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Fernando Arias




Artist Fernando Arias works between Bogotá, the remote Colombian pacific coast of Chocó and London. Through video, photography, installation and actions he explores the human condition. Recurring themes include conflict, sexuality, religion, social and environmental issues. 

In addition to his personal practice, Arias involves other artists and professionals on projects through his Foundation Más Arte Más Acción (More Art More Action). Here, Arias devises interdisciplinary projects to explore challenging social and environmental issues, often involving people from communities silenced by lack of opportunity. The foundation stimulates cultural exchange and dialogue in order to strengthen contemporary arts practice in Colombia and beyond.

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A Journey Through the Human Condition 

Two separate moments can be discerned in Arias' career, which begun in 1990, that are nevertheless connected through a kind of "umbilical cord", defined perhaps as an affective force that drives the artist to express himself vehemently as an individual subject and as a member of the human race.
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KASHMIR
Arias spent most of 2010 travelling in Asia and these works were made in response to the situation he encountered in Kashmir's largest city, Srinagar, where he spent a month.
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PROTEST THE POPE
SEE PHOTOS
www.protestthepope.org
HUMANOS DERECHOS
Israel-Palestine

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See clip of the exhibition
See graffiti
DORADO
A project that explores Colombia's identity and memory surrounding the gold "Quimbaya" treasure given to Spain as a present in 1892. An official petition for the repatriation of the collection is being submited to the Spanish authorities. 122 people from different disciplines are invited to express their reflections about it.
Blog
EXTRAORDINARY SESSIONS
A series of unexpected actions. They include me passing through an x-ray at Bogota airport; wearing a ‘Lets pretend life is beautiful jacket’ at an arranged wedding in London; wearing the t-shirt ‘If one is disappeared then what? ONE LESS’ at peace marches and demonstrations in Bogotá.
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PAIS PARA QUIEN
Living outside Colombia for many years broadened my points of reference and gave me a new objectivity when considering what I had left behind. Distance helped me to focus on aspects of Colombia’s identity whilst simultaneously returning frequently to the place that inspired these reflections.

Colombia's national emblems, its religious influences, the drug trade, violence, its macho sexuality and the repression of minority perspectives were themes I began to explore.
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See photos
See 'El Espectador' review
Through Más Arte Más Acción Foundation we work with other interdisciplinary artists who explore challenging social, and environmental issues, often involving people from communities silenced by lack of opportunity.
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DONOR WANTED
From: XXX
Sent: Saturday, April 03, 2010 3:19
To: unomenos@live.com

Hi Fernando. I got to know your work today and I think it is fantastic. I agree with all kind of activist manifestations and nothing more appropriate than the ones exercided through art. I would like to donate my ashes since it is a way to express my views about public politics in Colombia, massacres, war, human rights violations amongst other atrocities.
What is the procedure I need to follow?

Best, xxx


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Watch video
Go to www.lasillavacia.com
42 SALON NACIONAL
www.masartemasaccion.org
MICROmacro
13 Salón Regional de Artistas

Fernando Arias and Jonathan Colin won a Ministry of Culture Award to co-curate the XIII Regional Salon 2009/10. Through open submission and direct invitation eighteen projects were selected.
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MORE ON THE PROCESS
The link bellow will open Más Arte Más Acción's website
Photos of the exhibition
Download catalogue on pdf
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VIDEO ART/DOCUMENTARY
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PLAN B
See Video Installation
HUMANOS DERECHOS-Colombia
Humanos Derechos focuses on the human aspects of people directly involved in conflicts and wars. It also looks at how our social environment and the circumstances within which we are raised lead to hatred and intolerance.

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SEE VIDEO
RE-ERECCION
In 2006 Colombia's first Presidential re-elections took place. The popular right-wing president Alvaro Uribe initiated constitutional changes that allowed him to stand for a second term, despite human rights groups accusing him of being linked to paramilitary operations.
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SEE VIDEO
GOD DOES NOT EXIST
In this video, Arias encounters a young missionary on the streets of Bogota from the Raeliana sect - the protagonists of a controversial and ethical affair relating to a cloned girl. The sect mixes various quasi-scientific, biblical and science fiction writings to form their beliefs. The video draws out some of the contradictions during the discussion.
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XXX VIDEOS
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FOR LOVE AND MONEY
For Love and Money was a radio project for Frieze Art Fair 2006. Artists and cultural workers at the thin end of the financial wedge were invited to react to the notion of an art fair, moving the agenda away from profit and towards a greater sympathy concerning the purpose of art in society. The shows were broadcast from the Resonance FM booth at the Frieze Art Fair 2006. READ MORE
LISTEN
INFIDELITY
- Why are you writing on this board?
Asked one of the guards at the Pabellón Cuba during the 5th Havanna Biennial.
I stopped painting and asked him:
- Writing what?
He pointed at the wooden platform I was standing on and replied:
-That.
-Writing what?
I insisted again, inviting him to pronounce the word I was writing.
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THE STORY OF ARIAS
To coincide with his solo exhibition at London Printworks Trust in Brixton, Arias was commissioned to create a multiple artwork, La Historia de Arias. All twelve copies with an 'appendix' containing the artist's own work from 1991 to 1998 were simultaneously exhibited in galleries and libraries around Britain. READ MORE
SEE Works 1990 - 1998
LEGO COFFIN
Homage to the children of the war on drugs.
NECESSARY JOURNEYS
VIDEO/PHOTOGRAPHY
SNAPSHOT VIDEO STILLS
SEE VIDEO EXTRACT
PHOTOGRAPHY
see photography
HALF-TRUTHS
Half-truths was an action based on an editorial published jointly by 31 Colombian papers and journals on 18th February 2008. It denounced censorship by the State that not only violated their right to tell the truth but also the rights of common citizens to be told the truth.

From the point of view of a Colombian citizen, my concern was how much damage censorship causes and how it contributes to ignorance, blindness and uncertainty. This type of censorship adds to a climate of fear and is used as a form of political control.
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Download Editorial (spanish)
LOCOMBIA
A project conceived by Fernando Arias that presented work by four other Colombian artists in London through residencies, exhibitions, performances and a final event.

Supported by Arts Council England.
In collaboration with Gasworks and Space Studios
CONFORM TO SURVIVE
A video-project to coincide with the Protest to Survive exhibition, Whitechapel Gallery London. Arias interviewed young people from the local Bangladeshi community living near the Whitechapel about their survival tactics. The video was shown at the gallery during the exhibition. He also produced stickers with the words 'Conform to Survive' and plastered them around the neighbourhood during the exhibition.
SEE VIDEO (Extracts)
SPIRIT LEVEL
On my second day at Big River 2, I was presented with one of the most enigmatic human conditions: M had a manic-depressive crisis. The experience was intense and affected me and everyone else around. M left the workshop for a psychiatric hospital and from that moment I had the strange feeling that I was him. READ MORE
LISTEN
ONLINE MAGAZINE
Special Edition published by El Andariego Productions.

In 2007 Fernando Arias and Jonathan Colin made a journey from London to Choco in Colombia travelling over land for large parts of the journey.

See Magazine
WORKS AVAILABLE











SALE

Gold plated bronze

20cm x 20cm x 7cm

Edition of 3 + 1 Artist's proof

Available in 2011

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The Design and Artists Copyright Society protects Fernando Arias's work.
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