Island is a work by Juan Esteban Sandoval which looks into the radical difference between the indigenous and western cultural background. It manages to analyse some ways of interactions developed by the Amazonian communities as well as that internal process which reinforces their native identity.
One of these means named Minga stands for a collective kind of work and it is largely used by different Amazonian communities and other ethnic groups too. Minga (also named Minka or Mingaco) is an ancient system of collaboration that has been used in Central America since the pre-Columbian Age to satisfy the needs of a whole community, by building public structures and roads or collecting potatoes and other agricultural products. In order to take part to a Minga, people are required to provide their manpower under a reward which is never money. Thanks to these traditions a community is able to safeguard its own identity and overcome those political and territorial boundaries which have been imposed.
Sandoval’s installation consists in a wooden platform with panels. Videos will be shown on four of them, while on the other panels there will be photos taken from the artist himself during his stay in Amazon along with texts and other extracts. In the centre a sofa will be placed as to allow the spectators to watch the videos and talk.
Juan Sandoval‘s art work deals with the relation between story, identity and communication. His recent works, objects, urban interventions and videos, deal with the different aspects of hybridisation as a way to read cultures. He has developed projects in collaboration with cultural associations working on migration issues. He has worked with members of the indigenous communities of the Amazon region and the Ands. His current research arises from analysing the history of the relationship between some cultures of the Colombian Amazonian region and the western culture development pattern.
In the year 2003, Sandoval has set up the artistic group “el puente”, active between Colombia and Europe; el puente’s main goal is to create a link and an exchange between places both geographically and culturally distant. El puente’s most recent project is Espacios de Memoria – Moravia (in collaboration with El Centro de Desarrollo Cultural de Moravia – Medellin, Cittadellarte-Fondazione Pistoletto – Biella and The Creativity Festival of Florence). Since the year 2006 Sandoval is developing, together with Maria Rosa Jijon, the AequatorLab project. Since 1994 he has exhibited internationally.
His recent shows include: 10th Havana Biennial, Havana – Cuba, “Archivo Sur” Art Between Identity and the Mask, FUTURA centre for contemporary Art. Prague – Czech Republic,”AequatorLab”. Espacio Arte Actual, FLACSO, Quito – Ecuador. “En Blanco”, Casa Tres Patios, Medellin – Colombia. Aequator project, MLAC, Museo Laboratorio di Arte Contemporanea, Università La Sapienza, Roma – Italia, SIART, Bienal internacional de arte, La Paz – Bolivia. Scrivere la trasformazione, Desiderio / migrazione? Circolo dei Lettori, Torino. Love Difference Mediterranean sea / Michelangelo Pistoletto, curated by Lorand Hegyi, Saint-Étienne Métropole, Musée d’Art Moderne, Saint-Etienne, France, L’isola interiore, l’arte della sopravvivenza, curated by Achille Bonito Oliva, an event within the international art exhibition, 51th International Art Exhibition – La Biennale di Venezia – Italia; Praghe Biennale 2, Accion Directa curated by Marco Scotini, Prague – Czech Republic; Negotiating us here and now, curated by Bryan Davies and Nigel Walsh, Artist House and Leeds City Art Gallery, Leeds – UK; SHAKE – Staatsaffare, curated by Martin Sturm and Genoveva Rückert, O.K. Centrum, Linz – Austria; SHAKE, curated by Laurence Gateau, Villa Arson, Nice – France. Vidéoisme #9, Mains d’oeuvres, St. Ouen – France / Space Bandee, Busan – Republic of Korea / kultivacija, Ruse – Slovenia.
Since the 2002 is the manager of the Art Office of Cittadellarte-Fondazione Pistoletto.
Installation realized with the support of Osservatorio per le Arti Contemporanee / Ente Cassa di Risparmio di Firenze