This article is important because it documents the production of PerfoArtNet. Encuentro Internacional de Performance [PerfoArtNet: International Performance Meeting] as a space for dialogue and performance that filled the void created by the absence of a specialized event in the field of art-action in Bogotá. The article highlights the lack of in-depth studies and research projects there are on performance art in Colombia, referring to the only four existing theoretical undertakings in this genre, as follows: the curatorial and research project Actos de fabulación [Acts of Fantasy] conducted by the curator Consuelo Pabón (b. 1961) [see 1099666; 1099681; 1129442; and 1129458]; the research on the Colombian artist María Teresa Hincapié (1954–2008) conducted by the art historian Marta Rodríguez (b. 1938); the description of the practice written by Ángela Chaverra Brand (b. 1962); and the unfinished research on the nineties generation: “El cuerpo entre la representación y la presencia” [The Body Between Performance and Presence] [see 1129750] provided by the critic and article writer Ricardo Arcos-Palma (b. 1968). The author thus discloses the initiative involving the archive of photographs and videos titled PAS Performance Art and Society, provided by the Colombian artist Fernando Pertuz (b. 1968) with the backing of the Ministry of Culture. This is an invaluable project in terms of the preservation of memory by recording events that generate easy access to documentation on future artistic practice in Colombia in the years to come.
The statements made by Pertuz (that are quoted by Arcos-Palma) are of great importance as they tendentiously seek to equate performance art with sociopolitical activism, thereby taking the dangerous step of reducing the range of aesthetic and/or conceptual possibilities and scope of the practice to one specific use. It is, however, of interest to note the use of technology in this project, including the transmission of performance art over the Internet, a “genuine option in terms of the broadcast of ideas and actions” as indicated by Pertuz. Although the criticism lodged by Arcos-Palma regarding the lack of research in this area is on target, it also reflects a curatorial preference that focuses on just one generation of artists that the author refers to as “the nineties generation.” In fact, it refers to a group that tendentiously shares a particular political point of view, at the risk of excluding other artists from the history of performance art in Colombia, some of whom have been producing performance art that is sharply critical of the practice itself, such as Fernando Uhía (b. 1967) and/or Álvaro Herazo (1942–1988).
The critic Ricardo Arcos Palma earned his PhD in the science of art, and a master’s in aesthetics at the Sorbonne in Paris. He currently (in 2009) works as a professor teaching the history and theory of art at the Universidad Nacional in Colombia. He is also a contributing journalist for the virtual edition of the Colombian newspaper El Tiempo, and the director of the art museum at the Universidad Nacional.