In Memoriam. Life goes on.
This body of work is based on the November 6th, 1985 events of The Palace of Justice siege, an attack on the Supreme Court of Colombia, in which members of the M-19 Marxist guerrilla group took over the Palace of Justice in Bogotá, Colombia, and held the Supreme Court hostage. 28 hours later, after a military raid, the building was burned down and the incident left 98 fatal victims, including 11 Supreme Court Justices. After 34 years, there are still 6 people missing from this horrific episode.
Creating a drawing is a slow process of testing ideas. It doesn’t arrive instantly like a photograph. The uncertain and imprecise way of constructing a drawing is also a model of how to construct meaning. What ends in clarity doesn’t begin that way. Drawing helps me to understand what I’m thinking and seeing, it allows me to experiencing it and communicate it.
The series In Memoriam. Life goes on, are based on footage of local news covering the event live that day. They depict a middle age man walking in the “Plaza de Bolivar” holding two bags in his hands, next to troops, red cross personnel, and military tanks. He suddenly stops, feet away from the Palace of Justice main entrance, to feed birds. These works resembling a storyboard, illustrate that simple action. The drawings render the man in an empty space, eliminating additional details, distancing us yet further from the idea of the objective truth, they can offer us no more than a fragment of reality recalling a faded memory, focusing the attention on the person’s action.
The ink on handmade paper drawings portrait the 6 people still missing since the violent seizure of the Supreme Court. According to the National Center for Historical Memory in Colombia, 82,998 people have forcibly disappeared between 1958 and 2017.
The video conveys some known facts of the event, using animated text. It includes quotes of the transcript from a live broadcasted radio interview with Alfonso Reyes Echandia, president of the Supreme Court at that moment.