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Cisneros Fontanals Art Foundation (CIFO) Announces Deferred Archive

The Cisneros Fontanals Art Foundation (CIFO) is proud to announce Deferred Archive as this year’s Grants & Commissions Program exhibition.

Sigmund Freud’s analytic couch. Freud Museum, London.
Sigmund Freud’s analytic couch. Freud Museum, London.

The eleventh edition of CIFO’s Grants & Commissions Program features newly commissioned works by Jorge Méndez Blake (Mexico), Milena Bonilla (Colombia), Miguel Calderon (Mexico), Antonio Caro (Colombia), Benvenuto Chavajay (Guatemala), José Gabriel Fernández (Venezuela), Sofía Olascoaga (Mexico), Manuela Ribadeneira (Ecuador), Laureana Toledo (Mexico) and Santiago Villanueva (Argentina).

Deferred Archive refers to the idea that memory is constructed retrospectively—not from past to future, but from future to past, so that the events that we experience are not fixed in time, but fleeting from one subject to the other.

In Hal Foster’s Return of the Real, he looks to Freudian theory of deferred action to recover psychoanalysis as a model to understand how we construct the history of avant-garde art. According to Foster, Freud’s theory of deferred action is seen as an event that is recorded as traumatic when a subsequent event retroactively recodes it. Foster, in turn, proposes that the significance of the events of the avant-garde occurs in a similar way by a complex alternation of anticipation and reconstruction. Thus we see what happens when artists work with the idea of the archive. The archive becomes a distinct model in understanding how memory is constructed.

The idea of the deferred archive represents the artist looking back, activating past events and classifying them in order to understand a particular moment, as if revisiting the event with the perspective of today gives it the opportunity to really exist; a type of documentation that allows for memory to be created within the now—or, memory according to a later experience. The artist uses this model as a way of recognizing that memory is always something in the making. By looking to the past, the artists participating in CIFO’s 2013 Grants & Commissions Program are not searching for a memory, but rather creating a memory through documentation/archiving. The act of post-event documentation (or belated documentation) therefore becomes the deferred archive.

“CIFO remains committed to maintaining investment and supporting contemporary artists from Latin America,” said CIFO Founder Ella Fontanals-Cisneros. “In the eleventh edition of the Grants & Commissions Program, we are very proud to honor this year’s award recipients who are creating some of the most challenging and innovative work today. These awards serve as a testament to the artists’ skill, creativity and vision.”

CIFO’s Grants & Commissions Program offers opportunities to up to six emerging and three mid-career contemporary artists from Latin America as well as an annual Achievement award, recognizing the contributions of established artists who would benefit from significant international exposure and recognition. The funds awarded in the Grants and Commissions program are given to the selected artists in order to develop their pieces, providing flexibility for the artist. The artists are nominated each year by CIFO’s Honorary Advisory Committee of leading art professionals, curators and artists from Latin America, the United States and Europe. After a rigorous review process, the recipients are chosen by the Selection Committee and ratified by CIFO’s Board of Directors. Having already benefitted over a hundred artists during its ten years, the Program has been known to springboard recipients into the next level of their careers.

This year, CIFO has partnered with Cannonball, an artist residency based in Downtown Miami, to award one of the artists in the Grants & Commissions Program with a two-month residency. CIFO’s Board of Directors selected Benvenuto Chavajay from Guatemala for the residency, where he will spend the months leading up to the exhibition focusing on creating his project.

For more information about CIFO and the Grants & Commissions program, visit