LAZNIA 1 2015 - Influences
Jaskółcza 1, Gdańsk DOLNE MIASTO
The exhibition from the series of the Cities on the Edge
The opening: 4 December 2015, 6 pm
The exhibition will be open until 31 January 2016
Curator: Rodolfo Andaur
Artists: Alejandra Alarcón (BO), Bernardita Bennett (CL), Julio González (BO), Rafael Guendelman (CL), Karlo Andrei Ibarra (PR), Jo Muñoz (CL), Fernando Ossandón (CL), Nicholas Petrus (BR).
In recent years, audiovisual images presented within the scope of exhibition programmes accustomed us to analysing processes, narratives and trans-cultural experience, often defined as exotic and unique, unrelated to our everyday reality. Assuming that they are not part of routine life or the local landscape, we have the tendency to view them with a certain dose of suspicion.
Our reluctance to revise certain matters may be influenced by educational instruction we received as part of acceptable social norms and the linguistic structure within which we cooperate.
What will happen, though, if image contradicts what others have already told us about places, races and symbols?
Ironically, it seems that we attach greater importance to hypothesising about certain cultural traits. They ensure that we are understood, yet we tend to completely ignore them on an everyday basis. We still find it hard to accept the influences that contribute to shaping our nationality, patriotism, religiousness and political beliefs.
This exhibition is going to focus on video works by Latin American artists. What they have in common is the following question: how are we influenced by a different culture, with its typical gestures and places? Does it serve merely to create our separate identity? The exhibition will consist of video works presenting seemingly trivial gestures: cutting off braids, a kiss, trying to sing the US national anthem on the streets of Puerto Rico. The images presented at the exhibition, intensifying territorial and political events, force us to reconsider the influence of a foreign/familiar culture. By showing the heterogeneous nature of societies, they problematize and redefine the image of a country and nation. Artists invited to take part in the project present their outlook on the regions, territories and states they come from. The aim of the exhibition is to take a closer look at the influences that shape the image of Latin America. 
The exhibition Influences is another edition of the Cities on the Edge series, where we presented, i.e. works by Cuban, Colombian and Iranian artists. The series aims to analyse the art of areas on the edge – areas located beyond the scope of our interest, associated with conflict rather than art. These exhibitions attempt to provide a different perspective and go beyond the stereotypical, Eurocentric perception rooted in tourist postcards or television news broadcasts. The common denominator of works presented at these shows is the situation of the contemporary homo politicus, a human being entangled in politics.
Municipal Institution of Culture