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Fernando Pareja (*1979, Popayán, Colombia) y Leidy Chavez (*1984, Popayán, Colombia) viven y trabajan en Bogotá, Colombia

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Fernando Pareja & Leidy Chavez

The installations created by Fernando Pareja and Leidy Chavez are not merely astounding moving images, they are also images that are indeed moving.

Small wax figures on rotating disks, stroboscopic lighting, and a haunting soundtrack are the components of their animation machines, which serve to breathe life into the motionless figures, allowing them to tell their story in continuously repeating sequences. The animation machines are fascinating continuations of historical visual devices and optical toys, which enjoyed great popularity in the 19th century. Their artistic research led Fernando Pareja and Leidy Chavez to devices with puzzling names such as the zoetrope and the praxinoscope, pre-cinematic technologies that had already mesmerized the public in their day. Both were examples of simple yet ingenious machines based on physiological and psychological perceptual phenomena that evoke the illusion of movement.

By transposing historical mechanisms into the present, the two artists intend more than their simple revival: their works draw upon the potential of experiment and surprise. What is special about the historical excursion of Fernando Pareja and Leidy Chavez is that it also takes a contemporary view of history. Their artistic strategy is not guided by nostalgia, but rather by an interest in examining the current production of images and today’s perspective, in addition to making the image-producing process itself visible. Addressing what we wish to see or are capable of seeing, as the case may be, with the analysis of what the human eye is prepared to perceive, ultimately the question also arises as to its meaning in a world substantially determined by moving images. Fernando Pareja and Leidy Chavez understand how to develop the viewers’ fascination with their three-dimensional animation, even beyond the initial wonder, that is stirring at an emotional, reflective, and socio-political level.

Animated by means of the stroboscopic-light effect, the old women in Untitled (2012) hurry out of a circular arcade, hasten across a platform, only to plunge into empty space. Trapped within the system of an endless loop, this fatal drama is repeated again and again. The scene is a reaction to the thus-far hopeless situation of the civilian population in the native region of the two artists, the Columbian province of Cauca, caught in the crossfire of a never-ending armed conflict between the army, paramilitary groups, and guerillas.

The artwork of Fernando Pareja and Leidy Chavez vividly sheds light on socio-political realities. This places them in a long tradition of Columbian artists who critically and emphatically deal with their country’s turbulent past and present. The real strength of the works of Fernando Pareja and Leidy Chavez, with their interplay of illusion and reality, is that they pose at a universal level existential questions that affect all of us.

Katrin Steffen

Translated by William Keller

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Bibliografía
Selección de títulos en nuestra biblioteca

The Matter of Photography in the Americas. Exhibition catalogue, Iris & B. Gerald Cantor Center for Visual Arts, Stanford University, Stanford, CA, USA, February 7 - April 30, 2018. Edited by Natalia Brizuela and Jodi Roberts. With contributions by Lisa Blackmore, Amy Sara Carroll, Marianela D'Aprile, María Fernanda Domínguez, Heloisa Espada, Rachel Price, Diana Ruiz, Tatiane Santa Rosa, and Kyle Stephan. Stanford, Stanford University Press, 2018.

Thomas Fischer/Susanne Klengel/Eduardo Pastrana Buelvas (Eds). Kolumbien heute. Politik – Wirtschaft – Kultur. Frankfurt am Main, Vervuert, 2017.

Amirsadeghi, Hossein (ed.). Contemporary art Colombia. With texts by Christine Barthe, and Jaime Cerón. London, Thames & Hudson, 2016.

Dark Mirror. Art from Latinamerica since 1968. Works from the Daros Latinamerica Collection. Exhibition catalogue, Kunstmuseum Wolfsburg, Wolfsburg, Germany, September 26, 2015 - January 31, 2016. Edited by Ralf Beil and Holger Broeker. Wolfsburg, Kunstmuseum Wolfsburg, 2015.

Dark Mirror. Lateinamerikanische Kunst seit 1968. Werke aus der Daros Latinamerica Collection. Exhibition catalogue, Kunstmuseum Wolfsburg, Wolfsburg, Germany, September 26, 2015 - January 31, 2016. Edited by Ralf Beil and Holger Broeker. Wolfsburg, Kunstmuseum Wolfsburg, 2015.

Illusions. Exhibition catalogue, Casa Daros, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, September 9, 2014 - February 13, 2015. With texts by Orlando Britto Jinorio and interviews by Katrin Steffen. Rio de Janeiro, Casa Daros, 2014. (www.illusions.casadaros.net)

Ilusiones. Exhibition catalogue, Casa Daros, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, September 9, 2014 - February 13, 2015. With texts by Orlando Britto Jinorio and interviews by Katrin Steffen. Rio de Janeiro, Casa Daros, 2014. (www.illusions.casadaros.net)

Ilusões. Exhibition catalogue, Casa Daros, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, September 9, 2014 - February 13, 2015. With texts by Orlando Britto Jinorio and interviews by Katrin Steffen. Rio de Janeiro, Casa Daros, 2014. (www.illusions.casadaros.net)

Aliento. Arte de Colombia. Zeitgenössische Kunst aus Kolumbien. Exhibition catalogue, Kunstmuseum Bochum, Germany, November 23, 2013 - February 2, 2014. With texts by Hans Günter Golinski, Sarah Poppel (et al.). Bochum, Kunstmuseum, 2013.

Aliento. Arte de Colombia. Zeitgenössische Kunst aus Kolumbien. Exhibition catalogue, Kunstmuseum Bochum, Germany, November 23, 2013 - February 2, 2014. With texts by Hans Günter Golinski, Sarah Poppel (et al.). Bochum, Kunstmuseum, 2013.

Fernando Pareja y Leidy Chavez. Oppressed Oppressors. Exhibition brochure, The Mission, Houston, USA, November 8 - December 21, 2013, The Mission, Chicago, USA, November 15 - December 21, 2013. With a text by Gilbert Vicario. Chicago/Houston, The Mission, 2013.

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