The Contact Zone

2019-2021

 

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 among them asymmetrical and permanent relationships. Inspired by this definition I felt motivated to develop a project that could possibly investigate and determine the shape and the borders of these zones of contact.  I started questioning myself about the very nature of the “contact” of the western world with the imagined Other and through the series I wanted to point at this unbalanced and constant exchange with the unknown. 
Divided in 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, trough 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, 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 scenes of physical contact 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 an hostile and raw context in which colonial violence has been staged in the past.

CHAPTER I

VARIATION OF THE COMPASS

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The Contact Zone: Chapter I Variation of the Compass,  Installation view, Montenegro Art Project, Bogotà 2022

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The Contact Zone

THE EPILOGUE /

 THE PROLOGUE

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The Contact Zone, The Epilogue/ The Prologue Installation view, El Faro, Bogotá

CHAPTER II

 I SAW NO OTHER BIRDS

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The Contact Zone
The Contact Zone

CHAPTER IV

SIGNS OF A LAND