The life and actions of every human being are inherently political. This collection brings together works with a common central theme: the human body and its relationship with itself, with society, with institutions, and with the economy, as well as its many interactions.

The body as a stage
*Please be advised that the exhibit contains some images of nudity which may be deemed inappropriate for viewers under 18.* "Political Bodies" is a modern-day expression of the desires, struggles, frustrations, experiences, and motivations of 21st-century men and women. Today, the body is the fundamental space in which all of these elements are acted out.
Abel Azcona
Born in Pamplona, Spain, Azcona is a multi-disciplinary artist who specializes in performance and action art. His projects explore themes of politics and protest.

The symbolic combination of his biological origins and social marginalization shape his performance language.

Two bellies: one real and the other metaphorical. The white sheet represents the uterus in which the artist, curled up in the fetal position, relives his own gestation.

In Biological Meeting, Azcona brings together a number of pregnant prostitutes, with whom he then establishes a dialog through performed acts of protest related to his own life.

Interview with Azcona on Navarra television about the controversy generated by his work.

In 2013, Azcona invited several Colombian performance artists to take part in his retrospective through Dialogs in Action.

He performed a cleansing ritual with Dioscórides in the square outside the Museum of Contemporary Art Bogotá.

The fire, ashes, and the color red symbolize purification and the beginning of new life.

Experiences through the body, tainted by abandonment and abuse. A critical catharsis by a social outcast.

A collection of anonymous vaginas from unnamed women all over the world.

Biological Meeting installation process

Installing Biological Meeting

Installation process for Abel Azcona's retrospective at the MAC

Interview with Uniminuto's university channel. Azcona offers up some hints about this first retrospective and his performance art in Bogotá.

Maquiamelo is renowned for his controversial sculptures depicting the shrunken heads of politicians, dictators, and celebrities, referencing the ancient practice of the Jivaro Indians of the Ecuadorian Amazon, known as Tzantza. The concepts of power and beauty are continually questioned through each of his creations, inviting us to reflect on the transient nature of human existence.

The recognition of oneself in the image of another is part of the process explored in Maquiamelo's work.

In Divas, Maquiamelo explores the ephemeral beauty of stars of the silver screen.

Children's workshop creating shrunken heads at the MAC.

The children taking part pose with shrunken heads of Marilyn Monroe.

Judy Garland, another of the Divas reinterpreted by Maquiamelo.

Maquiamelo mocks the idea of eternal youth, and the aura surrounding sex symbols and media personalities. He dispels the notion of icons, and all that the media would have us believe.

Luiza Prado
Born in São Paulo, Brazil, she currently lives in Berlin. A transdisciplinary artist, Prado explores the intersection between art and the social sciences in search of solutions. While she was artist-in-residence at the Museum of Contemporary Art Bogotá, her research focused on femininity, colonization, the deconstruction of privilege, syncretism, the indigenous struggle, gender, politics, and psychosis.

Prado tends to favor abandoned spaces and industrial wastelands as backdrops for her photographs.

The metaphor of the melon being smashed by the phallic symbol of the hammer references the media's abuse, violation, and manipulation of the image of women.

Gluttony is a mortal sin that Prado evokes in reference to saturation of the media with images of women.

In a clear nod to Caravaggio's use of chiaroscuro, Prado connects femininity and masculinity in a dance of opposites and counterparts.

Prado regularly models her own body for her photographs.

Photo shoot in Bogotá

Body, place, and time are constant elements within contemporary photographic staging.

Photography work in progress by Luiza Prado.

Leo Carreño
Born in Florida Blanca, Santander, Colombia. Carreño focuses his interest on anatomy and natural sciences, challenging biological processes from the embryonic stage right through to death, as well as examining inert organisms. In his work "Mini-Insectariums, Arthropods Mounted on Photography," he uses the language of biology and photography to establish a symbiotic relationship between humans and insects.

Interview for Uniminuto's university channel

Carreño uses materials such as natural rubber latex to simulate the arthropods' ecdysis, or shedding of the exoskeleton.

Interview for the program "El Parlante Amarillo"

Setting for Mechanic Embryo Ecdysis, performed at the Museum of Contemporary Art Bogotá

Birth of a hypothetical biomechanic embryo. Performance at the Museum of Contemporary Art Bogotá.

Interview for the program La Revista, in which Carreño speaks about the creative process involved in his Arthropoda project.

Leo Carreño's video installation during the Abrahadabra exhibition at the Museum of Contemporary Art Bogotá

Interview for the program Bogotá Activa

Andrea Aguía
Born in Bogotá, Colombia. She has been involved in both marginal and mainstream art events and performances since 1998. Her work comprises both live-action and pre-recorded projects, with some of her personal work performed on camera in public spaces.

Desire is an 8-hour performance inside a glass urn in a Zen-like meditative state.

Through a deep meditative state, the artist Andrea Aguia puts the tensions between impulse and desire to the test.

Things I've wanted to do—a night-time performance in the main square outside the Museum of Contemporary Art Bogotá

Performance at the Museum of Contemporary Art Bogotá as part of the Sunday matinees program.

Home performance—a program at the Museum of Contemporary Art Bogotá which brings performances into the homes of the museum's neighbors.

The integration of music, food, and performance art in the context of a working-class home. Experiences that bring contemporary art to all social classes.

Herbert Baglione
Born in São Paulo, Brazil, this artist earned international recognition as one of Brazil's leading street artists. Since then, he has been heavily involved in the Latin American urban art and graffiti movement.

Irmãos ('Brothers" in Portuguese) is a depiction of fraternal ties marked by distinct differences and perceptions, despite their similarities.

Legs with resin feet at the end project out of the frames. The brothers live together and walk together, but have different, albeit complementary, perspectives.

Baglione speaks about his creative process, involving objects such as sneakers, T-shirts, and bags.

Commentary on the Obituary exhibition at the Museum of Contemporary Art Bogotá.

Baglione's artistic interventions

Father and Son—a metaphor for the personal relationship between Baglione and his father.

The differences in scale between the two shirts, joined at the sleeves, represent the mutual interrelationship constructed within a family.

Baglione's installation as part of the Obituary exhibition: the tensions generated by both the presence and absence of loved ones.

Creation of the mural in homage to Rosa Elvira Cely and all victims of sexual and gender violence. Wall adjoining the Museum of Contemporary Art Bogotá.

Names of famous and unknown women who have suffered the scourge of sexual and gender-based violence.

Interview for Uniminuto's university channel about the "Obituary" exhibition.

Raúl Marroquín
Born in Bogotá, Colombia. He was a founding artist of the Museum of Contemporary Art Bogotá (MAC) and has lived in the Netherlands since 1971. Since 1968, his work has invited us to experience new technologies, industrial video, television, and mobile devices.

Superbmans may be a parody, critique, or projection of the human being, constrained by its own limitations.

Marroquín plays on popular comic-book myths to reveal the weaknesses of the human body in a satirical and humorous way.

Using the language of posters and television, Marroquín hijacks the popular imagination and gives it new meaning to remove its symbolic power.

Interview with Raúl Marroquín and Klaus Fruchtnis as part of the Playground project.

Work by Raúl Marroquín bringing together a series of portraits of friends and artists.

Marroquín speaks about his work as part of the Playground exhibition.

Stream broadcast from Amsterdam as part of the Sunday matinees program at the Museum of Contemporary Art Bogotá.

Klaus Fruchtnis
Born in Bogotá, Colombia, he is a French-Colombian artist. His work uses technological, social, and institutional critique measurement, and covers a wide range of formats, from drawing and photography to installations, online projects, workshops, performance, editorial and public intervention.

Using the international height scale, Fruchtnis transposes a portrait's light and shade into a hypothetical map with cartographical levels.

The islands, representing people, contain places, roads, bays, mountains, and lakes, all with suggestive names.

The translation of cartographic language into plastic art opens up a world of possibilities for interpretation and interaction in which the political significance is compelling.

Interview for the program Stop Art

Revolving time, an installation in the central circular gallery of the Museum of Contemporary Art Bogotá.

Viral icons, a laser-cut print of iconic images from the 20th and 21st centuries.

Documentary on the links and collaboration between art and science.

Museum of Contemporary Art Bogotá: UNIMINUTO
Credits: Story

Curation, research, selection, and texts:
Gustavo A. Ortiz Serrano

Recording, database, documentation, and coordination:
Wilmar Tovar Leyva

Works in the permanent collection at the Museum of Contemporary Art Bogotá—a cultural entity of the Minuto de Dios University Corporation (UNIMINUTO).


Artists' websites

Credits: All media
The story featured may in some cases have been created by an independent third party and may not always represent the views of the institutions, listed below, who have supplied the content.
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