Latin American artists, particularly those in Argentina and Brazil, began experimenting with video art in the 1960s and '70s, and artists in other countries followed suit during the subsequent three decades. Despite the form's 40-year history, geographic scope and scope of influence, a lot of Latin American video art has never been seen in the United States.
As part of the Getty's upcoming PST: LA/LA initiative, LAXArt in Hollywood is hosting the exhibition “Video Art in Latin America,” a collection of 60 works (many never viewed in the States) by artists from countries throughout the region, from Mexico to Chile, organized into six subjects: The Organic Line; Defiant Bodies; States of Crisis; Economies of Labor; Borders and Migrations; and Memory and Forgetting.
The above is a 2011 work by Cuban artist Glenda León. Based in both Havana and Madrid, she works in video, as well as installations, objects and photography. In Inversión, she methodically scrapes the print off a U.S. $100 bill with a razor, creating a small pile of powder. She sets the nearly bare bill aside, rolls up a coca leaf and proceeds to snort (or appears to snort) the powder through the little organic tube, subverting the viewer's expectations and inverting the steps involved in a familiar drug ritual.
“Video Art in Latin America,” LAXArt, 7000 Santa Monica Blvd., Hollywood; Sept. 17 through Dec. 16. laxart.org/exhibitions/upcoming.