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19 Mar 2014

Waterweavers at the Bard Graduate Center Gallery

Clemencia Echeverri (b. 1950). Treno, 2007. Multi-channel video installation. Courtesy of the artist.

Waterweavers: The River in Contemporary Colombian Visual and Material Culture
Bard Graduate Center Gallery


On view April 11–August 10, 2014 Gallery hours: Tuesday - Sunday 11 a.m. to 5 p.m; Thursday to 8 p.m. Admission: $7 general, $5 senior and students; free Thursday after 5 p.m.

Hollis Barnhart

Bard Graduate Center Gallery
18 West 86th Street
New York, New York 10024

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Curated by José Roca, the Estrellita B. Brodsky Adjunct Curator of Latin American Art at Tate Modern and Artistic Director of FLORA ars+natura in Bogotá.

'Waterweavers: The River in Contemporary Colombian Visual and Material Culture,' on view at the Bard Graduate Center Gallery from April 11 through August 10, 2014 uses the trope of the river as a conceptual device to explore the intricate ways in which culture and nature intertwine across disciplines. Today, when a majority of the population lives in cities, rivers continue to serve as the sole access to remote areas and to play a new role as the axis for a different type of economics: the black market that fuels the armed conflict that has plagued Colombia for decades.

The exhibition presents a territory laden with conflict while showing the creative output that nevertheless thrives in the midst of—or in response to—hardship. Rather than isolating objects from their domestic or ritual contexts and then re-contextualizing them in the gallery space using photographs, maps, and other media, as is conventionally done in ethnographic or design museums, 'Waterweavers' allows the visual and material force of the objects to provide their own contextual information. Thus, for example, video installations show the rivers and violence-afflicted territories of Colombia, while furniture, textiles, and other objects provide the materiality of specific places in various forms: fibers dyed with pigments using traditional production techniques and motifs, textiles that mix industrial and natural materials, lamps woven from discarded plastic bottles, chairs constructed with bamboo roots, and piled clay rolls resembling a riverbed, among others.

'Waterweavers' includes seventeen artists, designers, and craftspeople among them Olga de Amaral, Ceci Arango, Monika Bravo, Nicolás Consuegra, Jorge Lizarazo, Susana Mejía, Lucy Salamanca and Carol Young.

The Bard Graduate Center Gallery is located in New York City at 18 West 86th Street, between Central Park West and Columbus Avenue.

Gallery hours are Tuesday through Sunday from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. and Thursday from 11 a.m. to 8 p.m.

The admission fee is $7 general, $5 senior and students (valid ID); admission is free Thursday evenings after 5 p.m.