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Apóstol, Alexander

b. 1969, Barquisimeto, Venezuela; lives and works in Madrid, Spain and Caracas, Venezuela Contrato colectivo cromosaturado, 2012 HD video, 3 screen installation, 45 min. In collaboration with Rafael Ortega

Alexander Apóstol seeks out images that reveal the relationships between architecture, urban planning and art. Contrato colectivo cromosaturado is an audiovisual installation reflecting on Venezuela’s recent political history, translated into colourful and vibrating kinetic art. After a period of dictatorship in the 1950s, Venezuela underwent radical political and economical changes in the 1960s. In the wake of the 1973 energy crisis the OPEC country enjoyed a period of economic prosperity, accompanied by the rise of a promise of ‘democracy’. Apóstol marks this historical timeframe in colour, reflecting on the way that kinetic art in Caracas came to function as a mirror for the country’s imaginary of progress. The work of Carlos Cruz-Diez was at the forefront of this trend: the light, colour and movement of his Chromosaturations were designed to captivate spectators’ attention. By the early 1980s, overambitious misgovernment and corruption threw Venezuela into a downward spiral of strikes, ailing industry, revolts and coups, a political crisis whose effects can still be felt today. Although Cruz-Diez’s work has endured, it now stands for the collapse of Venezuela’s democratic dreams. Contrato Colectivo Cromosaturado uses the vibrant graphic language of the public spaces in Caracas to re-read these political chapters of Venezuela’s history. Reflecting on the slogans of the period’s politicians – “Democracy and Energy”, “Where’s the money?”, “Herrera fixed it!” – the artist mirrors the illusion of democracy with the illusory language of kinetic art. MM