Thursday 24 November, Fabra i Coats, Barcelona*
19h Action by the artist Mónica Restrepo
A space 3 x 3 meters wide and long, more than 2 centimeters deep. It is fresh, flattened, smooth mud. There is a series of objects on the top of it. Some of them are made in clay which has already become ceramics, some others are beginning to be, and some piled up fresh mud. This mud floor alludes to the place where the encounter and later looting of an indigenous cemetery happened in Colombia in 1992. The smoothness of the floor makes reference to the place as it resulted after the looting and as it was in the beginning, when there wasn’t – apparently – anything.
The installation being on the floor, the person telling the story has a physical relationship with the space, in addition to the fact that she can utterly modify the installation. With every step, every movement, she changes the space, like a sheet of paper filled up with ink when one draws on it. The way one can write / dig on this surface involves not only one’s feet but other parts of the body and other actions besides walking: lying down, sitting, crawling, kneeling, falling and using knees, hands, elbows, head, feet, ingers and diverse utensils. Mud itself is a writing tool.
Excavate, modify this surface as to re-write the text that was already written, the story – the disaster – that already happened. Re-write it in an attempt to examine in greater depth what exactly happened. Excavating means then to look again, to look at the ground, to observe it carefully, to decompose it. Discover what there is beyond the surface and try to find the roots. Origin, truth, is not something of interest here. It is not so much about the source of the problem, but about following its roots, discovering their extent and/or speculating about it.
Mónica Restrepo (Bogotá, 1982) lives and works in Cali (Colombia). She studied at the Fine Arts School in Cali and participated at the Postgraduate program in the Fine Arts school in Lyon and the Homework Space Program in Beirut. Among her recent exhibitions: Surface Matters, Glassbox (Paris); Flor o Florero, Galería Jenny Vilá (Cali); Room for doubt, ICSP (New York); 10th Mercosur Biennial (Portoalegre); M/Other Tongue, Tenderpixel gallery (London); Moucharabieh, Triangle (Marseille); ArcoColombia (Arco Madrid); Markers 2015, Art Dubai; Ella estuvo aquí, Galería Jenny Vilá (Cali); Las cosas en sí, Museo La Tertulia (Cali); El diablo probablemente, Fundación Misol (Bogotá). Her work is based on documents and banal stories, that she uses as arguments to create absent images where conflicts contained in them start to appear. She has worked around the idea of performative document experimenting with craft materials such as clay and immaterial medias such as performance, video, text.
Mónica Restrepo residency is an initiative powered by Emma in collaboration with BAR project
*Fabra i Coats – Fábrica de Creación de Barcelona
Carrer de Sant Adrià, 20, Barcelona