Barcú reopens in Bogotá’s historic La Candelaria

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Courtesy: Barcú

After almost three years absent from Bogotá’s art circuit, one of the most anticipated cultural happenings, Casa Barcú, reopens in La Candelaria from October 25 to 30. Under the slogan “mejor juntos” – or “better together” – Barcú is an immersive art and music platform that for this sixth edition will be housed in 2,500 square meters of an abandoned leather factory with gardens for visitors to relax between gallery hopping.

Bringing together independent gallerists, emerging and established artists, all within the same venue, Barcú defies the traditional way art is presented to audiences and avoids the label “art fair”.  The “experience” – as the organizers highlight – celebrates contemporary art as an expression of diverse mediums, from installation to street art, collage, sculpture, and painting.

The program for independent artists, Spotlights, is selected from various residencies and whose results can be seen in two exhibitions called “Opposite Fictions” and “Sightings”. All the artists in this pavilion have undergone a demanding curatorship.

The American interdisciplinary artist Aaron Fowler is this year’s international guest artist and comes to Barcú with works based on his experience of quarantine, COVID-19 restrictions and personal transformation. The St.Louis-based artist is known for large-scale works, and assemblages made from found objects. His layered works address American history, black culture, and identity, as well as hip-hop. Fowler will also create a work, unique to this event, alongside Colombian fashion designer Esteban Cortázar.

Fowler will also participate in an exchange of experiences with vulnerable youngsters of the Amor Real Foundation, started by fashion designer Diamantina Arcoíris. “Barcú is committed to transforming societies through the arts, and for this, we continue to be an inclusive cultural event, while at the same time a platform to identify, accompany, develop and promote the best in visual arts in this country,” said Barcú’s director and founding partner Camilo Montaño. “We want to stimulate the economy and have a great impact on the artistic ecosystem.”

Through an open call for proposals, the Amalgama cultural program will present works by Latin American women artists. The seven artists – two Cubans, two Colombians, one Argentine, one Chilean and one Mexican – were selected for their important contributions to the international art scene, and for participating in the program’s visual artists residency for six months. The London-based Amalgama was started by Colombian women, Daniela Galan and Carolina Galan. In the section Sightings, four Colombian artists from different regions are also participating.

Among the many participating art spaces that make the BARCU circuit is Kabiros, housed in a working forge and iron workshop (Calle 9 No.3-91), and where La Candelaria’s historic quarter meets the workingclass barrio Egipto. Among the emerging artists in this collective to watch is the Milanese-trained Marina Sánchez with visually sweeping works that capture the magnificence of the Colombian landscape and painted in acrylic on canvas.

“Vista de la Sabana”/Acrylic on canvas. Marina Sanchez

With an extensive agenda of events, participating galleries, and concerts, with Barcú Nights, this sixth edition reaffirms the resilience of the city’s cultural scene, after enduring one of the strictest and longest lock downs of the global pandemic. “Our diverse program, which has always characterized this event, the public will be able to appreciate the final result of our mission: to offer space for gastronomy, music, design, and fashion,” affirms Montaño.

Barcú. October 25 to 30.  For the complete listing of events visit www.barcu.com