curated by William Contreras Alfonso & Linda Pongutá

William Contreras Alfonso, Untitled, 2018
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In the center of the Colombian capital, one of its tallest buildings that was previously a symbol of progress and prosperity is now abandoned. It was built to host the offices of the state telecommunications company, TELECOM, and its modern infrastructure was once admired as a promise of a brighter future for the country.

Now the building is empty and its interior has gradually been destroyed by loneliness and time. The company went bankrupt in 2003 due to government corruption and now its facilities are a shameful monument to the mismanagement of our nation's money. Paradoxically, in front of this financial ruin now rises the tallest and most Avant-garde office building in the country, Richard Rogers' ATRIO tower. As its shadow, TELECOM building reminds Bogota's dowtown economical difficulties, usually masked by gentrifying projects.

Our project consists in summoning 15 artists to take over the 14 floors of offices and the terrace of the building. Each artist will intervene their assigned space with the elements that are already in place and formulate an artistic reflection on this site, working on various techniques such as installation, video, performance, sculpture, drawing and sound art. All the artworks will be Brand-new, inspired for the experience of each artist with the space.

Each artist will take one floor as working place, and the Project intends to be an opportunity for the artistic research of 15 people who ask themselves questions about the way we inhabit the city, how we relate to technology, and how we survive urban violence. Creators will work at the same time, but the projects will be independent, resulting on fifteen solo shows opening simultaneously, all inspired for the same subject (the office building) but proposing individual and complementary points of view at the same time.

We will use a theater room located on the first floor of the building for, at least once a week during the exhibition, organize artistic talks and workshops of creative nature. These will join artists, general public and a series of special guests (aerospacial engineers who worked for the company, surviving sindicalists, architects and urban historians, Neighbourhood's inhabitants, etc.) on collective participative performances about some kind of communicative technology: visual, written, corporeal, metaphysic, conceptual; heterogeneus approaches about the same subject: Human interactivity today. Alongside every aspect of this project, the biggest aim is an artistic interpretation of what communication is, and how can we use it on a positive way nowadays.

When exhibition opens, the public will find an office building in a state of neglect, but also an artistic take over from a collective of people, trying to find new interdisciplinary perspectives for the most urgent problems of the Colombian present. The title of the exhibition, "Null", comes from a term used in telecommunications meaning a misspoint, a false data input or a programmation mistake. This project tries to reevaluate wrong choices and system errors as an start point for brand new ideas and possibilities for the future, believing in people's connection as its key.
Linda Pongutá and William Contreras Alfonso live in Bogotá, interested in collective work, urban spaces and industrial ruins as a workspace. Their reflection on tactile thinking, spirituality and work ethics in art are present in their most recent projects.

apexart’s program supporters past and present include the National Endowment for the Arts, Milton and Sally Avery Arts Foundation, the Kettering Family Foundation, the Buhl Foundation, The Martin and Rebecca Eisenberg Foundation, Bloomberg Philanthropies, Spencer Brownstone, the Kenneth A. Cowin Foundation, Epstein Teicher Philanthropies, The Greenwich Collection Ltd., William Talbott Hillman Foundation/Affirmation Arts Fund, the Fifth Floor Foundation, the Consulate General of Israel in New York, The Puffin Foundation, the Trust for Mutual Understanding, The Andy Warhol Foundation for the Visual Arts, and public funds from the New York City Department of Cultural Affairs in partnership with the City Council, public funds from Creative Engagement, supported by the New York State Council on the Arts with the support of the Governor and administered by LMCC, funds from NYSCA Electronic Media/Film in Partnership with Wave Farm: Media Arts Assistance Fund, with the support of the Office of the Governor and the New York State Legislature, as well as the New York State Council on the Arts with the support of Governor Kathy Hochul and the New York State Legislature.