Siete Artistas en Residencia. @ Taller 7 – Colombia
artists resident in Taller 7: Ricardo Muñoz Izquierdo, Pauline Zenk and ozz
artists resident in Campos de Gutierrez: Rita Crocker, Sarojini Lewis, Parul Singh and Lina Caro
opening: 29th of November 2013
location: Medellin - Colombia
Siete Artistas en Residencia: This Exhibition showed a part of the work created during my artist residency in Taller 7. My focus during the residency was on an image research that could help me to define and visualize the collective memory of Antioquia, the region of Medellin. Socially, culturally and artistically the city of Medellin is highly interesting. It is now, after the drug wars of the 1990s, that Medellin is being at the midst of a cultural and social renaissance. The idea of "Collective Memory" is a concept first developed by Maurice Halbwachs in his book "La memoir collectif" in 1952. The theory of the collective memory describes that there is a memory of individuals in a group, that can be as big as a nation. The collective memory has certain aspects in common with the individual memory, like for example the easier recall of images, rather than words. Images that are part of the collective memory are publicity/advertisement images, famous movie scenes , widely known newspaper photographs or family photos. I visited the Antioquia Archivo de Fotografia and the museum of Medellin and made pictures, photocopies or drawings of all images that seemed valuable to me. I searched for and collected family photos , newspaper photos and magazine ads from the the late 1900 hundreds till the 1980s.
My interest was on images that were either culturally specifically Colombian -(like an advertisement with ham, associating meat with love, or family photos with dead family members) or universal imagery (traditions, religious ceremonies, e.g. communion, weddings etc.). I thus concentrated my search on images, that I thought out to create my idea of a collective memory of parts of Medellin. To underline the importance and the power of images for history or a a historical understanding I would like to cite Roland Barthes in "Camera Lucida”(1980): Concerning the process of History and the image, he argues: the image is "a clock for seeing," as that which has been but cannot be reclaimed, where time becomes "engorged," fluid, liquid. And really time becomes fluid when you contemplate an old family Photo and feel the immediacy of the moment, see the smiles, of now dead people. I have been fascinated by old photographs since a long time and use them to create an imaginary world on top of them. I get inspired and start imagining the people's lives and thus create my version of the image or time, by taking into account the idea of image by Barthes.