Iván Argote
Ternura radical

11.23.18— 03.18.19
Sala 1, Nivel -1
Inauguración Jueves 22 de noviembre, 19:00

Throughout his career, Iván Argote (Bogotá, 1983) has created a group of works in different formats—videos, photographs, sculptures, drawings and public installations—that present an unblinkered reflection on the relations between history, politics, memory, and subjectivity. In this vein, Ternura radical [Radical Tenderness]urges us to rethink the uses of public space, the connection between citizens and everyday language and national symbols, and the possibility of understanding as an alternative to the increasing social polarization.

The show works as an interrelated whole through a cyclical narrative articulated around the film La plaza del chafleo [Chafleo Square]. The verb chaflearis a nonce word Argote has coined to refer to actions that can be performed in a public square, such as gathering, sharing things, talking, kissing, protesting, or simply being oneself.

Historically, squares have been meeting places, alternative spaces for participating, for learning how to play, for socializing and for voicing, political views; their origins can be traced back to the Greek agora, an environment for citizens to congregate in, to discuss the laws, and to listen to the town's best orators. Argote, however, takes no particular delight in the references to authority or to the standardized speeches that prevail in public debate; rather, he attempts to provide a place for new voices: those of children, of migrants, and of people on the margins of their society. His work is directly linked with the political history of his native Colombia, but also with that of the rest of the countries of Latin America and the other regions of the world in which he has worked. Be it in Bogotá, Palembang, Paris or Duala, his career grapples with subverting established power structures through the disruption—often comical—of their symbols and monuments. The various operations he carries out in his exhibitions and interventions put patterns of authority into crisis; we might describe them, borrowing the words of the narrator of one of his videos, as the search for a “decolonization of the mind” through tenderness.


Supported by


Iván Argote

Bogotá, 1983

Argote's works explore the relationship in between history, politics and the construction of our own subjectivities. His films, sculptures, collages, and public space installations temps to generate questions about how we relate to the others, to the state, to patrimony and traditions. His works are critics, sometimes anti-establishment, and deal with the idea of bringing affects to the politics, and politics to the affects with a strong and tender tone.

Related Activities

Sala pedagógica, explanada y Plaza Perú

Iván Argote Activismo


Iván Argote: ¡Activísimo!

¿Cuál es la mirada sobre la vida en común que tienen los niños? ¿Qué les gusta, y qué no? ¿Qué desearían cambiar de nuestra ciudad? A partir de diferentes actividades –jugar con las palabras, crear preguntas, fabricar objetos, intervenir el espacio público– el artista colombiano Iván Argote propone una reflexión individual y colectiva sobre el modo en que vivimos desde la perspectiva de los más jóvenes.

Sábado 8 de septiembre de 14:00 a 17:30
Sala pedagógica, explanada y Plaza Perú