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ArtReview Asia

Alessandro Balteo-Yazbeck

Eames-Derivative (small version) (S detail), 2006-2013

From the series Cultural Diplomacy: An Art We Neglect

In collaboration with Media Farzin

The instrumentalisation of art by politics has long been fertile ground for intellectual digging. Serge Guilbaut’s How New York Stole the Idea of Modern Art (1984) is one of many texts spotlighting how American abstractionists were drafted as Cold Warriors, brandishing the banner of individualism in the face of Soviet collectivism. Venezuelan artist Alessandro Balteo-Yazbeck mines this familiar territory in new ways, using strategic appropriation and a crafty ‘stand-backand-let-facts-speak-for-themselves’ posture to tinker with the communication dynamics behind two burning issues – the Israeli nuclear arsenal and our increasingly virtual monetary system. 

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