elPalomar | Burlesque


El Palomar presents BURLESQUE, the first solo show in Europe by Colombian artist SANTIAGO MONGE, by an invitation made to curator Alex Brahim.BURLESQUE is based upon an ongoing archive of male underwear printed advertisement found in diverse Colombian magazines since the 60’s. The archive also includes nude and semi-nude male images from the fields of art, entertainment and politics, and pictures of Colombian articles about male underwear.

Advertising is an excellent source, for tracing how images and visual codes insert stereotypes while monitoring, keeping, and empowering polarities from the dominant categories. Media circulation builds up imaginaries and provides bodily, behavioral, and consumerist role models which direct and regulate collective representation, holding up status-quo in accordance to the hegemonic meanings of specific ideologies. In the case of male underwear, relations such as masculine / feminine, inside / outside, appearance / reality, healthy / ill, correct / abject, public / private, desirable / despicable, or visible / invisible come to light.

Male underwear advertising, in Colombia or almost anywhere on the globe, has been produced by means of strict social-cultural visions about the body, masculinity, and their relationship to clothing. These cultural signs bind onto the public sphere, reflect how the topic discourses of social construction that hold the monopoly of narratives are addressed.
BURLESQUE examines the visual representation of capitalist masculinity –this is organized cross-wise through levels like gender, sexuality, class, race, or age- by braiding advertisement, media, and art as spheres of representation.

SANTIAGO MONGE creates a structure in which, object of study, creation, and fetish coexist, resulting a state located in-between Visual Studies and artistic production, the linked fields in his practice.

BURLESQUE explores the social and cultural construction of masculinity as a gender category, by taking into account how advertisement sets up the hegemonic versions of masculinity that are available. It also seeks to activate the different ways of pleasure and identification in the consumption of certain images from popular visual culture.
A wide assortment from the archive on projection including a soundtrack, a selection of specific ads interpreted as artworks, a series of drawings expanded from the field of study, and a compilation of text quotes from diverse origins, shape the exhibition.
In addition to the exhibition, on Thursday the 6th of June, SANTIAGO MONGE will present at El Palomar the conversation The Mythology of Briefs, sharing his experience and also inviting the audience to bring related material for discussion.

SANTIAGO MONGE holds a BA in Visual Arts and the MA in Cultural Studies from the Universidad Javeriana in Bogota. He has had solo shows in different galleries and art centers in Bogota and Mexico, and participated in diverse collective shows in Colombia, Venezuela, Mexico, Argentina, USA, Spain, Brazil or Romania. He also works as a teacher and a researcher, and is a member of the group Yo No Soy Esa, which analyses the representations of the contemporary Bogota from a gender criticism perspective. He lives and works in Bogota.

  • Alex Brahim
  • Santiago Monge
  • Equipo Palomar
  • El Palomar
  • 1/6/13-6/7/13