Adriana CIUDAD


«Salgan ríos de mis ojos»



2nd Floor Gallery
September 15 – October 12, 2018

The concept of heritage, its frameworks and symbols in constant construction, in recent years has been expanding certain ideas that redefine it. The inheritable does not only include the heritage of each people or the expressions of a determined worldview, but also the cultural traditions that are recognized in an indeterminate space and time. In this way we are capable of evoking heritage, in terms of social construction, and we understand it as an environment of cultural negotiations that, from social disparity, strengthens the framework of their identities.  When starting a research project, in the middle of the jungle, and dealing with wandering through a series of interrogations around the oral traditions of a community, we certainly were confronted by other meanings that expel the concept of heritage. Facing this diversity of questions, in addition to the multiplicity of elements that we observed in the Timbiquí region of Colombia, we could be able to redefine a laboratory as a constitutive element that has as its principal objective to unlock the intangible with respect to the intrinsic value of territory. Nonetheless, the local ethnic and dynamic conflicts question the role that should be undertaken by an investigation that, in this case, must establish a symbiotic relation with contemporary art



In the face of this preliminary rhetoric, the ethnographic introspection of the visual artist Adriana Ciudad and her connection, specifically, with the prayers of the Timbiquí people, expands these minute sensibilities that we evoke from the basis of anthropology and the paradigms of heritage and, certainly, from a social context ever more retouched by hopelessness. Each interpretation and visual translation raised by this artist lies in a constant pilgrimage that assumes the diverse aesthetic games that have cemented her own artistic work. Nonetheless, these proposals are not just related to the image, but rather they could be defined as a visuality reworked by the infinity of epiphanies that overgrow temporalities before the limits that nature presents us. Between these places, music is a fundamental platform for knowledge. It is this music that generates several routes that go hand in hand with other chronicles that relate to the rituals that this place conserves. These chants are responsive, and the lyrics evoke pain, yet also home. The Timbiquí society cohabits with death within a worldview that has already been determined by the unknown. It must be remembered that what the Conquest called malign – rituals organized by slaves from Africa – today is the accurate vibration of an entire community that connects their reality with the deceased



It is through the use of diverse media such as installation, photography, video and painting that she revives the corners of the Timbiquí, moving them to a space that is homologous to others that have also been immersed in sonority, in the body, and heritage. Likewise, she invites us to delve into this undetermined marginality that forms the conceptual basis of the prayers, confirming that the plots of these mourners addressed a category that is not reducible to a unique theoretical framework or nor epistemologic. All that we see and hear here derives from this hybridization of community practices, so diverse that the environment imposes itself along with their memories.  

In synthesis, it is indispensable that we do not forget that these prayers inexorably provide us with a before and after on the community. And that those are the same that took us to the different problems that edify the chronicles of a community. In this way, the songs loaded with an interesting symphony are, undoubtedly, the social, historical, and cultural affiliation of these ancestral populations of Timbiquí.

Rodolfo Andaur