Vereda Tropical

Square Art Projects participated at Artlicks Weekend, 2013, with 'Vereda Tropical', a pop-up exhibition of video art screened inside a transit van. Vereda Tropical brought together four Venezuelan artists who centre their practice on video and the exploration of narrative and storytelling.

Participating artists: Deborah Castillo / Jorge Domínguez Dubuc / Jaime Castro Oroztegui / Bernardita Rakos.

Deborah Castillo, Araya, 2011, video

Deborah Castillo
Deborah Castillo´s practice is borne out of both the Venezuelan videoperformance tradition of such artists as Yeni & Nan, and the work of artists such as Marina Abramovic. Placing her body at the centre of her films and performances, Castillo sometimes meets us in defiance; and sometimes in openness. 'Araya', her cathartic piece concerning bereavement and loss, is one such case. Two naked figures, a male and a female, embrace each other as they float face down in the salt lakes at Araya in Venezuela. We are struck by the sense of the elemental: the contact between human body and water, and the primaevalness of the gesture of the embrace. 'Araya' asks us to consider our mortality and our unbreakable connections to nature and its cycles.

Jorge Domínguez Dubuc, Llanerolandia, 2000, video

Jorge Domínguez Dubuc
Jorge Domínguez describes his work as a questioning of “our relationship with landscape, spaces and our experience of the world”, a concern that he develops through installation, sculpture, photography, and video. Forming part of the series of work he produced in the early 2000s, 'Llanerolandia' attempts to depict the metaphysical as well as the physical elements of the lush Venezuelan prairies. Blurred footage of a traditional cowhand is shown upside down; moving vertically across the screen are spheres which contain the same footage, and an eerie soundtrack of horses´ hooves beat out a disjointed rhythm. 'Llanerolandia' creates an allegory of both the landscape and the people that interact with it.
LLanerolandia forms part of the Patricia Phelps De Cisneros Collection.

Jaime Castro O., Gente de San Agustín PPOL 2, 2011 video

Jaime Castro Oroztegui
Landscape and cityscape are central to Jaime Castro´s work. The landscape in his native Caracas is dominated by two geographical features: the Ávila mountain, and the shanty slums that cling to its edges. The recently opened Metro Cable cable car transports the inhabitants to the higher reaches of the barrios, providing an essential mode of transport and connection. It is from within one of these cars that 'Gente de San Augustín' is set. The frame is filled by a close-up of lone passengers, silently lost in their private thoughts while below them the shantytown glides past. Free to scrutinize these faces, Castro invites us to build a complete person from each one, using their surroundings to do so.

Bernardita Rakos, Sin título, Bolero mujer, 2010, video

Bernardita Rakos
“If you die first, I promise you I´ll write the story of our love with a soul full of feeling; I´ll write it in blood, with the red blood from my heart”. In her work, Bernardita Rakos explores the darker sides of romance by drawing on boleros, a genre of Latin American music about love and heartache in which drama, heartbreak and infidelity feature heavily. The two videos on show here come from her 2010 solo show 'If You Die First...' at the Museo de Arte Contemporáneo in Caracas. In each piece, a single person silently sings a bolero to the camera using international sign language; one is a young man, the other a young woman. Rakos offers us a more subtle, intimate delivery of the lyrics of the song, without the distraction of the accompanying music.