«Horizonte Vertical»

1st Floor Gallery
May 20 – July 6, 2019


We only understood the insignificance of our mortal lives on the day we learned that the light from the stars is just the ghost of burning bodies that may no longer exist and that has traveled millions of years to reach us. We cannot help but feel awe, or perhaps fascination, when faced with the knowledge that the light of each one of those thousands of stars is actually the “past.” Every person, according to his or her degree of empathy with the cosmos, feels differently, which is what makes this moment so magical. It shows us how immensely different we are, even amid the incredible similarity that defines us. There are others who are part of this reality without ever having noticed that the secret of time shines and travels with the stars.


Horizonte Vertical is the title of the project that Edwin Monsalve has been experimenting with since 2018 to answer the question: What is our place in time and space?


Far from being a contradiction or paradox, this title is a powerfully evocative image, a grammatical construction that uses the oxymoron to support a reality present since the times of Descartes: there is nothing the mind cannot accomplish. Cogito ergo sum (I think therefore I am) is a kind of vertical horizon. X and Y, sets in Z, alternating their value and position in space. There is no longer up or down, back or forward, only moving space, as described by the sphere. Cosmos: matter, light, time and gravity; natural forces that enable our thoughts and therefore the very existence of our reality, concepts that are found in this research with little changes to their postulates.


Maps of the sky, recreated with magnets that subtly withstand paper blackened with oil and mineral coal, with the components of earth itself, on a support that represents the model and the way of understanding the cosmos, are the basis of this production. Monsalve resorts to the natural forces to speak of what we are, of our open complexity, best summarized as the fragile nature of balance.


Experimenting with the forces of nature encoded in matter, light and magnetism – as a representation of gravity – with no other purpose than finding positive relationships about what defines us, is a complex challenge which could lead us nowhere, or everywhere at the same time, without showing us what is hidden in the walls of the tunnel that has been dug. Once again, the vertical horizon makes an appearance to give birth to the paradox that contains the image in the infinity described by the Droste effect, the mise en abyme, in the mirror that teaches us about eternity when placed in front of another.


There is no other moment that is a fortunate as when art meets philosophy and science. In this case, in this vertical horizon, the structure of the drawing supports the story. Points and lines on the plane, as Kandinsky said, all that exists can be explained with this grammatical construction, which is simple yet so complex at the same time.


Oscar Roldán-Alzate
Director Extensión Cultural Universidad de Antioquia