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Luis Romero & Armando Rosales
March 1, 2018 – March 31, 2018
Every month Marginalia invites an artist, curator or project to provide a series of images that will serve as the background of Terremoto, in relation to their practice and current interests. At the end of each month, the identity of our guest is revealed and the whole series of images is unveiled.
Oficina#1 was an independent space of contemporary art founded in 2005 by the artists Suwon Lee and Luis Romero in the city of Caracas, Venezuela, who directed it until its closure at the beginning of 2016.
Oficina#1 proposed, in a flexible way, the promotion, meeting, exhibition and discussion of the diverse practices of art and the current creation in Venezuela, with special emphasis on those of emergent character, to propitiate a dialogue between works-ideas-artists-public.
Oficina#1 served as a platform for a whole generation of Venezuelan artists born between the seventies and eighties; as well as hosted exhibitions of Venezuelan historical artists and foreign artists.
During the 10 years of life, the creations of more than 235 artists took place in Oficina#1, in 70 individual and 21 collective exhibitions. We attended 8 art fairs in Latin America, and were part of projects such as MDE07 in the city of Medellín and the Wight Biennial at UCLA in Los Angeles in 2006.
– Luis Romero, Oficina #1
“Thank you for giving an opportunity to a bunch of homeless artists, Oficina#1 will undoubtedly remain in place in the pages of Venezuelan art history, thanks again for giving me the opportunity to be a part of it.” — Juan Pablo Garza
“The itinerary of Oficina#1 along 10 years was very enriching and it is a reference point to understand the evolution of contemporary Venezuelan art.” — Felix Suazo, curator and artist
“It was an incredibly productive project, I have very good memories of Oficina#1.” — Jesús Fuenmayor, curator
“Undoubtedly Oficina#1, marked a very important guideline in the new Contemporary Art in Venezuela, I always said it and I will continue to say it, what is important is to continue creating Positive Zones.” — Rolando Peña, artist
“Oficina#1 feels like family, and it was certainly a place that allowed me to grow like no other place. I’m sure many of us who share the fortune of their generosity feel this without a doubt.” — Julian Higuerey Nuñez, artist
Al Borde was born from an exhibition that was never made, it was thought of as a space quickly after considering that the temporality of a single exhibition was insufficient to appease our complaints, it started working in 2009 and was organized around the idea of lack. In Venezuela, after the government undoes the boundary between cultural policies and its ideological agenda, the private scene tries to make up for the shortcomings generated. Galleries, self-managed spaces and other hybrid profiles began to emerge mostly in Caracas as alternatives to the cultural reality of the country. In that context, rescaling and rethinking the possible became an obligatory practice for the majority.
Al Borde, from the city of Maracaibo, joined many of these intentions, but also cared about adding the discomforts of the local scene to the bag of problems to be confronted. It focused mainly on stimulating the production of individual exhibitions, in dialogue with the artists, and served as a link between a more centralized scene and other states of the country, stimulating a flow of artists, researchers, curators and the general public with the intention of diversifying the available in both contexts, ambitiously wanting to write the piece of history of which we were not part.
From the end of 2010 to the beginning of 2014, Al Borde worked with national and international artists in 25 exhibitions, as well as off-site projects and parallel activities such as book presentations, video projections, lectures, conservatories and musicians’ presentations. For two years Al Borde was supported by the CPPC Patricia Phelps de Cisneros Collection as part of its stimulus program for cultural institutions in Latin America. The space was co-founded and co-directed by the artists Juan Pablo Garza, Armando Rosales and Camilo Barboza.
We began to relate with Oficina#1 as artists, the link grew as the idea of Al Borde appeared. The relationship between the two spaces was very close and organic, we shared ways of working, artists, friends and the public, always with a view on creating new networks of circulation between very different cities. Creating spaces is a complex adventure and even more in Venezuela. Having more experience, Oficina#1 always figured as a guide to Al Borde, we were learning on the process with who would like to help, understanding collaboration as a natural way to operate and grow in spaces of this type.
Those were years of hard work that I (personally) still keep fatigue around and have pending tasks to do. We were lucky to meet, to tune in and to share. Art lasts more than the spaces. What remains is to understand the bad and the good but above all to continue.
– Armando Rosales, Al Borde
Currently, Suwon Lee, Luis Romero, Armando Rosales, Juan Pablo Garza and Camilo Barboza continue their careers as artists, Luis Romero also continues involved in management associated with Melina Fernández in Abra Caracas, at the same time Armando Rosales leads a mobile micro-space called 10.000, that operates in Mexico City.