All Here Together

Iván Argote

In Residence: May 24 – Jul 15, 2021

Exhibition: Jul 15 – Sep 5, 2021

For over a decade, Iván Argote has been creating interventions on public monuments across the world as colonizer statues are being removed. His Artpace exhibition, All Here Together, was originally conceived for the city of San Antonio’s Piazza Italia Park, specifically for the now empty plinth which formally held the Christopher Columbus statue. With this project at Artpace, we encounter a gentle, contemplative approach, in which the artist investigates what comes after a monument has been removed.

As you enter the gallery, you are greeted by a monumental pedestal and staircase which invites your participation. Embedded into the treads of the sculpture the words, DEAR WE ARE ALL HERE TOGETHER THIS IS A PLACE FOR US, give welcome and representation. Once at the top of the sculpture, the representation becomes recognition and honor as the participant has become a monument. It is a simple gesture which celebrates the fact that we are all important and we all deserve to be respected

Throughout the gallery are Polaroid photographs taken during a community event organized during the artist’s residency. Argote invited people to participate on a journey of reflection about our monuments, and about this specific empty plinth. These photographs are presented with a nod to official portrait galleries such as one would see in a bank or social club. Also displayed are drawings from the event attendees who contributed their ideas for this monument.

The video work, All Here Together, San Antonio, TX, serves as a collage of people, places and ideas which have motivated this exhibition. Much of the source material came from the artist’s community event, the artist’s exploration throughout the city of San Antonio, and through the generosity of individuals who were interviewed.

In the series of paintings, Fantasies, Argote continues his gentle and subtle commentary on public space while ironically using the strength of poured concrete as a substrate. Similar contrast appears on the gallery walls through a mural created with sketch-like strokes of paint, entitled “A Statue that Gets Tired”. The mural depicts a statue which climbs down from his plinth to lie down on the grass. The whimsical nature of the mural suggests a sense of play, while the action of the statue conveys frustration and weariness.

This exhibition uses humor and community to illustrate how sculptures, memorials and statues throughout the world are being reassessed through the lens of social justice. It reminds us uses of public space are rarely democratic and often represent a specific legacy.

Iván Argote has used his time at Artpace to construct a blueprint of what is possible and to encourage open dialogue about how the public can be involved in the decisions around community spaces. His works ask you to join in the discussion of what is public space? Who is represented? How can our community create a sense of belonging?

Download English Gallery Notes

descarga las notas de la galeria

Artpace’s Summer 2021 International Artist-in-Residence program is made possible with the support of the Linda Pace Foundation and the National Endowment of the Arts. Iván Argote’s Artpace project was also supported by an Étant Donnés Contemporary Art Grant from the FACE Foundation. Artpace is generously supported by the City of San Antonio Department of Arts & Culture, the John L Santikos Charitable Foundation of the San Antonio Area Foundation, the Brown Foundation, Inc., the Texas Commission on the Arts, and the Harris & Eliza Kempner Fund.

Photo credit: Beth Devillier

3D Tour: Chris Mills


Iván Argote

Paris, France / Bogotá, Colombia

Iván Argote’s public space performances, videos, films, sculptures, collages, poster campaigns and public space installations generate questions about how we relate to the others, to the state, to patrimony and traditions. Argote makes political and sociological critics and proposals using affection, emotions and humour as subversive tools, with which he tries to generate spaces of dialogue away from polarisation and confrontational rhetorics.

Iván Argote was born in Bogotá in 1983. He grew up in the middle of a politically engaged family who’s still active in the Colombia’s political landscape. Iván Argote made his studies of Cinema and Graphic Design (simultaneously) in the National University of Colombia, then at age of 23 he moved to Paris and studied at Beaux-Arts de Paris school. Since then he’s based in Paris where his studio is located. He frequently moves to different countries with his team to do research, work on site specific installations and films shootings.

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Pilar Tompkins Rivas

Los Angeles, California, USA
Pilar Tompkins Rivas is the director of Vincent Price Art Museum (VPAM) at East Los Angeles College, a collecting institution with diverse holdings including Pre-Columbian, Native American, and modern and contemporary art. At VPAM she has spearheaded partnerships between the museum and the Smithsonian, the Los Angeles County Museum of Art (LACMA), and the Huntington Library, Art Collection and Botanical Gardens. Prior to her appointment as director, she served as the coordinator of curatorial initiatives at LACMA, where she helped launch and co-directed two Mellon-funded programs for the museum: the UCLA-LACMA Art History Practicum Initiative and The Andrew W. Mellon Undergraduate Curatorial Fellowship Program. She has practiced as an independent curator since 2002 and was the director of residency programs at 18th Street Arts Center in Santa Monica.

Specializing in U.S. Latino and Latin American contemporary art, she has organized dozens of exhibitions throughout the United States, Colombia, Egypt, France, and Mexico. Among the exhibitions that she has curated or co-curated are Home – So Different, So Appealing (LACMA; the Museum of Fine Arts Houston), A Universal History of Infamy (LACMA), Regeneración: Three Generations of Revolutionary Ideology (VPAM),Tastemakers & Earthshakers: Notes from Los Angeles Youth Culture, 1943-2016 (VPAM), A Decolonial Atlas: Strategies in Contemporary Art of the Americas (VPAM; Tufts University Art Gallery; Union College; Oficina de Proyectos Culturales, Puerta Vallarta, Mexico; OFF Biennial Cairo, Egypt), Guadalupe Rosales: Echoes of a Collective Memory (VPAM), Patrick Martinez: America is For Dreamers (VPAM), ASCO and Friends: Exiled Portraits (Triangle France, Marseille), L.A. Xicano (LACMA; the UCLA Fowler Museum; the Autry National Center), and Vexing: Female Voices from East L.A. Punk (Claremont Museum of Art).
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