Scrutinizing the law of conservation of energy that states that energy cannot be created nor destroyed, but only transformed, Balam Bartolomé’s work aims to understand the relation between energy and its consequences. The process amid action and reaction- and how ideas transform an object or its meaning to create a different thing or situation. He uses paradox and pun as linguistic resources to displace and transform meanings in either a formal or conceptual way. His work seeks to understand the relation between objects, images and the system where they occur. It aims to exhibit the midpoint in between doubt and knowledge. Art as a rumor, result of the hearsay in between reality, experience and its communication; the interaction in between physical and social landscapes and global phenomena in terms of identity and cultural blending. Identity is a set of symbols, objects and behaviors that characterize a community. Independently of where we live the environment determines our behavior.
Balam Bartolomé perceives his work as a connection in between. The result is expressed as sculpture, video, text, photographs and drawings where these experiences reflect my temporariness in a specific space. This emerges from the circumstances under which cultural expressions caress or collide with. He works trying to reveal the juncture, ruins and cracks where nature and civilization divide from each other, where does instinct and poetics hybridize, and how culture and individuals collide like “significant meteors”. His intention is to work around this, find the plugs where these converge and create artistic bonds in between. He believes art is not about creating, it is about transforming.
Balam Bartolomé (b. 1975 Chiapas, Mexico) studied a B.A. in Visual Arts at the Escuela Nacional de Artes Plasticas. He lives and works in Mexico City. His practice ranges from sculpture, photography, installation, video and drawing.
His work has been exhibited in non-profit art spaces, galleries and museums in Argentina, Brasil, Canada, Colombia, Czech Republic, Estonia, France, Germany, Japan, Mexico, Netherlands, Norway, Paraguay, Portugal, Spain, UK, Uruguay and USA.
In 2004 he was recipient of the Young Creators grant, sponsored by the National Council for Culture & Arts (CONACULTA) from Mexico.
In 2007 was resident artist at ERA: Encuentro Regional de Arte: Arte en transito, Dialogo con la Historia, held in Montevideo, Uruguay.
In 2009 was resident artist at the International Studio & Curatorial Program (ISCP) in NYC.
In 2011 was resident artist at the Nordic Artist Centre Dalsåsen, in Dale, Norway.
In 2012 he was invited as an artist and curator to the 1st Bristol Biennial, held in the UK.
In 2013 he published his first book, Batalla de Ciervos (Battle of the Stags), edited by the Taller de Ediciones Económicas, with the support of Jumex Foundation.
In 2014 was resident artist at the Bemis Center for Contemporary Arts in Nebraska, USA.
In 2014 had his first solo exhibition in a museum. The project was called Reves (Inside-out) at the Museo de Arte Carrillo Gil, in Mexico City.
Recent projects in 2015 included a residency at Fundacion Casa Wabi, in Oaxaca, Mexico; a collective show at the Museo del Chopo in Mexico City and an extended version of Reves, at the MUSAS (Museo de Arte de Sonora).
Kandor13 is an experimental network that provides a creative platform for cross-disciplinary collaboration between visual artists, curators, writers and academics.
Other Kandor13 artists:
Salvatore Arancio, based in London
Brock Enright, based in New York
Lars Laumann, based in Belgium
Pablo Jansana, based in New York
Alison Hall, based in New York
Balam Bartolomé, based in Mexico City
Federico Maddalozzo, based in Berlin
Angélica Teuta, based in New York, Bogotá
Christian Viveros Fauné, based in New York
Carolina Castro Jorquera, based in Madrid