The current peace process in Colombia has established a set of parameters aimed at preventing a repeat of the causes and events of the last 50 years that led to the war.

After the silence
The silenced guns allow us to hear others; those who are by our side, but who may have been forgotten. They allow us to acknowledge that we are a collective of beings with our abilities and limitations, but all inhabitants of the same space, which we must transform into opportunities for all.
Fernando Arias
Armenia, Colombia. He currently divides his time between Bogotá and the Pacific coast of the Chocó province. Arias explores video, photography, installation, and action art. The recurring themes of his work include conflict, sexuality, religion, and politics.

Right Humans uses a play on words in its title to denote the ethical importance of human beings.

This sculpture by Arias dramatizes the sequence of an armed soldier slowly stripping off his uniform until he stands naked, and no different from any other human being.

Right Humans is a statement about freeing ourselves from hierarchies and ideologies in order to establish an equal, ethical, and transformative dialog.

Conflicts have ultimately united the nations that have endured them. The exhibition Forgetting Forbidden portrays events that remain triggers for violence, and Right Humans was part of that.

Luz María Sánchez
Guadalajara, Jalisco. It deals with the theme of violence and combat between the ruling forces and organized crime in Mexico.

The work includes 20 audio recordings that highlight the danger facing citizens of modern-day Mexico who find themselves caught in the midst of shoot-outs.

Interview with "Canal 44," University of Guadalajara.

This MP3 player shaped like a pistol has become very popular with the youth of modern-day Mexico.

Interview with "Directo Bogotá"

The public can interact with each of the pistol-shaped MP3 players, listening to audio recordings of shoot-outs in various cities across Mexico.

Sánchez's work explores the political realm, with themes such as the Mexican diaspora, violence in the Americas, and failed nation-states.

Omar Castañeda
Bogotá, Colombia. He currently lives in London. He has always worked with food as his raw material, and his obsessive research into foodstuffs has inspired his plastic creations. Castañeda has the ability to create an incredibly versatile experience with significant political, social, and cultural impact. As a visual artist, he likes to explore the unique aspects of cuisines from different parts of the world and share them in installations, objects, paintings, screen prints, and videos.

The main cause of the conflict in Colombia was land ownership.

Castañeda comments on his conceptual and creative process for the Museum of Contemporary Art's channel.

Panela, or unrefined cane sugar, is one of the most basic foods for the vast majority of the Colombian working class.

Part of Castañeda's installation for the exhibition Panela: the new gold of Colombia.

Interview with the NTN24 channel

Event performed during the exhibition Panela: the new gold of Colombia in which bars of panela were exchanged for objects that were significant to workers at the UNIMINUTO university.

The UNIMINUTO workers highlight the nutritional and symbolic value of panela.

The panela production process in Colombia: a video that formed part of the exhibition Panela: the new gold of Colombia.

Handing out "aguapanela" (sugar cane drink) to visitors at the exhibition.

UNIMINUTO university workers proudly displaying their bars of panela.

Edible screen prints made from panela.

Panela takes on new symbolism—that of gold bars—based on its cultural and nutritional value. Its traditional production represents resistance against manufactured foods and multinational corporations.

Interview with the UNIMINUTO university channel

Dario Ortiz
Ibagué, Tolima, Colombia. Renowned for his neo-realist compositions based on classical themes. This prominent painter, drawer, and engraver explores different formats and a variety of techniques to capture his visual language with great esthetic depth and impressive technical knowledge.

In the series The Apocryphal Verses of Dante, he presents a conciliatory vision of recent historical events and how they relate to The Divine Comedy.

The dramatic articulations of modern events link Ortiz's work with The Divine Comedy.

Comments made during the exhibition at the Maguncia Museum in Argentina.

Ortiz has the ability to introduce classical language into a contemporary context.

Ortiz is a great admirer of Italian Renaissance painting, and uses it as a pretext to present current themes, such as the massacres.

The first victims of a conflict are always the young; they take the brunt of the orders, ideological manipulation, and bullets.

The Colombian conflict is laden with the thousands of young people who have been murdered, tricked, and manipulated in order to perpetuate the war.

A conversation between Darío Ortiz and Avelina Lesper

Diana Farfán
Bogotá, Colombia. Currently settled in the USA. Known for her surrealist work with ceramics, she characterizes irony using toys, puppets, and dolls that allude to social and political situations. Her work links the human condition to magical realism to deepen its significance.

Colombian Circus is a clear reference to the political manipulation suffered by Colombia throughout its history.

The articulated arms and hands, and the theatrical character popping out from the toy box, make us suspicious of its actions, words, and conduct.

The tragicomic character is akin to the constant dichotomy of a country teetering on the verge of despair and euphoria.

Interview with Diana Farfán in her studio.

Circus characters are omnipresent in Farfán's work.

Farfán's production is made up of metaphors referencing the violence in Colombia

Instructions for flying—the process of creating and producing a puppet.

Niels van Iperen
Holland. Known in the media as "the pop photographer," Van Iperen came to Bogotá having previously lived in Amsterdam, Los Angeles, and New York, and worked for magazines such as Rolling Stone, various record companies, and on publicity campaigns for big brands.

The photography project Never Again engages the mothers and relatives of the atrocious crime against the young men of Soacha, who were passed off as FARC soldiers.

Gloria Astrid Ramírez, one of the Soacha mothers, has taken action so that these events will never again be repeated.

Her son was one of the false positives. The photographs encapsulate the families' pain and their fight for justice, as they reveal the portraits and memories tattooed on their skin.

Interview with Niels Van Iperen about the project Never Again.

How do you deal with the loss of a loved one?
Where do you draw strength to fight against forgetting?

Love is an indelible mark, an antidote to despair and death.

Defying their sense of impotence against the powers that be, each one of these mothers clings to their memories, and has drawn strength from them.

Interview with the UNIMINUTO university channel.

Never Again is a statement; a symbol of the fight against injustice and neglect.

Lady Chávez and Fernando Pareja
Popayán, Colombia. This pair of artists use stroboscopic animation, sound, and recycled objects to stage models of social problems.

The characters in this animation move their bodies to express euphoria and drama, taking part in urban protests, marches, strikes, and other civil demonstrations.

Faced with injustice, marginalization, internal conflict, abuse of power, and repeated arbitrary measures, social protest is a form of popular expression.

Visit to the Toys Locomotion installation during its presentation at the "TESIS" project.

Chávez and Pareja continue their intriguing and creative designs of animated cycloramas combining light, sculpture, time, and social protest.

Alongside their stroboscopic animation work, they also create anti-consumerism sculptures with a neo-pop character.

Belluno, Italy. Illustrator, sculptor, and urban artist. His large-scale murals take their references from children's book illustrations, but with implicit messages of social criticism in which the protagonists are always animals.

Detail of the mural.

View of the mural work at dusk.

Time-lapse of the mural work.

Drawing stage and areas of color on the mural.

Apocalypse is a lithograph with implicit messages of social criticism. Its "semi-human" animals evoke fabled worlds, inviting the observer to enter into a dream.

Its metaphorical language warns of the destruction of the planet, our habitat, and the disproportionate exploitation of resources that will lead to the Apocalypse.

Work during the exhibition We Are Nothing.

Invitation poster for the exhibition.

Sculptural work during the exhibition We Are Nothing.

Interior mural created for the exhibition We Are Nothing.

Some of Ericailcane's work that was part of the exhibition We Are Nothing.

Animal creation workshop for people with visual impairments.

Participation in the exhibition Transverse Dialogs.

Museo de Arte Contemporáneo de Bogotá - UNIMINUTO
Credits: Story

Curation, research, selection, and texts:
Gustavo A. Ortiz Serrano

Recording, database, documentation, and coordination:
Wilmar Tovar Leyva

Works in the permanent collection at the Museum of Contemporary Art Bogotá—a cultural entity of the Minuto de Dios University Corporation (UNIMINUTO).


Artists' websites

Credits: All media
The story featured may in some cases have been created by an independent third party and may not always represent the views of the institutions, listed below, who have supplied the content.
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