Untitled (3) [Letter To The Sky]

Untitled (3) [Letter To The Sky]

Untitled (3) … [Letter to the Sky] is the third work in the Prison Anxieties series I begun in 2011. This project looks at the emotional stories of violence, death, escape, transition and will for freedom through Ghana’s colonial past. San Antonio (where i was based during a one month residency) had an aura that reminded me of Ga Mashie — specifically Ussher town and James town in Accra. The towns, about 500m apart, share compounded narratives of invasion, violence, trade and are now haunted by those memories.

The work addresses the perception of my own identity as a state in crisis – a construction that needed to be broken down and re-constructed. My intention was to make work that signified remembrance of Santiago de Cali’s colonial beginning – the year 1536 – by making site-specific work that dealt with the Iglesia La Merced as the oldest existing architecture exacerbated by also being the site where the city was founded.

The “La Merced” complex is constituted of the Museo Arqueológico “La Merced” (Archaeological Museum), Museo Arte Colonial “La Merced” (the Museum of Colonial and Religious Art) and the Iglesia La Merced (Our Lady of Mercy convent church). This creates a fascinating juxtaposition of institutions constantly engaging history and contextualizing it for contemporary consumption.

The histories present within the “La Merced” complex made it a compelling beginning point into my study of Colombia’s cultural past – Santiago de Cali specifically. The installation when perceived in relation to the physical content within the museums’ walls became the symbolic gesture that initiates a concrete encounter with history for the observer.

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