Contemporary/Santiago Reyes Villaveces

Santiago
Reyes Villaveces

"My practice follows a material investigation on structures, assemblages, and dynamics that evidence states of transitivity and precariousness. The works comprise installations, sculptures, drawings, and photography that address different relations of temporal indetermination. They transform, determine modify, and interfere with the space in which they operate; affecting the way in which the spectator occupies and perceives physical space. The different materials I use in my work are characterized by notions of: tension, scale, volume, weight, gravity, surface, pressure, contention, resistance, depth and limit. Such notions configure systems that produce new relationships between spaces, architectures and the bodies of the spectators. My work explore a latent architectural sensibility that is evident in precarious structures, mostly visible in- but not limited to- everyday urban detritus, overlooked by products of construction, and improvised temporary structures, underscoring a latent sophistication in anonymous ways of doing." Santiago Reyes Villaveces


Santiago Reyes Villaveces (b. 1986, Colombia) builds on the idea navigates the liminal space between treasure and exploitation, weaving a poetic narrative that transcends traditional forms of knowledge. The term "guaca" – a treasure, sacred place, or repository of collective memory – originates from the indigenous cultures of pre-Columbian America, particularly the Andean region. The allure of guacas fuelled the colonial expeditions, igniting a relentless pursuit of wealth and power that still reverberates in a constant desire to find wealth. Guacas, enigmatic and powerful, possess the ability to bring fortune or disgrace. They are hidden, buried, preserved, and reveal themselves in mysterious ways. As the climate crisis augments and the unsustainability of our economic model becomes evident, humanity's gaze turns skyward, the colonial desires overspill into outer spaces seeking a new guaca in the cosmos that promises wealth for some and the possibility of becoming a multiplanetary species. Yet, the essence of guacas transcends material wealth, embodying spiritual significance, cultural heritage, and the sacred relationship between humans and the natural and supernatural realms. They are repositories of collective memory and cultural identity, preserving ancestral traditions, myths, and histories passed down through generations. Moreover, guacas are intertwined with environmental stewardship, as indigenous communities often consider natural landscapes, such as mountains, rivers, or forests, as sacred and protected spaces. These areas embody ecological balance and the well-being of both human and non-human entities, prioritizing the preservation of the natural world. Guaca is an exploration of power, memory, and fiction, a poignant reminder of the complex interplay between the past and the present, the terrestrial and the celestial, and the material and the spiritual. Through his work, Santiago Reyes Villaveces invites us to engage critically with the power systems that shape our world, and to contemplate the enduring legacy of guacas as symbols of resilience, cultural preservation, and environmental stewardship.

Biography

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Santiago Reyes Villaveces is a Colombian artist who was born in Bogotá (1986). Santiago’s work examines knowledge systems used to control and colonize nature. His work consists of drawings, installations (large-scale and site-specific), moving images, and sculptures. Santiago un- derstands these formats as techniques to engage with systems of power and their contemporary ma- teriality. His most recent projects take interest in today’s colonization of space, reflecting on the limits of extractivism and the survival of life-forms—within and beyond our planet. His works and projects have been presented in public and private spaces in various places around the world. Currently he lives and works between Italy, London and Bogotá.

Exhibitions

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Among the main solo shows we remember:

2024
Acoustic Fossil, Museo de Arte Moderno de Medellín. In collaboration with Daniel Villegas. Medellin (COL)

2023
Guaca, Galleria Alessandro Casciaro, Bolzano (I)
Timisoara European Capital of Culture in Romania (RO)
Graft, Instituto de Vision, New York (USA)

2022
Acoustic Fossil, Baluarte de Santa Catalina, Cartagena, Colombia
Simpatia Cosmica, CAMA, São Paulo (BR)
Ciàula scopre la Luna, Ncontemporary, Milano (I)

2021
Arabidopsis Thaliana, duo show, MAMBO Museo de Arte Moderno de Bogotá (COL)

2019
Lo Bravo y lo Manso, Instituto de Visión, Bogotá (COL)

2018
Dos Pájaros de un solo tiro, duo show with Néstor Marcelo Gutiérrez, Calle 70a # 7-18, Bogotà (COL)
Patria Boba, Galería Artnueve, Murcia (ES)

2017
Solo show, Galleria Alessandro Casciaro, Bolzano (I)

2016
duo show con Alice Cattaneo, Torino (I)
Reside, Gallerie MLF | Marie-Laure Fleisch, curatorial note by Eugenio Viola, Brussels (B)

2015
Contramuro, Galería Instituto de Visión, Bogotá (COL)

2014
Traino, Cavallerizza Reale di Torino, Torino (I)
Repertory, Spazio In primo Luogo Santiago Reyes Michelangelo Pistoletto, Torino (I)

2012
El año pasado, Galería Valenzuela Klenner. Bogotá (COL)

2009
Monumetria (DELENGUAAMANO), Pinacoteca de Estado de São Paulo, São Paulo (BR)
Acervo, Universidad de los Andes, Bogotá (COL)

2006
Art IN Theory, Sala de Proyectos Universidad de los Andes, Bogotá (COL)

 

He has also taken part in numerous group exhibitions, including:

2023
Bright Cityscapes. Timișoara - European capital of culture. Romania (R)
Altenatura, Museum of Modern Art Pereira,
Colombia

2022
Un paisaje nunca es inocente, Instituto de Visión Gallery, Bogotá, Colombia

2020
The Short laded, Goodman Gallery, Johannesburg, Cape Town, London (online show)
Isolation, Marie Laure Fleisch Gallery. Brussels, on-line-Artsy-Artland

2019
Bucarolito, with Alfonso Borragán Emerson Dorsch, Miami (USA)
Cielos, Salón Comunal, Bogota (COL)
El huésped (The host), Anthropology Museum of Murcia (ES)
Nós Ninguém. Galería Nacasanova. São Paulo (BR)

2017
Show RCA | degree show, Royal College of Art, London (UK)
Museum Dhondt-Daenens, Deurle (B)

2016
ACADEMIAE 2016 Youth Art Biennale, Throwing Balls in the Air, Fortezza (I)
Dialogues on the Threshold, Crypt Gallery, London (UK)
Borders are for crossing, Sculpture Court, Edinburgh College of Art (UK)
WIP show, Royal College of art, London (UK)
El Arte de Vivir: Kandor 13, La Fragua - Centro de Arte Pepe Espalier, Córdoba (ES)

2015
Monochrome Undone, Space Sayago Paradon, Irvine California (US)
Intervenciones. Museo de arte y cultura Colsubsidio. Bogotá (COL)

2014
Mapping Traces (Rastreando Indicios), Museo de Arquitectura Leopoldo Rother, Bogotá (COL)
Nós Ninguém. Galería Nacasanova. Sao Paulo (BR)
Nuevas Aperturas: color, tiempo, espacio y materia (New apertures: color, time and matter) Museum of Arts and Culture Colsubsidio, Bogotá (COL)

2013
Desequilibrio y movilidad, Nuevos nombres 2013 Banco de la República. Bogotá (COL)
43 Salón (Inter)nacional de Artistas, Ministerio de Cultura. Medellín (COL)
Contra Escambos. Experiências Imaginativas nos Trópicos, Espaço Fonte, Recife (BR) (participating with the group DELENGUAAMANO)
Horizontal, galería La Central, Bogotá (COL)

 

Awards:

2022
Grant Baluarte de Santa Catalina Intervention, Ministry of Culture Colombia, with Daniel Villegas
Acción Cultural Española Mobility Scholarship, in duo with Alfonso Borragán

2020
Production Grant. Side Effects, Museum of Modern Art Bogota. Colombia. In collaboration with Ilona Jurkonytė
Lithuanian Cultural Council Grant for moving image, in collaboration with Ilona Jurkonytė
Research Grant, Museum in a Liminal State, The Centre for Experimental Museology, V—A—C Foundation Moscow, in collaboration with Ilona Jurkonytė

2019
Matteo Olivero Award, Saluzzo, Italy

2017
Dissertation Distinction Thinking Pins, Royal College of Art, London (UK)

2013
New Names 2013, Banco de la República. Bogota (COL)

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