Matter is space for reflection. Matter ruminated on reflection, worked to achieve technique or lived and manipulated by chance, it is in turn an arrangement of the space we call world, country, city. And more than anything else, an arrangement of the human space inhabited by a community.
The reality of this matter on the horizon of the streets of Cali, conditioned by human steps, breeze, wheelbarrows, moonlighting, waves of noise, sweat and colourful tinge skins and costumes, creates other spaces to ensure the encounter with the unit that conducted and made political scene, matter fragmented. Everyday life is emplaced in vertigo, in that hole no longer inhabited by the structures conceived by the powerful and almost always the experience of this life subsists with its sharp candour in remnant materials or stories, making the spatial determinations of this led matter living monuments in the city beyond its iconic purpose or nonsense.
And as Cali is a city to be walked, it is walking the streets that one realizes these emblematic giants, such as the Coliseo del Pueblo, designed as a consolidation of Cali’s urban identity, are part of an aesthetic strategy of the ideal modern cartography, which since the twenties sought to break away from the village and build a city. But today, all these buildings lay among streets hopelessly pregnant of a blighted story, however, reconstituting its value in everyday life by dint of being surrounded, inhabited.
Today, under the shade of palm trees and guayacanes, among colourful umbrellas and the time it takes to run one’s eyes over the sports complex, Cali suddenly returns to ecstasy, to the rapture, confusion and outrage of the reality of 1971, persisting in a 2016 manner. Enduring in time, they insist on the strength of its facades, shouting Cali that mute slogan of “sports Capital of Colombia and America”. And Cali boils, rains; but then clears up or breezes, then comes thirst, hunger, fatigue, then a cholao, a coffee, a peach-palm, and nothing ever happened here. Of course, the 70’s Pan-American Games passed but then, once the urban planning is assumed, these architectural badges subsist on the current human experience visiting them, as a permanent tension between existence and space, between construct and reality.
This tension thus marks the steps of walking the streets in Cali, the walk through the streets that give their corners to materials, icons of the city that, in turn, altered by time and men generate a particular balance, a current local aesthetic of emerging human spaces that redefines them and lives from them and with them. It is precisely this aesthetic of human experience creator of new spaces, the portal Maski opens with its works. An aesthetic of the phenomena of reconstruction and recycling, of the installation which paves the abyss between human meaning and cement, so valuable to establish a more complex and less univocal reading of the present, that it takes us away from the idyllic vision of the present moment and the biased critique of the past.
The atomized matter in the works of Maski, shows the symbolic remnants of the architectural works from the 1971 Pan-American Cali context. These works, public in their constitutive inertia and so arbitrarily private in the ideological perspective of time, become material for reflection for art with propositional validity. Under this reflection, the physical and experiential space open these monumental productions, discard non-existent lights, anodyne and alien encounters, judgments, induced moments and show what they are: necessary transformations and confrontations, caused by technical, social and cultural changes linked to the experience of matter transformed into public space.
The innocent farce of ideology is resolved in the open observation Maski exposes in these pieces: breaking away with the excessive judgments that see only one aspect of things, thus clearing all the complexity of the real and defining the contradictions that constitute it.
Started in 2005 by Juan David Laserna, Camilo Ordóñez Robayo and Jairo Suarez, Colectivo Maski is a platform to develop projects nourished on archive and field research, focusing on problems related to modern architecture, history and city.
In recent years its practice has been determined by a reflection on architectural phenomena through which the city is understood as a phenomenon in which economic processes and progressive ideologies shape experience. Thus Maski has proposed a view from the review of monuments, public spaces dedicated to leisure or housing defines the landscape fabric and prosperity of citizens. Be it looking at the abandoned cinemas, housing projects, or memorial sites, the group work operates on the basis of memory as a tool to examine the contingencies of the present times.
Its work has been exhibited, among others, in Bogotá: belleza y horror, MAMBo, Bogotá 2015, Movimiento armónico simple (solo), Espacio Odeón, Bogotá 2015; La desilusión de la certeza o la ilusión de la incertidumbre, Pabellón Artecámara / ArtBo, Bogotá 2013; Ninguna forma de vida es inevitable, Flora Ars + Natura, Bogotá 2013; Terreno Anhelo (solo), L.A. Galería, Bogotá 2013 y Alianza Francesa, Bucaramanga 2013; El futuro del pasado, Biblioteca Julio Pérez Ferrero, Cúcuta 2012 y Museo de Arte de Pereira, Pereira 2011; We Took (solo), Espacio Odeón, Bogotá 2011; Cinema insostenible: Ficción y museografía, tránsito y desaparición (solo), Cámara de Comercio de Medellín, Medellín, 2011, Museo de Bogotá, Bogotá 2009 y Biblioteca Virgilio Barco, Bogotá 2008; Multiplex: Apto modelo y cuota inicial (solo), El Parqueadero / Banco de la República, Bogotá 2010; Casa de citas, Museo de Antioquia, Medellín 2009.
Exhibition: Unidad compleja interpuesta
Artist: Colectivo Maski
Curator: Juan Sebastián Ramírez
Dates: April 8th to May 6th, 2016
Place: (bis) | oficina de proyectos
Address: Calle 23 Norte # 6AN-17, oficina 412
City: Cali, Colombia