First of all I’d like to thank everyone involved in this second presentation of the Amerikan Kinetics video collection in German territory. Especially I’d like to congratulate Alexander Lorenz, who has managed the project by his own, creating really solid links between the European artistic production and the Latin American artists. More than a great artist and a cultural manager, Alexander became a friend, and his passion and dedication to this specific project must be recognized, appreciated and praised. Also, I´d like to thank the Zeitraumexit personal for the interest in our project and the desire to show it to the cosmopolitan citizens of Mannheim. For me, and all artists involved, it´s really important to make our art works cross the American borders, and share our artistic concepts, issues and beliefs. Another special thanks to the co-curator Fernanda Proença, who have helped us since the earlier stages of the AK project, bringing to the exhibition her specific knowledge in philosophy and esthetics.

I also want to say that this project is a really independent initiative developed in cooperation between Alexander Lorenz, Fernanda Proença, the invited artists and myself, creating a huge triangle connecting arts from Europe, Latin America and Brazil. As an independent curator I try to establish a close relation with every artist invited, and their contributions are priceless. As an independent curator I can work with passion, desire and freedom, words far away from the monetary issues that circle around many projects and exhibitions. We work on Amerikan Kinetics because, first of all, we believe in what we are doing, the importance of the art works, and the commitment of the artists, creating a prosper environment and good relations with everybody involved.

Amerikan Kinetics is a collection of distinct approaches inside the video art production, distinct techniques, concepts and uses of this contemporary popular media. The word “kinetic” has a Greek origin, meaning “movement” and “action” and, for example, generate the today´s word for “cinema”. But, differently from our today’s concept, where “movement” generally means physical dislocation, “kinetic” can be understood as the dialectic dynamic flow of the existence, life experiences contradictions, and the perfect/brutal balance and transformations of nature (physis) itself.

As an American “movement” of images, Amerikan Kineticts reflects different uses of this media, presenting to the public conceptual videos, performace documentation, ironic propositions, critic visions of our today’s reality, and poetical images of an “oneiric” distant place. Together, the videos do not show only moving images, but an artistic representation of the perception of our complex reality.

The poetry and the politics are the main knot that saws all the selected videos. A thin border separates what is a poetical or political, and all the videos belongs not to one side or another, but they are the border itself. Produced by a generation that somehow have helped to construct what we believe to be our contemporary reality, all the selected artists have a critical view towards the day by day life, using their expression to create new perspectives, possibilities and escape routes to new comprehension of their own histories. In the global world, still exists a lot of local and regional situations, drawing what we understand by national identities and cultures, what lead us to particular moments of history, creating a rich variety of details and small issues that define our behavior. Even in the considered “democratic” states, freedom stills a matter of point of view.

In the Latin America recent history – where all those artists belong – many countries have suffer the problems of left or right dictatorships, poverty, national debts, repression, international military interventions, corruption and many others contemporary problems, but at the same time, inside this crisis scenario, our cultures developed a sense of companion, of happiness, of love, joy and beauty, that radically changes this critical era. While you push and struggle in one side, the other can find a new way to survive.

Latin America is a complex continent, with more than 30 countries, geographical and language variations, ancient traditions mixed with spots of high development, and many other aspects that make a hard task to close the debate with only a few art works. Amerikan Kinetics is a fragment of our diversity, and as all fragments, it contains aspect of the totality, so through small video pieces we can appreciate an “archeological” research, and (re)construct the dense and intense puzzle of our past, present and future. This exhibition and video presentation only opens the debate around the Latin America artistic production: it´s an opportunity to see inside our poetical and political practices and/or history, and to exchange culture and artistic practices.

From Mexico to Argentina, crossing the Andes and the huge country of Brazil, all the artists at the same time are able to avoid closed concepts of their own regionalisms, developing their works in the same universal language “spoken” by the contemporary art. They are in the tension line of local and global subjects, exploring their identities to beyond their selves.

Nicholas Petrus
Amerikan Kinetics:

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