Artist: Carlos Motta

Apr 09 - Jun 25 2005
Apr 18 - Aug 05 2006
New Commissions
Sep 27 - Dec 13 2008
Jul 06 - Sep 03 2016


Sep 27, 2008 ... Dec 13, 2008
Carlos Motta, The Good Life
Sep 26, 2008
Fall 2008 Exhibitions Opening
Oct 24, 2008
Public Program
Democracy and Bureaucracy Panel

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  • News Grist + Chto Delat: Carlos Motta's The Good Life and Carlos Motta's The Good Life In time for the 2008 United States Presidential election, Art in General presents The Good Life (, an online archive and search engine of video interviews about the public perception of democracy, governance, leadership and U.S foreign policy throughout Latin America. Recorded by artist Carlos Motta on the streets of 12 cities in Latin America, The Good Life is an examination of processes of democratization as they relate to the regional history of U.S. interventionist policies. The Good Life presents a wide spectrum of responses and opinions, which vary according to local situations and specific forms of government in each country. This timely online archive provides a way for the public to watch and search through the interviews in a variety of ways, such as by the question asked, the city, or the respondents' gender, age group, occupation, and/or particular themes as expressed by the interviewees. The Good Life's interviews were recorded in Bogotá, Colombia; Buenos Aires, Argentina; Caracas, Venezuela; Guatemala City, Guatemala; La Paz, Bolivia; Managua, Nicaragua; Mexico City, Mexico; Panamá City, Panama; Santiago, Chile; San Salvador, El Salvador; São Paolo, Brazil; and Tegucigalpa, Honduras. Democracy and Bureaucracy Artists Carla Herrera-Prats and Carlos Motta discuss ideas about democracy and access, archives and standardization, with Tim Rollins, artist and co-founder of Group Material, Nato Thompson, curator of the Creative Time exhibition Democracy in America: The National Campaign, and Art in General curator Eva Díaz. Publication A fully illustrated publication titled Carlos Motta: The Good Life accompanies the launch of this online project. It includes an introductory text by Carlos Motta, essays by Stamatina Gregory and Art in General's curator Eva Díaz, as well a series of texts commissioned from artists and theoreticians Tatiana Flóres, María Mercedes Gómez, Ashley Hunt, Naeem Mohaiemen, Oliver Ressler, and Juan Gabriel Tokatlián, which respond to the question "What is democracy to you?" Carlos Motta: The Good Life is available for purchase at Art in General and online through About the Artist Carlos Motta is a Colombian-born, New York based artist whose work has been individually presented at the Institute of Contemporary Art in Philadelphia and included in group exhibitions such as at The Greenroom, CCS Bard Hessel Museum of Art, Annandale-on-Hudson, NY; Convergence Center, Democracy in America, Creative Time at Park Avenue Armory, New York, NY; and Ours: Democracy in the Time of Branding organized by the Vera List Center for Art and Politics at the Sheila C. Johnson Design Center at Parsons, NY. Carlos Motta was named a Guggenheim Fellow in 2008.
  • Rhizome: Exploring the Concept of Democracy in Latin America: Carlos Motta's "The Good Life" Exploring the Concept of Democracy in Latin America: Carlos Motta's "The Good Life" By Tyler Coburn Commissioned by Art in General, Carlos Motta's new Internet archive, The Good Life, is the latest part of a project the artist has developed since 2005, comprising 360 video interviews with pedestrians in twelve Latin American cities. In his essay, "Postscript: Civilization or Barbarity," the Colombian artist outlines the shift from politicized, creative practices, like those of Argentina's Third Cinema and Brazil's Paulo Freire, to increasing U.S. incursions, since the 1970s, into Latin American governments and economies. Attempting to close the divide "between democratic theory and practice" and reclaim, according to essayist Stamatina Gregory, an older conception of participatory politics, explored by Aristotle and revived by Hannah Arendt, Motta asks his interviewees about their own conceptions of democracy, democratization, and U.S. interventions in the region. Visitors can navigate the site via a variety of criteria, including interviewee occupation, location, and age group, as well as interview theme. The unedited, straightforward quality of the videos, Motta writes, renders "the process of the work's making transparent," foregrounding the many and varied stories and opinions that constitute the public community. While commissioned essays and texts, a forthcoming illustrated publication, and past exhibitions have articulated The Good Life's various facets and adaptable nature, Motta hopes the Internet will be "a way to reach a wider audience outside the field of art...and to make the work available to the individuals that responded to the questions" - Tyler Coburn Image: Carlos Motta, Revolution is power for the people (Still from The Good Life), 2008
  • THE ZINE: Democracy in America, at the Park Avenue Armory (mentions Carlos Motta) THE ZINE Democracy in America, at the Park Avenue Armory By B. Blagojević Signaling an enthusiasm for a potentially historic November this year, Creative Time opened Democracy in America: Convergence Center yesterday at the Park Avenue Armory in Manhattan, a week-long exhibition and event program in the landmark city-owned building. A year in the making and one of Creative Time's single largest public art efforts, Democracy in America, curated by Nato Thompson, presents over forty different projects, including several specially commissioned for the exhibition and executed around the country. On the fourth floor of the Armory, for instance, Sharon Hayes presents an installation that features video and sound recordings from two different public performances the artist staged at both the Republican and Democratic National Conferences earlier this year. Using simple formal devices like collective recitation, repetition and a poetic compositional style that negotiates the historical, confessional and fictional, Hayes' new work is both an emotionally compelling aesthetic experience and strongly politically discursive. Also recommended in the exhibition is Carlos Motta's video installation on political consciousness in Latin America, Martha Rosler's collage take-away, Steve Powers' creepy animatronic waterboard simulation (recently commissioned by Creative Time as part of Democracy... and installed on the boardwalk in Coney Island), documentation from Mark Tribe's Port Huron project - also commissioned - in which historic New Left speeches from the 60s and 70s were publicly performed, Chris Sollars' personal documentary on George Bush's 2004 re-election, Angel Nevarez and Valerie Tevere Another Protest Song karaoke installation, and a selection of secret special forces non-identification patches collected by artist and writer Trevor Paglen. Strongly recommended this week, as part of Democracy in America's event programming, is writer and theorist Brian Holmes' talk on Wednesday at 7pm at the Armory. Holmes is currently at work on Continental Drift, a project on geopolitics and geopoetics that is part text, part seminar in development with 16 Beaver.
  • Hot Art Action: Carlos Motta *only includes Carlos Motta bio Carlos Motta: Oct 15 Carlos Motta is a New York based artist whose work has been individually presented at the Institute of Contemporary Art,Philadelphia; Art in General, NY; and Konsthall C, Stockholm, Sweden. His was included in recent group exhibitions such as Convergence Center, Democracy in America, Creative Time at Park Avenue Armory, NY; The Greenroom, CCS Bard Hessel Museum of Art, Annandale-on-Hudson, NY; Ours: Democracy in the Time of Branding, Sheila C. Johnson Design Center at Parsons, NY; and Soft Manipulation, Casino Luxemburg, Luxemburg. Motta is adjunct faculty in the MFA and BFA Photography department at Parsons. He was named a Guggenheim Fellow in 2008.
  • Rosa Art Between Identity and the Mask * mentions Carlos Motta Art Between Identity and the Mask Exhibition dates:24.9. – 30.11.2008 curator: Antonio Arévalo participating artists: Aequator lab (Maria Rosa Jijon, Juan Esteban Sandoval in collaboration with Fabiano Kueva) /ECU/ CO/, Alexander Apóstol / YV/, Patricia Bueno /PE/, Tania Bruguera /CU/, Jota Castro /PE/, Donna Conlon / USA / PA/, Juan Downey / RCH/, Regina José Galindo / GCA/, Alejandro Gomez De Tuddo /MEX/, Diango Hernández /CU/, Antonio Manuel /P/ BR/, Ronald Moran /SV/, Carlos Motta /CO/, Iván Navarro /RCH/, Giancarlo Pazzanese /RCH/, Javier Téllez /YV/ Recently in Latin America an artistic movement has emerged whose contribution to the contemporary artistic scenario is innovative and creative. "Archivo Sur" not only has received a positive welcome from specialized critics but it also represents an opportunity to approach a region that has gone through deep social, political and cultural transformation. The language used by artists belonging to this movement plays an important role in the world of imagery. What comes to the surface is a collection of phantoms that keep a fundamental realism, even in the most visionary or hallucinated constructions, to generate important questions around concepts like identity, race, class, religion, gender and sexuality. Diversity is emphasized by multiplicity and deformity, by means of visions of social and ethnical gaps. Unconscious fears are explored in their inevitable relationship with anxiety, deriving from human fragility; therefore carnival and mask become a pretext for fetishism offered to viewers. Experimentation of new media , as well as the revisitation of recent and ancestral memories, are the strategies I was interested in when I started planning this project. The intention underlying such a visual research - which is part of a larger project, aimed at a more articulated strategy - was to show diversity and plurality. Art has a moral and spiritual responsibility; it rejects any fiction and talks straight. The exhibition shows: "Aequatorlab", (Maria Rosa Jijon, Juan Esteban Sandoval in collaboration with Fabiano Kueva, ), Alexander Apóstol, Patricia Bueno, Tania Bruguera, Jota Castro, Donna Conlon, Juan Downey, Regina José Galindo, Alejandro Gomez De Tuddo, Diango Hernández, Antonio Manuel, Ronald Moran, Carlos Motta, Iván Navarro. They don't show exact records, but set up a sarcastic and ambiguous game of ideas, where everyone takes part. Images are embedded with contrasts of sacred and profane, innocence and corruption, good and bad. Dialog through existential questions like: who are we, individuals behind masks? Our nudity exposes our confusion? Or maybe: it is our confusion that undresses and exposes us? The questions of the former are being answered and emphasized as we do when reading a novel that we don't wish to forget. Just like when we underline a verse that we want to keep in our memory after closing the book where we found it. These works are pieces and stripes of that memory that is theirs and becomes ours. Latin America may look fragmented, but it expresses itself as a whole, favoring a restless diffusion of its culture, and with a deep self awareness of its being. Appropriation is used as a tool to communicate, and sublimate an ethic idiom, that explores its will for knowledge. The language used by these artists: video, film, diaporama, has a precise purpose in the image world, has a realistic character, adventurous and visionary, to build up a "cadavre exquis" of what Latin American identity may represent in our days. Antonio Arévalo
  • THE ZINE: Carlos Motta at Parsons THE ZINE Carlos Motta at Parsons By B. Blagojević Carlos Motta, still image from The Good Life, 2005-2008. Parsons Fine Arts Lecture Series: Carlos Motta 3:15-5pm Wednesday 15 October 2008 Parsons, Kellen Auditorium - 66 Fifth Ave, New York NY Tomorrow afternoon artist Carlos Motta presents a talk as part of the Parsons Fine Arts Lecture Series. Motta is one of this year's Guggenheim Fellowship winners, and most recently presented his three year project La Buena Vida (The Good Life) at Creative Time's Democracy in America: Convergence Center, an exhibition curated by Nato Thompson. Motta's The Good Life is a collection of pedestrian interviews across twelve Latin American nations. The conversations between the interview subjects and the artist return to questions of perceptions of the United States foreign policy and democratic government in general, reflecting a diverse, and sometimes confused, spectrum of political opinions in a post-Colf War World. All of the videos that constitute the project are also available for viewing in an online archive, accessible via the project's website.
  • Metro Poles: Art in Action – A tri-borough collaborative art exhibition *Carlos Motta is a participant Metro Poles: Art in Action – A tri-borough collaborative art exhibition New York, October 10, 2008 - This month, Jamaica Center for Arts & Learning (JCAL presents Metro Poles, Art in Action, a curatorial collaboration with the Bronx River Art Centre, the Asian American Arts Center, and the Maiden Lane Exhibition Space. Metro Poles, Art in Action debuts on Friday, October 17th with the opening of John Powers: Captain America at the Maiden Lane Exhibition Space located at 125 Maiden Lane, in lower Manhattan. John Powers' Captain America was commissioned by Jamaica Center for Arts & Learning, and Maiden Lane Exhibition Space is sponsored by Time Equities Inc. From October 17, 2008 – January 17, 2009 the four galleries will serve as hubs for creative experimentation. A core group of artists will be given the opportunity to create work in each gallery and off site locations that reveal their vision of nexus, collaboration, and social relationships. The gallery/sites will be their stage for the duration of a week. Each artist in the core group will then invite an additional artist to continue their work expanding upon the original artist's momentum through addition, subtraction, inversion or re-position. This second group of artists will then each invite another artist to continue the process. This will continue for the duration of the exhibition with approximately 60 artists participating in the project. Throughout this time, each gallery will function as a collective studio—a site of constant creation and revision. The idea for Metro Poles was originally conceived by Heng-Gil Han, JCAL's curator. It was later developed in collaboration with Jose Ruiz, Bronx River Art Center's curator and realized in collaboration with Robert Lee and Elisabeth Akkerman curators of Asian American Arts Centre and The Francis J. Greenburger Collection/Time Equities Inc, New York respectively. "I wanted to create a show that was a collaborative activity among emerging contemporary artists and would bring people to discover art organizations located like Jamaica Center for Arts & Learning, Bronx River Art Center and Asian American Arts Centre, which are off the "beaten art path." It is at organizations like these where many critics, curators and art buyers are introduced to emerging contemporary artists, according to Mr. Han. The artistic collaborations will result in an installation which evolves over time and incorporates the cultural and artistic diversity of individual participants."
  • Exploring the Concept of Democracy in Latin America: Carlos Motta's The Good Life Tyler Coburn, "Exploring The Concept of Democracy in Latin America: Carlos Motta's "The Good Life"", Tricorder, September 8, 2009,