The Contact Zone
The Contact Zone is a project that investigates the relationships between colonial ideology and the imaginary processes of reconfiguration of the Other. The title “ The Contact Zone” has been borrowed from a concept developed by professor Mary Louise Pratt and refers to the spaces of colonial encounters in which individuals, separated by geography and history, establish asymmetrical and permanent relationships among themselves. Inspired by this definition I felt motivated to develop a series that investigates and determines the shape and the borders of these zones of contact.
Divided into 4 chapters, the project alludes to the Age of Discoveries and appropriates Columbus’ chronicles of his first voyage toward the Americas to show the way the Western world, through travel literacy and illustration, managed to produce differentiated conceptions of itself in comparison to what has been labelled as “the rest of the world”, perpetuating asymmetries and differences in collective imagery. Besides, the series explores how technologies of power such as maps, measurement tools, and navigation diaries have been used to mediate the experience of the exotic and the non-familiar in order to dominate it.
The Contact Zone comprises a series of staged photographs of reconstructed objects, such as a flag and two fragmented globes, questioning the very symbols of Western conquest. In addition to that, it presents a selection of archival images depicting “white hands” suggesting the gestures of supremacy of colonial power often embedded in the images of the Other. Finally, the project includes a video installation evoking the sea: a controversial scenario that surely exists in collective imagery as a romantic landscape of adventures but on the other hand, it represents a raw context in which colonial violence has been staged in the past.
VARIATION OF THE COMPASS
The Contact Zone: Chapter I Variation of the Compass, Installation view, Montenegro Art Project, Bogotà 2022
THE EPILOGUE /
The Contact Zone, The Epilogue/ The Prologue Installation view, El Faro, Bogotá
I SAW NO OTHER BIRDS
SIGNS OF A LAND