Carlos Salazar Arenas


Gallery 1

Carlos Salazar Arenas

«Al tablero»

May 29 to July 5 2014

Press Release

Next Thursday May 29, Galería El Museo will open three exhibitions simultaneously: Al tablero (Going up to the Board) by Carlos Salazar Arenas (Bogotá, 1973), will be shown in the First Floor Gallery; in the Second Floor Gallery, we will be exhibiting Mecanicamente (Mechanically), by young artist Manuel Calderón (Bogotá, 1985); and Entre Aires (In the Air), Adrian Gaitán’s most recent work (Cali, 1983), will be shown in the Project Room.

Al tablero (Going up to the Board) [Carlos Salazar Arenas]

This new series aims to show the relationship between education and painting, the two endeavors Carlos Salazar Arenas has pursued for the past 15 years. Since 2012, Salazar have been working with the almost obsolete blackboards, which have been replaced with digital and acrylic boards. The blackboards and images that the artist embodies on them such as diagrams, words, theorems learned in school, have a direct relationship with the processes of learning,. The author seeks to highlight the counterpoint among the intended culture, the mass culture and the popular culture; he appropriates the images from the notebooks of his students, from books, form the written press and the media. On the other hand, in his acrylic paintings, made over a decade ago, the artist emphasizes the conservative logic of the given education, where the student takes his or her place as the passive recipient of the information. For the artist, education is the act of conquest of the symbolic and physical fields, where the other should be able to find its place and value within a social framework, to demonstrate that the world of culture is of crucial importance for the quality and development of human life.

Going uo to the board
Carlos Salazar Arenas

For the last 15 years I have worked simultaneously as a painter and a teacher and I have always wondered about the possibility of making a series of works related to this world, parallel to painting, which has contributed so much to my life and has allowed me to grow.
The series I began working on in 2012 is connected to the almost obsolete blackboards that have been replaced by acrylic and digital boards, to the arrangement of the students in the classroom and to political actions that are the result of the students’ resistance to the system or to the state’s policies.
Schools are constantly in search of elements, instruments and concepts to make the act of education more valuable and especially more effective. The blackboards and the images I express in them are directly related to learning processes, diagrams, words and theorems that we saw in school and that we have forgotten thanks to the obliterating force of our daily routines. The knowledge we receive is often as fleeting as the information written in a blackboard; it lasts as long as it takes for a teacher to leave the classroom and for the next one to come in, who often clears what his or her predecessor left written there.
The diagrams and images that appear on the works are taken from the blackboards of the classes themselves, from my students’ notebooks or from books accounting for a claim to educate and raise the cultural level of the subjects. The images of people are taken from the web, the media and the written press, highlighting the counterpoint among the intended culture, the mass culture and the popular culture.
On the other hand, the acrylic paintings keep the monochromic line that has characterized my work for more than a decade. This series of paintings expresses the traditional arrangement of students in classrooms where classes are given from a conservative logic, where the student is a passive recipient of information.
The teaching practice is a political practice where subjects interact at a physical and at an intellectual level. Educating is the act of conquering the symbolical and physical fields, where the other should be able to find its place and value within a social framework.
I have no doubt that the work I have done as a painter for several years, with a marked political trend, still appears in this series.

by: Carlos Salazar Arenas