exhibit space with multiple elements adhered to the walls. The title combines two words: mesoparasite and site. The first word refers to the type of parasite that lives partially embedded in its host or in between two spaces. The second one makes reference to the action of surrounding or beseeching. The title also points out to the general coordinates for the Museum of Art of El Salvador as the exhibiting space, simultaneously functioning as the host to these camouflaged elements.

The art installation consists of hundreds of polystyrene sculptures and an audio composition. The sculptures make reference to outbreaks or rashes of different sizes and forms; some hybrid and unsual and others more familiar. The audio is composed of environmental and digital sound recordings - its origin oscillates between abstraction and representative sounds such as shots, helicopters, etc., that have been altered to create a contemplative space, along with the sculptures. The piece, thus, moves in between the interior and exterior, the unusual and the familiar, the visible and the invisible.

This art piece examines different situations and elements that appear to be harmless but are actually not; empowered-subordinate relationships, as well as latent motion systems that go unnoticed, and that gradually transform a whole entity. To a certain extent, the walls turn into the infection or contamination sites, where the concept of the noxious and besieged agents becomes abstracted and questioned. The sculptures have been arranged and grouped in a way that they reflect the current global conflict patterns; it suggests a continual state of transition, malleability and constant movement, echoing our contemporary condition.

Patricia Villalobos Echeverria


Patricia Villalobos Echeverria was born in Tennessee, from Salvadorian parents; raised in Managua, Nicaragua. She received her bachelor’s degree from the University of Louisiana (1988) and her masters at the University of West Virginia (1990).

Recent individual exhibits include Outbreak at the Pittsburgh Center for the Arts, Pittsburgh (2010); Aguasmalas (Blackwaters) at MediaNoche, New York (2008); Aflujo-Afflux at Artist Image Resource, Pisttsburgh and Laura Mesaros Gallery, Morgantown, West Virginia (2006); Alamar (Asea) at PROYECTO’ACE, Buenos Aires (2006) and Hoverings at Artist Image Resource, Pittsburgh.

Her work has been included in several exhibitions, some of which are: the VII Biennial of Visual Arts of Central America in Managua (2010): I International Triennial of the Caribbean (2010); IV Splitgraphic Biennale, Split, Croatia (2009) ; Gestures 13 at the Mattress Factory Museum, Pittsburgh (2009); Transfer Lounge of Forge Contemporary Art, Valencia and SPACE Gallery, Pittsburgh (2009); Ecological Havoc at the Universidad Centro Americana-UCA-Managua (2009), Imprint 2008 : International Triennial of Graphic Arts, Warsaw, and the 3rd International Artist's Book Biennial, Alexandria, Egypt (2008).

The hybrid practice of engraving, photography, video, multiples and an installation that is developed by the artist explores reproducible forms of representation that alter our notions of singularity. Her art installations play with the tension between the three-dimensionality of the sculpture and the architecture, and at the same time, explore the ephemeral nature of the video and the sound. Her work examines power and dependency relationships through the sculptures that invade the architectural space, just as in videos that position the body within a political and transnational context. In this way, her work questions our sense of stability and how time can appear to stop when one enters or exists spaces in state of fluctuation – some may be geographical, others virtual, but they all point towards a concurrent state of dissolution (dissociation) and hyper-incarnation.

The MARTE Contemporary program is sponsored by Mario Cáder-Frech and the MARTE Contemporary Committee.

Friday, January 28, 2011


Museo de Arte de El Salvador (MARTE)

MARTE Contemporáneo



May 5th through July 3rd, 2011

San Salvador, January, 2010: The Art Museum of El Salvador (MARTE) is pleased to announce the opening of Coca-colonized, curated by South African born, USA-based curator Claire Breukel. Coca-colonized—a contemporary multimedia exhibition originated at Brotkunsthalle, Vienna—launches at the MARTE Museum in San Salvador in May 2011. The exhibition features nine artists selected from South- and Central America and Africa whose work responds to what it means to live and work in regions ‘beneath‘ their first world counterparts, specifically North America and Europe. Furthermore, Coca-colonized looks at the influence of mass media that has, through generations, integrated with local culture to create a multilayered and empowered new ‘third identity’.

Coca-colonized features a widespread representation of perspectives including Anton Kannemeyer (South Africa), Peterson Kamwathi Waweru (Kenya), Baudouin Mouanda (Congo), Cameron Platter (South Africa), María José Arjona (Colombia), Simón Vega (El Salvador), Omar Obdulio (Puerto Rico), Reynier Leyva-Novo (Cuba) and Emilio Chapela Perez (Mexico). Through site-specific installation, video, painting, design, sculpture and performance, the exhibition responds to the ideology that the influence of a mass culture on another, what is termed ‘developing‘ region, implies an absolute relationship between the influencer and the impressionable. This exhibition questions this relationship (neither to prove or disprove) in an attempt to provide evidence of how mass cultural influence has been absorbed, reinterpreted and at times positively rejuvenated within these regions.

Often out of necessity these artists create work that is outside of formal spaces, bringing it closer to a public audience and invariably making their work more culturally and socially interactive.

“I believe that artists are agents of cultural preemption responding to and reflecting social and cultural truths” says curator Claire Breukel. “The showing of Coca-colonized in the museum in El Salvador is especially prolific as it places the exhibition in the context of a formal space as well as a region from where the exhibition concept originated.”

The Art Museum of El Salvador (MARTE) is a private, non- profit institution founded in May 2003. Since its establishment it has become a point of reference for culture and the visual arts in Central America. Along with a permanent exhibition of a sample of Salvadoran art, MARTE hosts rotating exhibits of universally renowned masters, as well as contemporary exhibitions aimed at promoting new artistic expression. MARTE Contemporary is a movement of young enthusiasts, artists, and collectors aimed at supporting the contemporary arts program at the Museum. This program includes interventions, lectures, collection, cultural exchanges and internships aimed at challenging existing barriers that contemporary art faces in the traditional Salvadoran culture.

In order to showcase the work of contemporary and emerging artists, the MARTE Contemporáneo program fosters dialogues between Salvadorian and international practitioners. It also offers the public the opportunity to appreciate new artistic trends and aesthetic proposals. This can include exhibitions in one of the halls of the building and in designated spaces, as well as other activities organized by the Museum and the MARTE Contemporáneo committee, which supports and develops the schedule and agenda of the program.

“The exhibition Coca-colonized by Claire Breukel is particularly interesting because it gathers a group of artists that are linked through their interpretation of a current topic, specifically the cultural impact of industrialized and hegemonic societies in developing countries,” says Rafael Alas Programming Director of MARTE. “This dialogue between selected artists in Africa and Latin America, who share their views and experiences of the 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 Miami collector Mario Cader-Frech. During her 35 studio visits, Breukel met San Salvadorian artist Simón Vega who was later invited to create a site-specific installation for the Vienna exhibition and who will create a new piece for the MARTE museum showing. Coca-colonized is accompanied by a color catalogue translated into Spanish.


This exhibition is made possible by Marte Contemporary, Mario Cader Frech, Galerie Ernst Hilger and Hilger BrotKunsthalle, in collaboration with Michael Stevenson Gallery, South Africa; EDS gallery, Mexico, Anita Beckers gallery, Germany, Whatiftheworld Gallery, South Africa and Afrique in Visu.

*The term coca-colonization is used to describe cases where a country's indigenous culture is eroded by a corporate mass-culture, usually from a powerful, industrialized country. This is more metaphorical usage as people need not move, to the colonized country; only cultural signals, symbols, forms of entertainment, and values need to move to the colonized country. (Wikipedia)