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Denver Biennial of the Americas Announces Inaugural Exhibition
Pedro Reyes, "Palas por Pistolas" 2008. Image Courtesy of LABOR, Mexico City.

DENVER, CO.- The Nature of Things will be the central art exhibition of the The 2010 Biennial of the Americas, an international event celebrating the culture, ideas and people of the Western Hemisphere hosted by the City of Denver from July 1-31. Featuring 24 artists from countries throughout North, Central and South America, the exhibition will premiere several works, including a site-specific installation by Jerónimo Hagerman (Mexico) and a mural by Santiago Cucullu (Argentina), as well as new works by Gabriel Acevedo Velarde (Peru), Felipe Mujica (Chile), Sandra Nakamura (Peru), and Estefanía Peñafiel (Ecuador). Curated by Paola Santoscoy, the exhibition responds to the overarching themes of the Biennial—innovation, sustainability, community and the arts—with a diverse roster of artists from across the Hemisphere presenting different perspectives within a single space. A central component of The Nature of Things will be a series of performances and discussions with the artists, as well as special family-friendly programming, all of which will take place in the renovated McNichols building in Denver’s Civic Center Park.

The Nature of Things will feature works by the following artists:

• Gabriel Acevedo Velarde (Peru) • Martín Alonso (Chile) • Brígida Baltar (Brazil) • Teddy Cruz (Guatemala) • cypher13 design studio (USA) • Santiago Cucullu (Argentina) • Darío Escobar (Guatemala) • Gregory Euclid (USA) • Rubén Gutiérrez (Mexico) • Jerónimo Hagerman (Mexico) • Karlo Andrei Ibarra (Puerto Rico) • Lucia Koch (Brazil) • Miler Lagos (Colombia) • Armando Miguelez (Mexico) • Felipe Mujica (Chile) • Nicholas de Monchaux (USA) • Víctor Muñoz (Colombia) • Sandra Nakamura (Peru) • Estefanía Peñafiel (Ecuador) • Rael San Fratello Architects (USA) • Pedro Reyes (Mexico) • Clark Richert (USA) • Alexis Rochas (Argentina) • Joseph Shaeffer (USA)

The Nature of Things, which will be installed on all three floors of the McNichols building in 28,000 square feet of exhibition space, will feature 24 works in a variety of media, including paintings, sculptures, video art, and mixed-media installations.

Several site-specific artworks are being created for the exterior and interior of the building. Artist Jerónimo Hagerman will create a new work on the façade of McNichols using plantings, foliage and fabric found in Mexican street markets. The result will be a lush outdoor space that responds to the building’s classical architecture and its location in Civic Center park, tropicalizing the Greek Revival façade in an exploration of idealized territories. A current resident of Mexico City and Barcelona, Hagerman has spent the last decade producing sculptural installations and vegetation interventions in public spaces and museums around the world, establishing relationships between architecture and social configurations. Argentinean artist Santiago Cucullu, who lives and works in Milwaukee, will create a new large-scale vinyl mural on site for the second floor of the McNichols building. The work will be inspired by different murals found in the streets of Milwaukee: ones dedicated to local heroes, to Mexican Labor leaders, and others found outside a Vietnamese restaurant and several locations around Milwaukee. Cucullu’s murals and multi-media sculptures are inspired by personal and historical memory overlap, the past of Argentina and his current life in North America.

These installations will be joined by new works by Gabriel Acevedo Velarde and Sandra Nakamura. Acevedo Velarde will produce a new video installation based on a recent case of vandalism in Peru, where a group of teenagers damaged ancient reliefs in the historical site of Chan-Chan (AD 850). The teenagers uploaded a video of this action to Youtube turning their acts into a national scandal that enraged the community. Through the creation of songs and video clips, Acevedo’s piece addresses racism in present day Peru, and opens questions about national identity. In recent years, Sandra Nakamura has created a series of coin installations that comment on the privatization of public space and land speculation through the display of value, both literal and symbolic, in the exhibition space. For The Nature of Things, she will create a new coin installation that takes a different direction, referencing Colorado’s large community of illegal immigrants and their contribution to the state’s economy.

“The exhibition’s title is inspired by the Roman poem De Rerum Natura [On The Nature of Things] written by the philosopher Lucretius in the first Century,” said curator Paola Santoscoy. “The poem is an attempt to offer an explanation to every phenomenon observable in the universe and to communicate in an impassionate and visionary way the materialist philosophy of Epicurus. It speaks of how humanity perceives the world, and the ways that we continuously attempt to make sense of it through perception. Conflict is inherent to this process, as it is to the convergence of different voices. Therefore, the adoption of this title for our exhibition serves to create within the McNichols building a greater collective narrative encompassing various artistic practices ranging from architecture, design and visual arts. This exhibition brings together 24 talented artists from different backgrounds and countries throughout the hemisphere. Our hope is that the exhibition will help establish a critical and productive dialogue through the lens of art and culture.”

The 2010 Biennial of the Americas | "The Nature of Things" | Jerónimo Hagerman | Santiago Cucullu |

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