Hybridizations / Contemporary Strategies

Using Hybridizations / Contemporary Strategies as the title, The Juan Carlos Maldonado Art Collection (JCMAC) gives continuity to the exhibition project which it initiated four years ago. Since then, its objective has been to promote the study of modern and contemporary art on an international level, emphasizing the practices of Latin American artists. On this occasion – coming right after sharing part of its cultural heritage of geometric abstraction and of the original cultures of the Venezuelan South – the Ye’kwana – it focuses its attention on one of the most common strategies among artists of our time: the will, and even the need to hybridize pre-existing languages, techniques and strategies, in whatever field they work in, with the aim of having these express the cultural and structural complexity of the urban centers and the nations we inhabit. 

Far from being a mere formal game of citations and references, these artistic practices and tactics conceal a fundamental characteristic of human language: that of it being a collection of signs that refer, always, to other signs and that, in their proximities as well as their distances, generate meaning. Artists have, in fact, always “cited” one another; and their images have always been nurtured by other ones that came before them in time. However, in the work of many of today’s contemporaries, this characteristic of language takes on absolutely new relevance and intensity, because today, culture is imposed on them as second nature, present and ineluctable; and thus, they must act both for it and against it. 

Accordingly, this becomes possible to detect in the works of the artists gathered for this exhibition, one way or another; in the images they appropriate to construct their own; in the manner in which they assemble or hybridize them; in the techniques and materials they choose; those other works, those other signs to which they attach their own gestures, thereby enrich the cultural field in which they register organically. The act of creating, today more than ever, is a mingling that implicitly carries the clear awareness that, above all, every human gesture constitutes a shared convention: an invention contributed to the universe by the fragile biological equilibrium that we are.