- Latin American House
The Latin American House was full for the night. A mixture of Mexicans, Venezuelans, Colombians, Chileans, Argentinians, Britons and more filled the atmosphere with loud conversations heard in Spanish and English simultaneously. It was the first event of the Latinos Creative Society, a University of the Arts London collective that had questioned themselves what it was to be a contemporary Latin American artist in a cosmopolitan environment as the UK’s capital is.
Anabela Bergero, the mediator and a fashion student at Central Saint Martins, started the event in Spanish, but those in the audience that didn’t speak this language were quickly updated by the help of an English translator on the panel; a task that was kept up throughout the night.
Kate Bautista started the panel with a common question every immigrant, or son of an immigrant, will face at one point in their life. Her journey as a fashion designer came together through her Mexican heritage despite being born in Texas. Her three main works in fashion portrayed this struggle to reaffirm herself as Mexican.
Expressing feelings rather than showcasing them was a challenge that Susana Uvidia decided to use as a way to find her own identity. Looking at other Ecuadorian artists tackle the country’s problem of identity, Susana decided to structure her work with a study of pre-Columbian art. This study would be central to her artistry in order to bring her identity and connect it Ecuador’s diversity.
Though Victoria Maldonado doesn’t really struggle with her identity, she uses her art to question what really makes her Venezuelan. To her, identity cannot be defined simply by being born, lived and died in a particular country. Victoria Maldonado affirms that an identity can be fluid and transformed by foreigner influences.
Isaac de la Reza showcased his most recent performance, a dance realized in National Palace’s square in Mexico City. His art aimed to challenge the political charged site on the anniversary of Mexican revolution. De la Reza compares Mexico City’s identity to what he has learned from London’s identity, mainly focused on politics, transport and edifications.
Latin America has a very valuable heritage for Tere Chad; she has been influenced by its “no rules” policy, being able to do any type of work freely without paperwork or a regulation institution. This free spirit has being transported to her work as an artist. Tere hasn’t being limited just by photography, gender or sculpture. At the moment, she aims to focus on using her handcrafting for her works but tries to do so while finding a balance with technology.
The final artist of the night, Juan Covelli, has been challenging how his physical being transforms into the digital world. Covelli’s work tries to place himself, or his body, into digital means and then try to bring back his self into a physical being. Though his was not a fight of finding his Latin American heritage, his art aims to recreate an identity after it has been deconstructed by the digital work.
The audience made it clear that though their search for an identity wasn’t a new take on Latin American heritage overseas, these artists certainly brought something valuable to London: a vision about Latin American art. In a world that identifies art with American and European cultures, Latinos have been crafting and creating works that shows that a large parte of what makes art’s identity is laying in the largest subcontinent in the world. There’s a reason Latino’s have been conquering so many artistic genres lately. From being known to have the best music, amazing landscapes and even the tastiest food… it’s probably about time they take over the art world as well.