Luis Ernesto Arocha

Arquitecto de formación de la Tulane University de New Orleans (1953).

En 1964, tras pasar un verano en Nueva York, Luis Ernesto Arocha, asombrado por el cine experimental que estaba transformando la escena artística de la ciudad, compra una cámara de 8 mm con zoom automático y filma su primera película” La Pasión y Muerte de Marguerite Gautier” en la que desarrolla una historia muy sencilla con el fin de explorar las ideas que también interesaban a sus maestros Warhol, Brakhage y Anger.

Desde ese momento hasta la fecha, Arocha, de formación arquitecto , se ha dedicado a la exploración del cine y del video arte, llevando ideas transgresoras en términos teóricos y técnicos , al contexto tropical de su ciudad natal Barranquilla. De esta manera, crea un imaginario rico en particularidades y experiencias locales utilizando un lenguaje que internacionalmente estaba siendo revisado constantemente.

En la Barranquilla de la década de los 60 y 70, se generaron, gracias al trabajo de Arocha entre otros artistas de su círculo, corrientes estéticas que permitieron la entrada a la escena local de ideas, técnicas y estrategias propias del arte conceptual. Luis Ernesto hace parte de una generación de artistas que impulso cambios trascendentales en la apreciación de la plástica en Colombia.

Arocha utiliza en su trabajo el terror y el humor para poner en evidencia una estructura colonial en la que conviven distintas culturas, y de cuya unión surge una sociedad particular cargada de complejos e idiosincrasias que para Arocha son relevantes de señalar en la medida que afectan su cotidianidad.

Luis Ernesto ha construido un cuerpo de trabajo que se caracteriza por su contenido homo erótico, la crítica social, la ironía, la seducción por lo monstruoso, la disociación de la imagen y la experimentación conceptual y técnica.

In 1964, after spending a summer in New York, Luis Ernesto Arocha, astonished by experimental cinema which was transforming the artistic scene of the city, buys an 8mm camera with an automatic zoom and shoots his first film “ The passion and death of Marguerite Gautier”. This feature more than a story, was a way to explore ideas and experiments he was visualizing in Films done by his principal influences Warhol, Brackhage and Anger.

From that moment until today, Arocha who is originally an architect has devoted himself to the exploration of cinema and video art, moving transgessive ideas and techniques to the tropical context of his natal city Barranquilla, in the Caribbean coast of Colombia. With these mixtures he creates a rich imaginary marked by the local particularities, his extravagant personality as well as the language of experimental cinema, which was being constantly reviewed and innovated.

In Barranquilla in the decades of the 60’s and 70’s Arocha along with his close circle of friends/artists generated new aesthetic panoramas, that opened the door to conceptual practices and also the most avant-garde proposals in regards to the moving image. Arocha could be seen as the first of his kind in the history of the arts in Colombia. Also through his lens and with is very particular way of portraying, he did experimental films along with some of Colombia’s most important artists such as sculptress Feliza Burstyn, among others. He wanted to document art with and artistic point of view, and this has been no doubt a trascendental change in the way to aprecciate art in Colombia.

Arocha uses terror and humor as a way to talk about the colonial structures that still survive and coexist in different cultures, and how through their union emerges a society charged with complexes and idiosyncrasies that affect and mark his daily life.

He has constructed a body of work that is characterized by its homoerotic content, social critique, irony, a seduction by the monstrous, as well as the dissociation of the image through his technical and conceptual experimentation.