Liminal Retrospective

Clemencia Echeverri: liminal. Curatorial text

Miguel Urrutia Art Museum (MAMU), Banco de la República. Bogotá, 2019-2020.

In the 1990s, Colombian artist Clemencia Echeverri decided to take a radical turn in her career after having developed a solid and significant body of work in painting and sculpture in Medellín during the 1970s and 1980s. After moving to Bogota and completing a master’s degree in London, she found in video and sound the most appropriate media to critically confront various disturbing problems -social, political, cultural and environmental- of her Colombian environment. Consequently, he concentrated on the creation of audiovisual installations that generate physical and psychological spaces in which viewers are proposed to live a liminal experience in the corporal, affective and conceptual spheres.

The experience of the liminal implies at least two experiences: that which the works can generate in a first encounter with their fragmented and non-linear character, that is, that of an intermediate, amorphous, undefined situation, which produces disorientation, tension and desire for resolution, and that which, as a result of the active interaction with the video installations and the reconstruction of meaning by the visitors, leads to a possible transition, understanding and transformation of them.

The exhibition “Clemencia Echeverri: liminal” includes a selection of video installations, videos, photographs, drawings and scripts made between 1998 and 2018: Apetitos de familia, De doble filo, Treno, Versión libre, Juegos de herencia, Sacrificio, Supervivencias, Nóctulo, Sin cielo, Sub_terra and Río por asalto.

The exhibition is organized around four thematic axes that Echeverri approaches in a transversal manner: the domestic space as a vital environment, in permanent risk of becoming an uninhabitable space; an ethos or social acceptance of transgressive attitudes and behaviors (physically and ethically), present -although not exclusively- in cultural activities such as rituals and festivals; human and natural voices that express the uncertain and threatened reality of its protagonists; natures of animals, rivers and mountains with which human beings interact, generating unresolved contradictions and misunderstandings.

However, it is the plastic processes of selection, recomposition and editing of visual and sound images involved in the production of the works that lead the visitor to situate himself on an edge, a frontier, a state of transition, a threshold, by confronting in them not the resolution but the possibility: what could have been or could become. The works share polarities with each other, with boundaries that are not always defined, between the power of natural and atavistic forces that transcend the control of human beings, and behaviors and situations that are under their responsibility. The artist focuses mainly on aspects of this polarity that can potentially detonate or trigger critical actions and events. Some of these are revealed in a poignant way in the photographs and drawings exhibited in the show. For their part, the scripts that accompany some of the works reveal the plastic thought processes involved in their elaboration.

María Margarita Malagón-Kurka, curator of the retrospective.

Becoming liminal: notes on environmental aesthetics and posthuman memory in the work of Clemencia Echeverri.

Lecture presented on December 18, 2019 as part of the retrospective. Miguel Urrutia Museum (MAMU), Bogota.

Photographic tour of the LIMINAL retrospective, Banco de la República, 2019.

LIMINAL Retrospective Opening Event

Assembly drawings – Miguel Urrutia Art Museum

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