In the year 2019, we carried out the first crowdfunding of the project Mollusca: Substrate for creation and research. Art, pleasure, and thought. The initiative was accompanied by a generous number of Venezuelan artists who donated artworks of their own to help with the fundraising campaign. From different generations and diverse expressive searches, these artists gathered to support the construction of a web platform dedicated to research and contemporary reflection on and from art. Put in the very terms that guide the project conceptually: reflections on contemporary sensibility.
It seemed important, afterwards, to gather the aesthetic and political discourses proposed in these artworks, as well as the resonances they prompted for our field of interests, in a document that gave unity to the array and suggested dialogues. The varied palette of creators, the various territories of the world where they currently live, the time and discourses that cross them — locally and globally — the inquiries and elaborations that dialogue as common interests in the sample, allow to read the publication as a record — a clipping, a fragment of the map — of Venezuelan contemporary art.
This is a notion that has become, let’s not say deterritorialized but reterritorialized. The different geographical movements within the framework of the ongoing diaspora and the movements prior to it, as well as the internal readjustments in the country, have had a particular influence on the redistributions of the subjects of art. In all cases there is an operation of «reterritorialization,» that is, of discovering or reconquering a space from which an own discourse can take root. We like this term because in the friction of its utterance it houses our complex relationship with the territory. (From where is a story crafted?) The global resemantizes the local and, in turn, intimate narratives weave the fabric of singular voices that diversify the world. This sway moves Mollusca particularly and it is the territory of contemporary Venezuelan art.
When we started the project, we extended an invitation to creators who were close to Mollusca’s team to learn about the initiative and to support its launching. Some invited others and a constellation of collaborating artists began to draw, soon growing with others who spontaneously approached to offer their help. It would not have been possible to take off from present-day Venezuela without the backing of these affections. Their presence, not only in the catalogue but in the different areas where they develop their work, brought enormous richness and amplitude to the project. Quite a few actors — both national and international — are mentioned in the course of its pages: galleries, institutions, art spaces, and curators are deployed on the map of relationships and confluences that these artists enabled with their desire to support us.
2019: UNA CONSTELACIÓN // A CONSTELLATION is the title of this first digital publication is an interactive and bilingual ebook brings together works by 27 artists from diverse areas of creation, accompanied with text by Jordi Santiago Flores, Vanessa Leal Soto, and Marianela Díaz Cardozo, who is also responsible for the translation and editorial coordination. Designed and laid out by Jeanne Jiménez in two reading formats, the book is freely downloadable here: .epub or .pdf.
Marianela Díaz Cardozo is an artist, editor, and translator. She is engaged in an exploration of the tactile perception, natural matter and registering experience through art. In Mollusca, she directs the Editorial Substrate and will explore questions anchored to the erotic body and its pleasure.
Jordi Santiago Flores is a researcher and writer. He teaches at the School of Arts of the Universidad Central de Venezuela where he is also a PhD candidate in the Psychoanalysis and Social Sciences programme. His research areas link psychoanalysis, aesthetics, and politics. In Mollusca, he directs the Studies Substrate and will address questions exploring the relationship between the body and music.