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43 Salón (inter) Nacional de Artistas

Medellín, Colombia

6 September - 3 November 2013

Saber Desconocer

In early March 2013, Medellín was named "the world's most innovative city" in a competition organized by the non-profit Urban Land Institute supported by the Wall Street Journal and the banking group Citi. 200 cities competed for the recognition, nominated according to criteria ranging from liveability and infrastructure to education and culture.

From 6 September to 3 November 2013 Medellín hosts the 43rd edition of the (Inter) National Salon of Artists, Colombia's main event of contemporary visual arts, featuring more than 100 Colombian and foreign artists. It is an initiative of the Ministry of Culture, working in partnership with the Secretary of Civic Culture of the Municipality of Medellín.

The first edition of the Salón took place in 1940 and, since then, it has been renewed conceptually in several occasions. The 43 Salón (inter) Nacional de Artistas introduces a change to the name that has been maintained following the tradition. By joining (inter), it acknowledges a strengthened link towards the international art scene, a shift in focus that already begun in the Salon’s two most recent editions. The idea is that the Salon becomes a place where local, national and international artistic expressions meet up and engage in a rich dialogue.


Curatorial team

The curatorial team is composed of Mariángela Méndez (Artistic Director), Javier Mejía and Óscar Roldán Alzate, all from Colombia, with Florencia Malbrán from Argentina and Rodrigo Moura, Brazil.


Conceptual framework of the 43SNA

The curatorship of the 43rd National Salon of Artists functions on the basis of two conceptual approaches: Saber Desconocer; saber, the importance of tradition, territory, and knowledge developed in one place; and desconocer, the need to escape from place and the quest for the unknown.

The 43SNA is comprised of several collective exhibitions and a series of individual projects as special commissions.

More about:
- Conceptual framework
- Mariángela Méndez - Interview


Exhibition venues

Medellín Museum of Modern Art
Medellín Museum of Modern ArtFounded in 1978, it moved to its new location in November 2009. The building, a steel factory formerly known as the Robledo workshop, has been adapted to the needs of contemporary art and is now regarded as one of the best exhibition sites in the country.

Museum of Antioquia
Museum of AntioquiaOne of Colombia’s emblematic museums, it has occupied the building that used to host the municipal government (Palacio Municipal) for over a decade. The Salon will use two of its temporary halls and part of the Assembly building (Casa del Encuentro).

Edificio Antioquia
[Antigua Naviera Grancolombiana] Like the Museum of Antioquia, it is located at the heart of Medellín. It was formerly the headquarters of the Governor's revenue office, where people paid their taxes and bought liquor. It was recently taken over by the Universidad de Antioquia and the Salon is part of the initiative to find new uses for the building. The space on the first floor called La Heladería is conceived as a cafeteria, and will host a variety of lively programs highlighting the artistic and cultural life of Medellín.

In addition, other places in the city host public artworks, like in the case of the Botanical Garden.


Activities during the 43SNA

Opening seminar:
Saber Desconocer, to live in Oxymoron
7 September 2013, with 5 international guests and 6 Colombian professionals. Panelists include: Florencia Garramuño (Argentina), Nico Israel (USA) and José Roca (Colombia)

Closing seminar:
Saber Desconocer, what was done and has been learnt
Before the event closes, there will be the opportunity to talk with the curators as a conclusion. Among the participants are Sofía Hernández Chong Cuy (Mexico) and Efrén Giraldo (Colombia).

Partner institutions: Centro Colombo Americano, Fundación Arteria, Museo de Antioquia, Museo de Arte Moderno de Medellín, and Museo de la Universidad de Antioquia.

(From press information)



Ministerio de Cultura
Carrera 8 No. 8 - 43
Bogotá D.C., Colombia

Alcaldía de Medellín
Calle 44 N 52 – 165
Centro Administrativo la Alpujarra
Palacio Municipal
Medellín, Colombia

Examples from the visual tour:

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