Part of Winter 2002
Annette W. Balkema and Henk Slager use the term hyper-aesthetic to locate the position of the visual arts within image-saturated cultures, where the aesthetic is no longer confined to the realm of the visual arts, but extended to domains such as fashion, design and advertising. The hyper-aesthetic becomes a place or scenario where the visual arts situates itself both inside and outside of the consequences of an over-embellished visual culture. The visual arts is no longer the primary means of bringing the aesthetic into everyday life, and as such negotiates its position as a locus of concepts. Aesthetic means of conceptualizing ideas become common place, creating savvy audiences who raise the stakes as they demand more complex systems of representation.
The artists selected for this programme (Miguel Calderon, Yoshua Okon, Galia Eibenschutz, Gabriel Acevedo, Ilian Gonzalez, Sylvia Gruner, Xavier Rodriguez, Pedro “Zulu” González, Ximena Cuevas and Renato Ornelas) understand the competitive nature of visual culture, but instead of obscuring their meaning or position by recreating another codified system of specialized visual language, they choose to simplify the terms. These recent Mexican videos embrace generalized aesthetic formulas and in so doing hit you over the head with their message. In a way, the artists give the audience what they want – an aestheticized concept, simply and quickly.