José Luis Bongore

Artist selected by Estévez, Ruth at 2011

I want my art works to create an active, reflective visual space by rethinking the social world and representing it in a visual language in parallel to the hegemonic one. My artistic practice is rooted in commitment, learning and responsibility. I believe in the “social performativity of art” - the power of art to change reality.


My work centres on issues such as transculturality, economic asymmetry, the narrative of a fragmented identity, the fragility of the image or the expressiveness of power.


Activating mechanisms for change is the main semantic pillar for building my artistic discourse. I also try to champion the semantic dimension of the site of the artwork by investing it with new meaning and making it more accessible.


1. What made you choose art as a profession?
Since I don’t make a living from it, I don’t really see myself as an art professional. But I suppose the question refers to why I’ve decided to spend my time doing art, and in that case the answer is: for me, art provides the best context for bringing together experimental communication and reflection.


2. How would you define your work?
In progress and constantly self-questioning.


3. What subjects are you interested in?
Things in life.


4. What resources – formal or otherwise – do you use in your work?
I’m not into formal resources. My methodology consists of: 1) observation; 2) deliberation; 3) action; 4) starting again.


5. What relationship does your work have with reality? What are your raw materials?
Reality is the main element in my creative process and it’s both semantic and syntactic in nature.


6. What, according to you, is the point of art?
This is a question I’d like to put to D. Benito Pérez Galdós.


7. How do you hope the public will receive your work? What audience are you aiming at?
I’m looking for the effort and attention I expect in receiving agents. I’d rather say what kind of people I’m not aiming at: my work is not aimed at those kinds of people who are looking for entertainment and satisfaction.


8. What qualifications have you got? What do you value most from your time in education?
I’m a graphic designer by profession and a humanist by education. What I value most from my time in education – which I hope will last as long as I’m still alive – is the fact that it cuts across different disciplines.


9. How would you define your current professional situation? And in the future?
At the moment I’d say it was precarious. And sadly I have to say that in the future I can only see myself joining the diaspora currently leaving Spain.


10. Many artists say it’s difficult to make a living from their work; how do economic considerations affect you when it comes to work? Do you think this has a bearing on your work?
With very few exceptions, I’ve financed almost all my projects myself out of my savings, so it’s more a case of living for my work than making a living from it.


11. What do you look for or expect from your relationship with promoters and curators? What advantages and difficulties have you found with these relationships?
I look for an enriching dialogue and lots of creative, fluid discussion. I also think that the general public has the right to expect cultural agents (including me) to be committed, responsible, passionate and self-critical.


12. What do you think sets the arts scene in Madrid apart from elsewhere? What would you say are its pluses and minuses?
Madrid is the meeting point between Latin America, Africa and Europe and in my opinion that has an impact on its character.


I think one of its strengths is the process for creating a cultural network of independent, self—managed spaces and agents that has been under way for some time but hasn’t yet quite consolidated itself. On the down side, in recent decades cultural agents like me have become increasingly dependent on the institutional network.

Curriculum vitae

José Luis Bongore
Málaga (España), 1979.
Vive y trabaja sin establecerse en un lugar fijo/Lives and works in no fixed location


Formación Académica/Education
Grado en Humanidades, Universidad Carlos III de Madrid, Madrid.


1998- 2000
Diseño Gráfico y Comunicación Publicitaria. Centro de Enseñanzas Técnicas Superiores ABSE, Málaga.


Exposiciones Individuales/Solo Exhibitions
Fronteras dúctiles, Espacio Demolden Vídeo Project, Santander.


Exposiciones Colectivas (Selección)/Selected Group Exhibitions
El Ranchito, Matadero Madrid.
Muestra de Jóvenes Creadores Málagacrea 11, Centro de Arte Contemporáneo de Málaga.*


Eventos Paralelos, Manifesta 8, Murcia.*
Circuitos de Artes Plásticas de la Comunidad de Madrid, Sala de Arte Joven, Madrid.*
Muestra de Artes Visuales Injuve - 25 Aniversario, Tabacalera, Madrid.*
Tentaciones 10, Estampa - Feria de Arte Múltiple Contemporáneo, Madrid. *


Muestra de arte último español, itinerante (2008-2009): Centro Cultural de España en Lima, Perú; Parque Cultural de España en Rosario, Argentina; Centro Cultural de Montevideo, Uruguay.
Retour de Fiav, Galería Esca, Nîmes.
Muestra de Artes Visuales Injuve 09, Círculo de Bellas Artes, Madrid.*


Fiav 08, Filmatheque Zinet d'Alger, Algerie.
Typo Berlín, Haus der Kulturen der Welt, Berlin.
Revelle Toi BAC!, Centro de Cultura Contemporánea de Barcelona, Barcelona.*
Loop 08, Galería Espai Ubú, Barcelona.


Muestra de Artes Visuales Injuve 07, Círculo de Bellas Artes, Madrid.*
Ráfagas 07, La Casa Encendida, Madrid.
Muestra de Jóvenes Creadores Málagacrea 07, Centro de Arte Contemporáneo de Málaga, Málaga.*

* Cat. Exp.


Proyecto de Ley - Excedentes/Excess, en proceso/work in progress, Madrid.


Carrito de mermas - Excedentes/Excess, Mercados de abastos, Madrid.


Vídeo-instalación en INEM - HSEMDT [1], Oficinas de Empleo de Murcia, Murcia.*
Fronteras dúctiles, Cataratas de Iguazú, Brasil y Argentina.


Archivo de una identidad falsificada, México D.F.*
Paso hormiga, Tijuana.


Hola, soy europeo. ¿Me das trabajo? / Hi, I am European. Could you give me a job?, Dakar, Senegal.*
Hola, soy español. ¿Puedo besarte? / Hi, I am Spanish. May I kiss you?, Tokyo.


* Cat. Exp.


Proyectos Cinematográficos/Film Projects
Los Mamelucos, producido por Fósforo Artworks, El Cairo / Madrid,


Lectura de la carta de amor falsificada nº 6., producido por Fósforo Artworks, México D.F.


Rompiendo Nubes, producido por Fósforo Artworks, Madrid.
Épica del suburbio, producido por Fósforo Artworks, Málaga.


Programas de Vídeo/Film Festivals and Screenings
Festival de Cine de Málaga, Teatro Cervantes, Málaga.*
Loyal Rooftops 09, Loyal Gallery, Kassel, Deutschland.


Canarias Mediafest, Gran Canaria Espacio Digital, Gran Canaria, España.*
Certamen Internacional de Arte Explum, Centro Cultural de Puerto Lumbreras, Murcia.*


LoyalRooftops 07, Centro Cultural Burgerstolz und Stadtfrieden, Kassel, Deutschland; Festival of Contemporary Art Varna, Bulgaria.


* Cat. Exp.


[ɡ̚. ɾ ib]>[q. ɾ i b], Midan Tahrir, El Cairo.


Clase magistral impartida con una identidad falsa, Escuela Nacional de Pintura, Escultura y Grabado "La Esmeralda", México D.F.


Becas y Premios/Awards and Grants
Matadero Madrid, El Ranchito, Madrid. Beca/Grant.
Artellewa, El Cairo. Residencia/Residency.


Manifesta 8 - Eventos Paralelos, Murcia. Premio/Award.
Circuitos de Artes Plásticas de la Comunidad de Madrid. Premio/Award.
Tentaciones’10 - Estampa, Madrid. Premio/Award.
25 Aniversario Creación Injuve, Madrid. Selección/Selection.


Ville d’Alger - FIAV, Argel. Premio/Award.
Injuve, Madrid. Beca/Grant.
Málagacrea, Málaga. Premio/Award.


Explum, Puerto Lumbreras, España. Selección/Selection; Adquisición/Adquisition.


Injuve, Madrid. Premio/Award.


Obra en Museos y Colecciones/ Works in Museums and Collections
Ayuntamiento de Puerto Lumbreras, Murcia.