“Knowing and Not knowing” (Saber Desconocer) is more than a play of words. This phrase is the essence of the 43rd (Inter) National Art Salon in Medellin, Colombia (Salón (Inter) Nacional de Artistas de Medellín), on view until November 23rd in this lovely Colombian city, the second largest in the South American nation.
After 43 editions, the exhibit has established itself as Colombia’s longest running contemporary art event and the most visible showcase for the nation’s artists. This year’s edition will be hosted by the City of Medellin, which was named, earlier this year, the world’s most innovative city by the Wall Street Journal.
María Teresa Hincapié.
“The Salon brings to us, not only a party, but an exceptional art experience with national and international artists coming to Medellin. We will show then, and the world, the beautiful environment we have created here”, says María de el Rosario Escobar, Medellin’s Secretary of Citizen Culture.
The Salon will focus on two proposals. On one hand, “Knowing” features works that address the importance of traditional and ancestral knowledge. Furthermore, “Not Knowing” displays pieces that open the door to new possibilities, which will propel the national art scene into the future in search of new challenges. It is also exciting to note that there is a third line of works, which will mix both concepts. “There is a strong presence of these primary approaches and, from there, we can build the final goal of combining both with a new perspective”, explains Mariángela Méndez, curator and artistic director of the exhibition.
SARAH RAPSON. The Progress of Love, 2001.
The idea is embodied in various exhibitions and individual projects from more than 108 Colombian and international artists, featuring new and pre-existing works in four different spaces: Museum of Modern Art of Medellín, Antioquia Museum, Antioquia Building and the Botanical Garden.
This initiative by the Colombia’s Ministry of Culture in partnership with the office of the Secretary of Citizen Culture and Medellin and City Hall is under the curatorship of the Colombians Javier Mejía and Mariángela Méndez, the Argentinians Óscar Roldán Alzate and Florencia Malbran, and Rodrigo Moura of Brazil.
This year´s event marks the Salon’s opening to the international art market, an effort that has progressively gained ground since the last two editions. For this reason (Inter) has been emphasized in parentheses, as clear evidence that this success is not just a coincidence. ■