«Prohibidas las metáforas»


2nd Floor Gallery
October 20 – November 18, 2016

Prohibidas las metáforas brings together a series of large and medium drawings in charcoal on paper. In this exhibition, dislocation, exoticism and intercultural and hybrid identities are explored through the «clichés» of popular and tropical culture. This particular series arises from the inherent tensions in the constant negotiation required to build an identity outside of Colombia. The staging of a forced or voluntary identity is explored through absurd and fantastic compositions and questions about the concept of «Magical Realism» as a cultural and national reference. Different strategies are used in order to subordinate the contradictory in a delicate and imaginative order and question the notions of place and belonging.

The constant feeling of being «out of place» is one of the searches present in this work. Drawings offer a mirage of logic and order, but at a second glance, the order collapses to give way to an absurd and playful game with eclectic images. Previous expectations, as well as the lessons learned about how to navigate these images, is challenged by generating questions about a constant dislocation and about the act of belonging. In each drawing there is an element – or several- that does not belong, that bursts into and disorganizes the expected narrative, while subversively revealing something new. I want to explore this particular moment: that moment where the familiar becomes unfamiliar, opening the way to new alternatives of understanding and language.

Different strategies are used to deepen the concept of «Magical Realism» as a pretext to describe a particular national reality or as a tool to exoticize Colombianness to the world. Nearly 20 years living outside of Colombia has sharpened this interest regarding the dynamics of belonging or being. How does this Magical Realism come to light? Who is the magician? Where is the magic? Is it still magic even if the audience knows how the trick works? All drawings explore different mise-en-scènes in a literal or ambiguous manner. There is allusion to a stage, a theater, velvet curtains, to be witnessing a spectacle, either through the composition or with the treatment of light and atmosphere in each of the drawings. The viewer then becomes an accomplice to a trick he or she wishes to see, despite having memorized it ad nauseam.

Gonzalo Fuenmayor


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