Juan Fernando Herrán
Ni héroes ni mártires
Encuentros Latinoamericanos no. 2
May 20–September 25, 2017
2 Sur 708
72000 Puebla, Pue.
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Curated by Albertine de Galbert, Elena Lespes Muñoz and Ananay Arango
Ni héroes ni mártires (Neither heroes nor martyrs) is the second exhibition shown within the Encuentros Latinoamericanos program (Latin American Encounters), hosted annually by Museo Amparo. This project aims to provide a meeting space for dialogue and critical reflection around artistic production in the subcontinent. Encuentros Latinoamericanos is also an editorial project which takes the form of a series of publications which include an interview with the artist by the curator, a text by a guest author, artist's bio, and a selection of images showing the artist’s works.
Employing different media, from sculpture and installation to video and photography, Juan Fernando Herrán investigates hidden moments in Colombia’s history and questions the mechanisms involved in constructing memory. The exhibition brings together artworks that raise questions around the figure of the hero and the martyr, and their role as “dramatic operators” in the national story. The artist´s interest in marginal, anonymous or absent figures and changing forms, as both the product and author of the story, reveals his intention to design a palimpsest memory which is always open to debate. By trying to recuperate the traces of a silenced past, he does not seek to create a different story, on the contrary, he offers “meeting points” where the memory can be renegotiated collectively.The exhibition presents a total of eight works/series from the artist: Héroes Mil (Thousand Heroes) (sculpture installation, 2015), Cajas Fucsia (Fuchsia boxes) (installation, 1996–2008), Armedes II(2017), Ecos tutelares (video, 2015), Heaven is under the shadow of swords (1997), La Vuelta (The Return) (video projection, 2012–13), Tríptico Judicial (Judicial Triptych) (photography, 1999), "Campo santo" (Cementery) (photographic series, 2006).
The exhibition will be open until September 25 at Museo Amparo.
The second publication in the series of Encuentros Latinoamericanos is dedicated to Juan Fernando Herrán, with a text by David Le Breton and an interview between the artist and the curator, Albertine de Galbert.Juan Fernando Herrán
Graduate (MFA) in Sculpture from Chelsea College of Art (London) and professor in the Department of Art at the Universidad de Los Andes (Bogotá). Over a period of 30 years Juan Fernando Herrán has developed his work exploring the cultural, social, and political aspects of Colombian life. His artistic projects take on topics such as the growing of opium poppies, the handing over of money from the Cali cartel to the Samper presidential campaign, the process of self-construction of Colombian cities, the Medellín motorbike culture and the building of national identity and its relation with the heroic figure, amongst others.
He has exhibited in various museums including the Victoria and Albert Museum, London; Palais de Tokyo and the Musée d'Art Moderne de la Ville de Paris, Paris; Station Museum of Contemporary Art, Houston; Palacio de Velázquez, Museo Nacional Centro de Arte Reina Sofía, Madrid. He has also participated in international events such as the Biennales of Venice, Liverpool, Habana, and São Paulo. He has received important awards including the Prix Pictet Commission, Switzerland, 2014; Festival Off Award, FotoEspaña, Madrid, 2007; and the 11th Beca Nacional de Creación, Ministry of Culture, Bogotá, 2000.
Amongst his most recent solo exhibitions are: Flujos Deseantes, National University of Colombia Art Museum, Bogotá, 2016; Héroes Mil, Medellín Museum of Modern Art, 2016; Dominios de Vértigo, Nueveochenta Contemporary Art, Bogotá, 2016; Héroes Mil, Monumento a Los Héroes, Luis Caballero Award, Bogotá, 2015; La Vuelta, Nueveochenta Contemporary Art, Bogotá, and Dizzying Domains, Ideobox, Miami, 2014; Posición Horizontal, in Notes on a city, Solo Projects, ArtBo, Bogotá, 2012; Espina Dorsal, NC Arte, Bogotá, 2011.