Juan Duque is a Colombian artist and researcher in curatorial practices, based in Brussels. Wondering about the communication of ‘knowledge through inclusiveness’, his research methodologies stem from creating situations where materiality and immateriality, bodies and objects can coexist, seeking ‘otherwise’ ways for being together.
His research interest in the curatorial spans the political structures present in the relationships within curatorial practices and focuses on intersectionality, affect theory, transindividualism and queer phenomenology. His writings and projects have a particular focus on performance in relation to strategies that aim at breaking up different forms of daily fascism.
My artistic research practice in site-specificity seeks to generate transdisciplinary and relational ecologies that belong to the research-in-and-through-arts environment.
With my practice, I intend to stimulate the performativity of collectively ‘thinking by doing from the place itself’. I wonder how I can see my work through experience and how experience is influencing my work.
I understand experience as sensory perception and ‘bodily thinking’ -the connectedness of things, bodies and objects- implying the possibility of subject and object to constantly switch roles.
Experience is about movement and changeability of perspectives.
I am constantly confronted with a new location when working in site-specific practices. Following that state of mobility, I implement a series of physical negotiations while inhabiting the place where I am creating my work for a specific period of time.
Implementing artistic processes, I intensify the reciprocal relationships that are involved with the agreements between my body, objects, and other bodies in the place of the installation, using objects and materials found in the place itself. I work mostly with organic materials such as textiles, clay, food… and transform them with bodily in-situ actions like for instance rolling, pressing, molding, placing, folding, positioning, splitting. This happens in the very space of display, sometimes against the actual surface of the space. The presence of my body as a generator for the installation is very evident (some of the objects have my bodily dimensions impressed).
In our daily life, we are connected and involved with the things around us and we need to engage with the world in a continuous, reciprocal process of affecting and being affected. In short, we are implied in our surroundings, and these constant agreements of affective and spatial negotiations generate trans-individual areas, which I refer to in my research as ‘intermediate spaces’.
I wonder in my research how site-specificity as a critical practice is contributing to expand and how it reflects on the nowadays mobile notion of ‘site’, bringing up a sense of awareness about the complexities of the construction of our environment. I question what the shapes of the social bodies in our contemporary world can be, who really ìs the public, the addressee in the overlapping circuits of art production and the world under these current conditions, especially in a contemporary world where the majority of the population is on the move because of warfare, migration and displacement at different levels.
Juan Duque September 2018
Statements about my artistic practice.
‘Juan Duque’s body of work develops itself on the go, reflecting the conditions of its own origin, bent back on itself as it were. Juan’s practice is informed by contemporary notions of cultural displacement, migration and shifting identities, both on a practical and theoretical level. As such, his works are always conceived and produced in a ‘mobile studio’, an ‘Atelier im Kopf’ as Daniel Buren expressed it, in interaction with a specific context in space and time, often using found materials, textiles or other visual imagery. There is a certain quality to the work that I would describe as ‘sculptural precarity’, that definitely makes Juan’s pieces stand out.’
————— Pieter Vermeulen, independent curator
‘Juan Duque makes site-specific installations. He reactivates memories through interactions with places and explorations of it’s surfaces.
Putting together tangible materials and leaving room for poetic abstraction, Juan Duque brings back textures and images of the landscapes he lived through.’
————— Pauline Doutreluingne, independent curator