Advertisement

Into Focus: Proyectos Ultravioleta

Meet the winners of the 2016 Focus Stand Prize

Where in Guatemala City are you located?
The gallery is located in its third place in Guatemala City, after moving to a house inside a still functioning wood mill (Guatemala’s biggest wood mill from the 1960s and ‘70s, in fact) at the heart of a bustling working-class neighbourhood in Zone 1. 
 
Why did you choose your gallery's name?
From the beginning, because of the diversity of the activities we knew we wanted to produce, we knew that we wanted it to be Proyectos something. We had a long list of words to follow, but started thinking of ultraviolet rays. Without them we would be able to see anything at all, and yet too much exposure to them would make you blind. So they’re fundamental to seeing.
 

img_0238.jpg

Proyectos Ultravioleta in Guatemala City

Proyectos Ultravioleta in Guatemala City. Courtesy: Proyectos Ultravioleta.

 
How would you describe the gallery's programme? 
Rather than having one precise point of focus, aim for a diversity of perspectives that contribute to our overall vision. Although the word “experimental” is over-used these days, we like to take risks in our programming, and the projects that we put together are at times serious and critical, at others humorous and playful - at times poetic, at others punk. Whether they are in art, music, poetry, or even food - we aim to create programming that resonates and contributes to the local context in which we operate. 
 
What are you presenting at Focus
For Focus, we are excited to be presenting recent works of mother/daughter Elisabeth Wild and Vivian Suter who are based in Lake Atitlán - a magical lake in Guatemala in between three volcanoes. Elisabeth makes the most precious and dynamic collages out of magazine cutouts, while Vivian creates large and emotional abstract paintings inspired by  - and often times in collaboration - with nature. 
 
How did you come to work with Elisabeth and Vivian?
Fate! We first saw and were intrigued by their work in 'Olinka, Or Where The Sound is Created' (a show curated by Adam Szymczyk at Tamayo Museum in Mexico City in 2013). Luckily enough a few weeks later our friends from House of Gaga in DF were on their way to Guatemala to do a studio visit with Vivian. As they left their home they called us  and insisted we had to go and visit, and sure enough we did and immediately became friends.
 
 
It’s a big undertaking to travel from central America to participate in fair like Frieze London. What is the role of art fairs for a gallery like yours? 
Given that we are working in a context that has historically been so detached from the international art world, it is imperative for us to insert ourselves into these contexts to increase visibility of the artists we work with, and our own work as incubators. Fairs have become important meeting points not only for galleries and collectors, but also for artists, curators, writers and cultural producers. Presenting work in this context becomes validating.
 
What other parts of the fairs are you especially looking forward to seeing? 
As a visitor, I have always enjoyed Focus, and Frieze Masters - for me they are they are always sights of discovery At Focus I am looking forward to seeing what Green Art Gallery, Múrias Centeno, Sunday Painter, Galeria Jacqueline Martins, Carlos/Ishakawa and Fonti are doing, among others.
 

face.jpg

Stefan Benchoam, Co-founder of Proyectos Ultravioleta

Stefan Benchoam, Co-founder of Proyectos Ultravioleta

 
What else do you plan for Frieze Week?
I’m really looking forward to William Kentridge at the Whitchapel Gallery, Philip Miller’s production at the Coronet Theatre, Micheal Clark Company’s dance performance at the Barbican - and to an eat at Tabun Kitchen, a new restaurant that has opened up serving Jerusalem street food in Soho. Plus it’s always a treat to swing by the V&A.
 
What are you currently showing back the gallery? 
We currently have a wonderful exhibition by Radamés “Juni” Figueroa, born in Puerto Rico, which will run until November: December brings a hard hitting presentation by Jorge De León to mark his first solo show with us.
 
Advertisement

Most Read

Criticism of the show at the Hungarian National Gallery in Budapest comes alongside a nationalist reshaping of the...
A retrospective at Munich’s Museum Brandhorst charts the artist’s career from the 1980s to the present, from ‘fem-trash...
At the National Theatre of Wales, a performance alive with wild, tactile descriptions compels comparison between the...
There are perils in deploying bigotry to score political points, but meanings also shift from West to East
‘It’s ridiculous. It’s Picasso’: social media platform to review nudity policy after blocking Montreal Museum of Fine...
Poland’s feminist ‘Bison Ladies’ storm the Japanese artist’s Warsaw exhibition in solidarity with longtime model Kaori’...
An art historian and leading Leonardo expert has cast doubt on the painting’s attribution
How will the Black Panther writer, known for his landmark critical assessments of race, take on the quintessential...
The dissident artist has posted a series of videos on Instagram documenting diggers demolishing his studio in the...
In further news: artists for Planned Parenthood; US court rules on Nazi-looted Cranachs; Munich’s Haus der Kunst...
A mother’s death, a father’s disinterest: Jean Frémon’s semi-factual biography of the artist captures a life beyond...
Jostling with its loud festival neighbours, the UK’s best attended annual visual art festival conducts a polyphonic...
It’s not clear who destroyed the project – part of the Liverpool Biennial – which names those who have died trying to...
Dating from 1949 to the early 1960s, the works which grace the stately home feel comfortable in the ostentatious pomp...
The disconnect between public museum programming and private hire couldn’t be starker – it’s time for the arts to...
In further news: Angela Gulbenkian sued over Kusama pumpkin; and Pussy Riot re-arrested immediately after release from...
With Art Week in town, a guide to the best exhibitions to see, from sonic surveillance to Ronnie van Hout’s showdown...
Moving between figuration and abstraction, the New York-based painter and teacher made work about in-between spaces and...
Trump’s State Department is more than 3 months late in announcing its national pavilion – testament to the chaos...
The continued dominance of UK-US writers makes a mockery of the Man Booker’s ‘global outlook’
The fashion photographer has been accused on Twitter of ripping off another artist – with both represented by the same...
Katharina Cibulka has stitched ‘As long as the art market is a boys’ club, I will be a feminist,’ across her alma mater...
The punk artists’s invasion of the pitch during the Croatia vs. France match reminded us what Russia’s new ‘normality’...
In further news: Brexit voters avoid arts; New York libraries’s culture pass unlocks museums; Grayson Perry-backed...
If artificial intelligence were ever to achieve sentience, could it feasibly produce art? (And would it be good?)
Nods to the game in World Cup celebrations show how dance has gone viral – but unwittingly instrumentalized for...
‘What is being exhibited at Manifesta, above all, is Palermo itself’
With the 12th edition of the itinerant European biennial opening in Palermo, what do local artists, curators and...
The curators seem set to ask, ‘how civilized is the world’s current state of affairs?’

On View

Latest Magazines

frieze magazine

April 2018

frieze magazine

May 2018

frieze magazine

June - August 2018