Ivan Argote

Mixed technique

H.73,5 x W.62 cm

H.89,5 x W.76 cm (with frame)


1983 Born in Bogotá, Colombia.

2006 Ivan Argote moved to Paris and entered the Ecole Nationale Supérieure des Beaux-Arts (ENSBA), from which he graduated in 2009.

2011 He won the SAM prize for contemporary art with La estrategia, a project for which he puts himself in the shoes of a clandestine Colombian group at the origin of the left-wing parties of the 1970s. La estrategia was presented the following year at the Palais de Tokyo.

Today, his plastic creations, videos and performances are presented all over the world, from Brussels to Sao Paulo, from Paris (Galerie Perrotin, Palais de Tokyo...) to Barcelona (Galeria ADN, Joan Miró Foundation), Brussels, Madrid or Dubai.

Libération 2016

Les révoltés de l'austérité (The revolts of austerity)

By Ivan Argote (1983, Colombie)

"The archives, especially the printed ones, are an important raw material for my recent work. I am currently carrying out research related to propaganda during the Cold War, in the continuity of my project See? it’s true, which exposes Kodak's ideological choices. In the 1960s, the company realized that Kodachrome images turned red over time, and opted for the Ektachrome process which, on the contrary, provoked blue hues! I proceed by collage, cutting, deletion, fragmentation of the collected documents, for an allegorical construction of history. I like to create several filters, to superimpose temporalities. Destroying to give meaning: this is the approach I am developing for the front page of Libération on the Greek crisis. The original visual chosen has an informative but above all an eye-catching function: the transformation I inflict on it creates a distance from this initial objective. I used two copies of the cover image. I degraded the first one to keep only a loose and fragile mesh, of which only fragments are recognizable. Laser cutting burns the paper, reinforcing the idea of destruction and injury. The second copy, less damaged, appears out of phase, creating the blurred sensation of déjà vu. The imperfect superimposition makes the image unreadable, and shows the repetitions of the story. A stutter that this 2011 archive provides proof of, Les révoltés de l'austérité being unfortunately a title that is still relevant in 2015. There is a form of cynical fatalism in observing this rebound of history in Greece, even though Alexis Tsipras was elected on the promise of his opposition to austerity. This is a criticism of Europe and its impotence, but more broadly of states and their limits. Producing a new relationship to the object is a constant in my work. I divert the images embodying authority, often in an aggressive, sometimes provocative, sentimental, or even funny way, as in Summer Timewhere I film a police car shaking, as if shaken by lovemaking. Although my approach is neither openly militant nor partisan, it raises the question of the place of the human being in politics and society. I like to associate everyday anecdotes with a more global history and current events, to question the way in which these are constructed and written".