Carlos Motta: The Good Life

In time for the 2008 United States Presidential election, Art in General presents The Good Life, an online archive and search engine of video interviews about the public perception of democracy, governance, leadership and U.S foreign policy throughout Latin America.

Recorded by artist Carlos Motta on the streets of 12 cities in Latin America, The Good Life is an examination of processes of democratization as they relate to the regional history of U.S. interventionist policies. The Good Life presents a wide spectrum of responses and opinions, which vary according to local situations and specific forms of government in each country.

This timely online archive provides a way for the public to watch and search through the interviews in a variety of ways, such as by the question asked, the city, or the respondents’ gender, age group, occupation, and/or particular themes as expressed by the interviewees.

The Good Life’s interviews were recorded in Bogotá, Colombia; Buenos Aires, Argentina; Caracas, Venezuela; Guatemala City, Guatemala; La Paz, Bolivia; Managua, Nicaragua; Mexico City, Mexico; Panamá City, Panama; Santiago, Chile; San Salvador, El Salvador; São Paolo, Brazil; and Tegucigalpa, Honduras.A fully illustrated publication titled Carlos Motta: The Good Life accompanies the launch of this online project. It includes an introductory text by Carlos Motta, essays by Stamatina Gregory and Art in General’s curator Eva Díaz, as well a series of texts commissioned from artists and theoreticians Tatiana Flóres, María Mercedes Gómez, Ashley Hunt, Naeem Mohaiemen, Oliver Ressler, and Juan Gabriel Tokatlián, which respond to the question “What is democracy to you?” Carlos Motta: The Good Life is available for purchase at Art in General and online through

Carlos Motta is a Colombian-born, New York based artist whose work has been individually presented at the Institute of Contemporary Art in Philadelphia and included in group exhibitions such as at The Greenroom, CCS Bard Hessel Museum of Art, Annandale-on-Hudson, NY; Convergence Center, Democracy in America, Creative Time at Park Avenue Armory, New York, NY; and Ours: Democracy in the Time of Branding organized by the Vera List Center for Art and Politics at the Sheila C. Johnson Design Center at Parsons, NY. Carlos Motta was named a Guggenheim Fellow in 2008.

Public program
Friday, October 24, 2008
6:30-8:30 PM

Democracy and Bureaucracy

Artists Carla Herrera-Prats and Carlos Motta discuss ideas about democracy and access, archives and standardization, with Tim Rollins, artist and co-founder of Group Material, Nato Thompson, curator of the Creative Time exhibition Democracy in America: The National Campaign, and Art in General curator Eva Díaz.

Art in General is a nonprofit organization that assists artists with the production and presentation of new work. It changes in response to the needs of artists and informs and engages the public about their work. In 26 years the organization has emerged as one of New York City’s leading nonprofits devoted to supporting and stimulating the creation of contemporary art, providing an environment in which artists may exhibit unconventional work and exchange ideas with their peers.

Art in General is located at 79 Walker Street, New York NY 10013, one block south of Canal Street between Broadway and Lafayette. Directions: 1, 6, A-C-E, J-M-Z, or N-Q-R-W to Canal St. Hours: Tuesday-Saturday, 12-6 PM.

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