Colombian Artist Nicolas Consuegra
The Metropolitan Museum of Manila
Artist Residency Program (MMM-ARP) 2014
The Metropolitan Museum of Manila hosts its first Artist Residency Program in January 2014, providing a local channel for exchange of cultural perspectives, placing importance on understanding various art forms, expressions, content, and issues of contemporary art around the world.
The Colombian visual artist, Nicolas Consuegra, is the grand prize winner of the Latin American Roaming Art (LARA), a travelling artists' residency project launched in August 2012. His 2-week residency in the Philippines will allow the reflection upon the diversity of the landscape and encounter issues of affinity and contrast with his own culture and artistic practice.
Consuegra holds a BFA from Universidad de los Andes, Bogota (2002) and a MFA from Pratt Institute, New York (2007). Consuegra has shown his works in Colombia's leading venues and events, and has exhibited his work internationally, in Sao Paulo, San Francisco, and Istanbul, among others. As a visual artist, his interest lies in developing projects sensitive to time, place, and audience. He is also the co-founder and member of the editorial board Revista Asterisco, an independent visual arts magazine from Colombia.
Jose Roca, edition curator, on Nicolas Consuegra's artwork for LARA-2012:
Nicolas Consuegra is a keen observer of everyday life, pointing out the peculiarities of certain features of urban culture. In one of his most important works Uno de Nosotros, entre Nosotros, con Nosotros (One of Us, Among Us, With Us) (2004-6), Consuegra notes the ubiquity of the Renault 4, during the 1970s, as representative of the aspiring Colombian middle class towards (social) mobility. His interest in popular forms and attractions is also reflected in the series of sculptures based on candy store display cases, or in the ironworks that suggest his graphic design background, where he plays with the signifier and the signified (the white sun that announces the word "night"), or by using repetition to hide text within ornamentation (the word "day" camouflaged by a black grid). For LARA, Consuegra took video images of the Magdalena River, an unquestionable-one could say inevitable-presence in the city of Honda, an inevitability that makes a fresh gaze difficult. In these short videos, where the river flows slowly through the walls of riverfront homes, Consuegra invokes the panorama-a pre-cinematic device in vogue in the nineteenth century-proposing a contemporary scene in which viewers, see the hypnotic course of the river from a semi-circular array of video monitors-a work titled (El Agua queTocases la Ultimaque ha Pasado y la PrimeraqueViene, 2013 (The Water that you Touch is the Last of What has Passed and the First of that Which Comes). This video installation is complemented by the sculpture NadieSabe de la Sed con queOtroBebe (No One Knows the Thirst with Which Another Drinks) (2012), an arrangement of cut glasses in front of a mirror that suggests the warmth and thirst of the hot earth. The title is a popular saying that affirms that it is never possible to know what another person is going through, and, in a deeper way, it also suggests that experience, subject to the relationships among individuals, time, and place-three mercurial elements in their own right-is by definition in-transmissible.