Faces

Retablos Quimbaya, 700 - 1500 d.C. Región del Cauca Medio, Colombia

Museo Arqueológico MUSA

Rostros
00:00

First think of your family, the faces of your brothers and sisters, and your parents.

Think, for a moment, of features you know well: the nose or ears of your children or husband or wife.

Now think of more distant features, try to remember the face of a late uncle or grandparent, or a girlfriend or friend you haven’t spoken to in a long time. Try to remember the way they winked their eyes while reading, or their smile; think of the smile of someone you were in complicity with.

Figura by Cultura QuimbayaMuseo Arqueológico MUSA

And now think of someone you saw yesterday when you were hurried, someone in a hallway or a corner, someone whose name you don’t know, whose interests you don’t share, whose desires and anxieties and fears you ignore, a stranger from whom all you have left, for now, is just that: an image in your memory.

And think as well of all the other faces you saw without stopping, the hundreds or thousands of features that told you nothing or almost nothing, except for the fact that we are really very many.

Will those faces tell us something?

Figura by Cultura QuimbayaMuseo Arqueológico MUSA

Now imagine that nothing remains of our cities, Bogotá and Cali and Medellín.

Nothing remains, for some anthropogenic and catastrophic reason –a nuclear debacle, for example—.

Figura by Cultura QuimbayaMuseo Arqueológico MUSA

Nothing or almost nothing is left, except, due to some accident, faces –better said, think that only the pictures taken for our driver’s licenses are left.

Imagine that, just by accident, one file didn’t get burned. And there are no names or last names, or height records, no descriptions of features or places or issue dates; in fact, imagine not even the photographs remain, but only some photocopies of them. That we only have thousands and thousands of photocopies of pictures of men and women who lived before us.

Will those faces tell us something?

Figura by Cultura QuimbayaMuseo Arqueológico MUSA

And now look, patiently, at one of these tableaux, and then another and another.

Figura by Cultura QuimbayaMuseo Arqueológico MUSA

Figura by Cultura QuimbayaMuseo Arqueológico MUSA

Figura by Cultura QuimbayaMuseo Arqueológico MUSA

Figura by Cultura QuimbayaMuseo Arqueológico MUSA

Linger on the most minute traits, on the discipline and the intelligence with which with only a few gestures the artist captured the strength of a face and a body that are almost equal to, but different, from ours.

Choose a focus point: the eyes, the nose, the position of the hands or the body, the paint on the skin of the face, and ask yourselves or ask whoever is beside you in this room:

What do those faces tell us?

Figura by Cultura QuimbayaMuseo Arqueológico MUSA

Retablos Quimbaya by Cultura QuimbayaMuseo Arqueológico MUSA

Exposición temporal RostrosMuseo Arqueológico MUSA

Credits: Story

alicia eugenia silva - directora
felipe rojas - curador
oscar sanabria - curador
alejandra rojas - historiadora del arte
jorge h. zambrado - diseñador gráfico
doris rojas - antropóloga
roberto garcía - fotógrafo
juan felipe vargas - realizador audiovisual
victoriano piñacué - músico
camilo sanabria - compositor
oscar martínez - administrador

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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