Tuesday, November 9, 2010

The Flickering Darkness in TINAG

Observing and interpreting the social mutations of the city environment, delGado aimed to explore Bogotá neighbourhoods, focusing on those so-called no-go places that somehow stand out as a consequence of the briskness of economic and social change as well as its sometimes harrowing human costs. Trauma itself is a concept that can appropriately bridge the gap between the individual and the surrounding society in understanding the impact of conflict and displacement; trauma threatens the individual’s sense of self and the predictability of the world. Consequently, basic beliefs in trust, confidence and connectedness with other people are undermined.

In his research, delGado takes into account what sociologist and philosopher Henri Lefebvre said: “thinking about the city is to hold and maintain its conflictual aspects of urban and suburban life: constraints and possibilities, peacefulness and violence, meetings and solitude, gatherings and separation, the trivial and the poetic, brutal functionalism and surprising improvisation.” His project reflects on the idea of belonging, to the need we all have for positioning, for locating ourselves in an environment; in other words, in a context that makes sense to us.

Being an artist in residence, the video artist Juan delGado accessed Bogotá as a foreigner. He embarked on an journey to explore the city as a living organism that eats, sleeps and has physical needs. The three channel installation The Flickering Darkness serves both to show fragmentation and connection, silence and sound, movement & stillness.

The camera seems to follow the food from the gut of the monstrous city, as it is processed by night workers at the market of Corabastos, to community dining and market restaurants. People here are shown as faceless beings who are part of and cause the dynamics in and of Bogotá; moments are immediately opposed on the three screens instead of being imposed as a fixed storyline.