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Colectivo Urbano

September 19, 2010

Los Urbano en su taller studio // Foto: Alejandra Cárabes Montes

Members: Elmer Flores, Evan López, Renacho Melgar, Jorge Romero
Focus: To form a network of socially conscious artists who explore art as social expression in a series of public exhibitions, fostering interaction between communities (both urban and rural), artworks and artists.

Activities: Beginning in 2009, with the intention of supporting emerging Salvadoran artists, the group created 12 exhibitions in one year, along the following themes: CHARACTER, LANDSCAPE, ANIMAL, STILL LIFE, WOMAN, TRANSPORT, WORK, FOOD, CLUB, SAINT, WARRIOR. These took place in a range of public spaces, including theatres, galleries, libraries, public parks, restaurants and a gay bar, in San Salvador, Sochitoto and Usulután. Their performance series, Territorios en Tránsito, plays with notions of street vending, class experiences, and artistic production.

Active: 2009-to the present.


Interview: Evangelina, Renacho and Elmer describe the socio-artistic design of Territorios en Tránsito

Renacho: Based upon the aesthetics of informal vendors, We created a stand. A street market stand…with the intention of thinking about how someone comes to take over a space. And from there came the idea to give away condoms, paper sailboats, prints…

Evangelina interrupts: Poems, too.

Renacho: It was a rich experience because we did this exercise in 4 different spaces. And each stand corresponded geographically to a physical place. One we did in completely in the Mexican style, with all the merchandise on the floor. Another was very Salvadoran, for which we created an almost dangerous space for people to walk by, as it was falling over into the street.

Elmer: And also it was even more rich because people confused us so much with the environment that they thought we were a real marketplace stand. So much so that they wanted to throw us out of the plaza.

Like, “Hey, what are you guys doing here, where’s your permit?” They didn’t think we were part of the art exhibition (going on throughout the city park.)

Renacho: Our group chose the area of the park, where the sex workers are. It was our plan to intervene in that space, and see what happens. So we start making bookmarks there in that space, with phrases written on them, phrases that the public uses to mark territory, or public space And so the words of that space were those of the sex workers Basic phrases, like “Come over here, baby.”

Elmer: “My, my… take me home today?”  And a lot of people came up to our stand. “It’s free, take one.” (we said)

Renacho: And a lot of people really believed we were normal street vendors. Even so… we don’t want the idea to end there, right? We want the idea to go a little further – that people get it, the concept. But we think that this kind of idea will only work with people that are accustomed to buying things in the street… To go to the street and take something away with you.

Territorios en Tránsito (Parque San Martín) 2009, Colectivo Urbano // Foto: Colectivo Urbano

Objetos de Performance Territorios en TránsitoPhoto Documentation of Pirate Street Performances // Foto: Colectivo UrbanoPirate Street Performances // Photo: Colectivo Urbano Exhibition Invite to Urbana Guerrera (Urban Woman Warrior)

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