Via Satelite

Is an touring exhibition co-produced by the Cultural Centers of Spain in Lima and Montevideo, which is also joined by the Fundación Telefónica of Buenos Aires, the Museo de Arte Moderno of Santo Domingo, the Museo de Arte of Panama, the Museo de Arte y Diseño Contemporáneo of San José, the Fundación Telefónica of Santiago and the Centro Cultural de España in México City.

This common effort is a consequence of the necessity to expand the concept of cultural cooperation and to increase Latin American dialog in the cultural field. It is truly sad that, in this globalization era, determined brands of artistic product are imposed, depending not only on the quality but mostly on the “made in” tag. The creations of contemporary art being produced in countries with cultural richness such as Peru remain unknown, first by its neighboring countries them, and, second, in Spain that, by obvious reasons of historic and linguistic characters, should be the main screen to its European circulation.

There are countries that by determined politic, esthetic or location peculiarities are popular and others that are not. Sadly, Peru falls in the second group and with no reason at all. This is not a “lamentation”; it is the verification of a fact. Peru is more interesting because of its strong historic and folkloric heritage than because of its contemporaneity.

Most of the international exhibitions are similar because they are made by the same curators and being attended by the same artists; what we see are like repeated figures of the same album, in which the ”popes” consecrate and the rest repeat the same drones. The international language becomes homogeneous, contradicting itself. It is necessary to discard equalizing “marks” so the knowledge and the appraisal of art can flow in an enriching way in terms of quality and real cultural communication. In this way, Via Satelite is not a randomly selected title, it’s a proclaim.

Peru has a historic tradition in the photography field that anyone could envy, not only because Chambi is an indisputable international figure, but since Courret and the Vargas Brothers, there has been a conducting line of the Peruvian still image, that has never declined in its esthetic quality, its power of fascination and the risk of being constantly avant-garde: José Casals, Jorge Deustua, Billy Hare, Roberto Huarcaya, among others, all the way to the young photographers included in this exhibition.

Miguel Zegarra, curator of the photographic section of Via Satelite, conscious of what is expected in foreign countries about Peruvian photography, recaptures this line transmitting in his selection freshness, novelty and risk, and deepening in the inherent concerns of seeking towards an identity that cannot be solved in the social field, but in the individual stance, inherent to the differentiation of classes, of racism, aspects that defined the concerns of Peru in the 20th century.

Video art, because it is a new technique, has not yet generated what we can call a “history”, although the hybrid installations by Francisco Mariotti and the contributions in video by Rafael Hastings in the seventies are a good foundation for the development of the recent Peruvian video art scene. As artists become perfectly adapted to the routine of an absolute relevant still image, they have been able to add new possibilities to this artistic technique that, through massification, has ended lots of the time in jokes, anecdotes, grace, and cinematographic simulation.

These are the defects that curator Jose-Carlos Mariategui, one of the biggest experts of the Latin American video art, has left out of this exhibition to make a selection of Peruvian authors that get their works to be not only the result of a serious research around the language of video, but that contribute to specific singularities that open doors and generate new lines of work and of esthetic conceptions to follow.

We hope that Via Satelite will be the starting point and adequate platform in the appraisal of Peruvian art at the beginning of the 21st century, and that its place in the contemporary world will be properly recognized by the merit of its achievements.

Ricardo Ramón Jarne
Cultural Center of Spain in Lima - AECI