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To loose something, get it back and consciously loose it again

I wanted to loose something. I wanted to feel the loss, to understand. To grasp some sense, to recover it somehow and then loose it again.

I have spent two and a half months memorizing and making in clay, pre-Columbian objects purchased by the Paul and Dora Janssens collection, now on display in one of the most popular museums in Antwerp, the M.A.S. This is one of the pre-Columbian collections that the Colombian government has listed as having a large number of pieces of heritage value to the nation.
What I did during my time in Antwerp, was to go almost every day and memorize one, two or three objects per day, without using a camera, drawings or written notes. Then at studio of the residence I reproduced them from memory using local clays and unifying their scale. As I progressed in this memory practice, I realized that there were different ways of memorizing that worked more than others. For example, talking to myself out loud in the museum, describing the shapes of the objects in a rather playful way, comparing some figures with things that were familiar to me, worked very well. In this sense, the void that exists between their enclosed meaning and myself here and now, became more tolerable. I discovered I could memorize the most difficult objects such as the different Tunjos and Quimbayas warriors or the Malagana tongs. Then I had the impression that these new objects were more than just regular copies, as if they were being activated as I went on making them. Animals, humans, houses, where gaining a presence as they existed taking space in the studio.

Then, with a photographer specialized in ethnographic photography from the Tervuren Museum of Africa, we did 32 photos of the 32 objects. The gesture of photographing them pointed out their manufacture: the fact of sharing a scale and materials, made the photographed objects lose their aura of exoticism, Fantasy and remoteness. Because they were raw you can see the strokes of the fingers and the marks of the spatulas, reminding you of a presence, bringing them closer to us.

After somehow recovered, it was time to loose them again. My plan was to throw them to the Schelde river. I choose a place in the left river bank where you could see where the port of Antwerp. When I started to unpack the objects and put them on the rocks next to the water, suddenly the objects gained even more presence. Having freed them from the vitrines, the directed light and somehow the fact that they were no longer made of gold but earth, made us Ans, Charlotte and I understand something more about them that otherwise would not have been possible in the physical and discursive confinement they were in.


Entradas populares de este blog

Sobre el gótico tropical (2007)

De izquierda a derecha: Oscar Campo, Luis Ospina, Oscar Muñoz, una señora de teatro, Pakiko Ordoñez, Ramiro Arbeláez, Hernando Guerrero. Tomada el 31 de Enero de 2009, en el patio de lugar a dudas .

Sobre el gótico tropical Una entrevista a Ramiro Arbeláez

M.R.\ Lo que queremos saber es -como ustedes fueron los que de alguna manera acuñaron el término gótico tropical- por un cierto gusto por el cine de terror, nos gustaría saber como lo abordaron para hablar de unas cuestiones de la realidad de Cali, o del Valle, o de Colombia.

R.A.\ Eso lo ha explicado mejor Luis Ospina en una entrevista. Digamos que las primeras sistematizaciones o racionalizaciones sobre lo que se hacía en ese momento, reconocieron a la literatura de terror y al cine de terror como influencias. No sólo en el caso de Andrés Caicedo en términos de literatura, sino también en el caso de Luis Ospina y Carlos Mayolo, quienes también expresaban que ellos eran lectores del genero de terror en literatura y visitantes consuetud…

Historia de una trama (Agente Ramírez)

Un agente secreto del das,
un escritor oligarca de la "izquierda chic",
un grupo de poetas muy inteligentes que hacen inteligencia,
dos artistas que interpretan,
y un profesor de literatura de los Andes

Historia de una trama (Agente Ramírez)

Un proyecto sobre una novela negra, de un escritor poco conocido, que trata desde la
ironía, aspectos de la política represiva contra la izquierda en Colombia: la colaboración
del departamento de inteligencia colombiano con la CIA, su política de infiltración en las
universidades públicas y su tendencia a encontrar la subversión en todas las esquinas.
Especulando y mezclando la realidad en que fué escrita el libro y la ficción que contiene,
ésta es una historia de espías que no saben para quién trabajan.

Los espías, charla-performance
Lunes 25 de Noviembre
El parche, Carrera 9 # 22 - 87 Apto 202.
8:00 pm 

2. Exhibición
Hotel del Sena, Paloquemao
Número de habitación por confirmar
Martes 26 a partir de las 3 p.m …