Installation and text
Variable measures


Imitation and appearance

There is nothing new regarding the tension that, for different reasons, contemporary art tends to create between artists and their public; as an example, it is common to overhear observers criticizing contemporary art as being a “fraud”. And probably artists should fight such a posture because, undeniably, contemporary art is not a fraud. But how to do it? It seems that the answer is to produce intelligent and serious works of art that avoid the use of clichés, easy solutions, and common places, which erode the public’s perception on contemporary art.

But it is also common to hear the question, “ anybody can be an artist nowadays?” And the answer is yes, anybody can be an artist by resorting to this type of art; although, it is something different to be a serious artist, which is only achieved through time and effort, and by accepting and learning from the constructive criticism on the work of curators and artists, and also of the wider public.

This exhibition was inspired, in the beginning, by John Cage’s piano song based on a piece by Erik Satie, entitled “Socrate”. Cage chose to name his work “Cheap Imitation”, which called my attention because it gave me the idea that I could develop a visual narrative building on imitation. And, while attending to a contemporary art exhibition, my partner noticed that certain works of art only have the necessary appearance to be considered contemporary art, but that in reality there was no depth and substance in them. This remark, combined with my curiosity of the origin of contemporary art, and the idea of imitation as a starting place for creation, allowed me to wrap up this particular project, which is a criticism to the appearances in art.

Hence, you are in front of an exhibition which is a parody of the typical contemporary art show in Guatemala City, no only in appearance, but also in its methods: all the works of art included here, were made with the least amount of time and effort, giving only a maximum of five minutes to the development of each idea. In this sense, “RUN FOR YOUR LIFE” is, in appearance, a display that imitates the appearance of the art of appearances, which allows anybody to actually become an artist.

Mario Santizo, 2018.