Curatorial project – La Tertulia Museum – Cali Colombia
Places are no longer interpreted as permanent existential vessels,
but they are understood as intense centers of events,
as dynamic concentrations, as flow rates of circulation,
like ephemeral scenes of events, like crossroads, like energetic moments.
Josep María Montaner.
La Modernidad Superada
The Museum in its structure and content usually proposes itself as a place that allows the visitor, from the artistic production, to visualize and understand the historical moments of a society. Frequently the curator or curatorial committee writes a script that allows the architectural space and objects to be articulated, introducing the visitor to an exhibition tour that seeks to weave networks between artistic production and a set of works, inserting them into a more varied field, which is the of the culture itself; in order to establish a dialogue that allows the work to fold into multiple meanings and connections.
This exhibition has the interest of approaching the La Tertulia Museum as a territory that is the sum of meanings and questions for a community in a given context: the city of Cali. Based on the work of the artists, the museum proposes itself as a territory under discussion where the Collection and the archive are a focus of events connected from the present, and the architectural structure is a vital agent for the understanding of the works, not a container of artistic objects. This relationship with the guest or temporary inhabitant (no longer with the visitor) transforms the museum into a scene of ephemeral events, at a crossroads that come and go multiplying exponentially.
If we understand the visitor to the Museum as an inhabitant, a guest who generates, produces and takes possession of what he finds, to later transform and redefine not only the objects and the building, but also the Museum’s relations with the context to which it is linked. By closing the gap generated by the normalization to which we are advocated by the idea of a museum that is thought exclusively as a containing architectural structure, we open the possibility to the exchange of reflections, flows of knowledge among those who temporarily inhabit the Museum, and it becomes city and context when dialoguing everything that appears to be alien or distant.
The artists were suggested that based on a selection of works from the Museum Collection and the Documentation Center archives (CEDOC), they proposed relationships according to individual interest: contextual, landscape or historical, with the aim of intervening the architectural space from the museum and surrounding areas.
Backyard IV by Robert Kipniss, (stone lithograph, 1974) is the work to which Adrián Gaitán (Cali, 1983) refers. In it we can see a house behind a large tree, the image is bleak, the house seems mute and encrypted as if it were hiding something. It is a simple but disturbing landscape. Gaitán proposes an intervention with wood and mirrors in one of the trees, the great samán located in front of the Museum. It is a treehouse that has served as a space for an inhabitant who sought perfection, practiced insistently using the railing and slippers located in front of the mirror, which is accompanied by an impression of the Vitruvian Man by Leonardo Davinci, known as the representation of the canon of human proportions. The place already abandoned by its “original” inhabitant is a vestige that shows a naive attempt to seek inspiration by staying as close as possible to the Museum, turning its history and personal work into an existential parallel to history: there is not a single history, there is a series of decentrations arising from the provocation of the Museum. We do not know if that inhabitant succeeded or simply gave up, what is certain is that he has left this space as a witness to the place.
Mario Opazo (Tomé, Chile 1969) makes his piece from the archives of two works by Luis Camnitzer, which consist of writing the names of famous Latin American revolutionaries: one, the photographic record kept at the CEDOC of the Museum on “Ché ”From 1968 (etching); two, an original etching of the work “Camilo Torres” from 1970, which is part of the Collection. Also takes up the work Untitled by the Venezuelan artist Carlos Cruz Díez (Serigraph, 1994). Opazo proposes the Barricade as a sculptural intervention to the founding building of the La Tertulia Museum. This building is characterized by the colonnade that surrounds it in simple and repetitive forms, the rectangular shape and parallelepiped volume, evoking architectural appropriations brought from classical and neoclassical intentions of militia bearing. This symmetrical, solid and monumental structure refers to the Roman architectural complex E.U.R. originally called E42. The artist’s intervention responds in an opposite, organic and primitive way, to the clean, industrial and stony characteristics; it is a precarious construction, a palisade that partially covers the original architecture as a protection railing, a rough, crude and artisanal palisade, which in turn behaves like a supposed precarious but resistant support that supports the columns “to the point to fall ”. Each of the beams can symbolize the Latin American heroes referred to in Camnitzer’s work. The palisade contrasts with the color of the colonnade, generating a vibratory visual movement when touring the building that reminds us of Cruz Diez’s silkscreen.
After a fire in 1947, Wiener & Sert designed the Tumaco Plan under the tutelage of the French architect Le Corbusier, with the support of the national government. It was an urban plan that aimed to transform and rebuild the city with a subdivision project, new types of houses, official buildings, extension of the railway, construction of the airport, docks, services, and military naval base. The project was never carried out. Tumaco is located in the Colombian Pacific, which is a region irrigated by rivers that make up large deltas and a network of aquatic circuits where it is possible to navigate and develop multiple activities of social and commercial exchange. The stilt houses, are the constructions that have emerged as river settlements that allow a whole cultural wealth around water, are wooden houses supported by stakes or pillars on the sea, rivers, lagoons or pipes. Henry Salazar (Cali, 1975) engages in an architectural dialogue between different orders of housing construction. Insert a palafito-mirador in front of the Cali river next to the first street on one of the banks of the Museum. It indicates the way in which from the global ways of living are treated, without being mediated by any prior reading of the place where these new modes will be inserted. Salazar refers to one of the works in the Museum Collection: Man walking away from it all, strong water, 25.5 X 79 cm, 1980) by Edward Rushcha. Starting from the work, Salazar proposes the construction of a viewpoint, where the landscape is mirage and stage. This stilt-lookout tower is distant from its “original context”, which is imposed in a strange and alien way in an urban construction built in 1968: the Museum. The artist shows two important aspects: First, the absurdity of imposing forms and systems that seek to improve and modernize a place without approaching the context in which they are inserted. Second, the distance that exists between the architectural design of the Museum and its surroundings with the Colombian Pacific, where the design of the stilt houses to which it refers comes from.
The Sector Reforma collective (Santino Escatel, Javier Cárdenas Tavizon, Alejandro Fournier), from Guadalajara – Mexico, has proposed a sculptural intervention based on the Untitled serigraphy of the kinetic artist Carlos Cruz Diez (serigraphy, 1994). The work that originally has a vertical sense, has been turned to build a horizontal structure so that it is the movement of the human body that generates changes in the composition of the work. The group raises the possibility of seeing perspective as a projection of the imaginary, of the existent and the invisible, promoting the integrating dialogue between the work and the guest as temporary inhabitants of the Museum, which even allows this encounter to be a crossroads where the information flows.
An important reference for this project is the glasshouse by the architect Lina Bo Bardi, located in Morumbi, south of Sao Paulo, built in a forest on sloping ground with ramp access; so the front is built on stilts, while the back is immersed in a hole in the ground, supported by concrete walls. Bobardi maintained that slope and the forest in order to maintain a direct relationship with the natural characteristics of the environment, thus allowing the garden located below the house, which is actually the angle of the slope, to be possible. The house has a large window that runs along the three sides that are clear of railings. This “floating” house is apparently unprotected from the outside. This interest and appreciation for what exists is present in the way in which she approached the project, the house is considered as an organ in a transformation that continued to transform with the use of the inhabitants.
Similarly, Territory under discussion raises a gap in which the Museo la Tertulia, with its solid and interesting Collection and architectural structure, is a polysemic territory that allows the approach of various actors who surround it from different perspectives, which According to their referent, they carry and bring information building the Museum in the same way that the Museum builds a city.