Juan D. Obando
My name is Juan Obando. I am an artist and educator born in Bogotá, Colombia. Since 2003, I have been working on media-supported, propaganda-oriented projects in order to circulate radical political and social questions through live and online radio and video performance, sound, and prints. My recent work, e.g. Bazuco Media Corp. (http://www.bazucobazuco.com), focuses on the use of corporate aesthetics and commercial language as a playful approach to contemporary art-making. I utilize marketing and mass media schemes, both as platforms and devices to impact issues of globalization, Third World discourses and national identities.
In 2005, observing a profitable cultural dynamic based on the business of selling “exotic,” misery-based images of the South to the North, I realized that this “cultural tourism” was only a reformulation of Third World subordination and neo-nationalism. I started Bazuco Media Corporation (http://www.bazucobazuco.com), an international, post-punk-influenced art production unit based in Bogotá, with cells in Venezuela, Argentina, the USA, and The Netherlands. Disguised as the ultimate icon of First World domination—a media company, global, ubiquitous, and free—Bazuco inserted a fresh, post-national agenda into the rigid Colombian cultural landscape and has exhibited in venues across the USA.
In 2009, after a successful solo show at Boots Contemporary Arts Space in St. Louis and a performance for Low Lives (an online performance exhibition broadcasted to galleries in Brooklyn, Houston, and Miami), I have been selected—for a second time—for the prestigious and exclusive Salón Nacional de Artistas in Colombia. My work has been reviewed by art theorist Fernando Escobar for the Madrid-based Artecontexto Magazine and featured in the 2007 and 2009 Colombian National Art Catalog.
Now I live, work and teach in Lafayette, IN. USA.