Black and white photographs and 35 mm slide
Installation with audio
Large format photographs and a slide installation with audio from a series shot in the ruins of one of the many mansions of Gonzalo Rodríguez Gacha, alias "El Mexicano" — the second man in
command in the Medellín Cartel of the 1980's. The photographs are staged pictures, where a 9
year-old boy acts as a sort of DJ of recent Colombian history, mixing images and sounds from different sources (which are used in the soundtrack of the slide installation). Some of the pictures show stranded paper boats made from Colombian newspapers and magazines, where a long history of violence may be perceived obliquely.
There is an old house in ruins in the north of Bogot . A visitor can still see some remnants of its lost splendor: a disappeared lake, covered by grass, whose existence is suggested by some forlorn singing frogs, and an irrational bridge leading nowhere, half engulfed by foliage. The house was acquired by El Mexicano (one of Colombia’s most ruthless mafia bosses in the 80’s) and later confiscated by drug enforcement authorities, the property was gradually destroyed by the incessant rummages of gold diggers seeking the mafia’s hidden treasures; and by the wild fires of the homeless who crept in to spend the night undercover. Amidst the dereliction you may find a 4 wheel drive Land Cruiser ridden with bullets, that patiently awaits the interminable bureaucratic process of ownership foreclosure. There’s also a fleet of confiscated taxis and moving trucks that are slowly sinking in the grass. Security guards are fond of retelling urban myths: “here, above the Turkish bath room beauty queens were paraded to be picked by the boss; in this wall a girl was plastered who didn’t cater to his desires…” At night the house let’s loose all of its ghosts, all of its tortured souls, forgotten murders and decades of scourge and decadence. It is as if a short wave radio were picking up lost sound bites from the air, like specters that drift along, like images that have lost their destiny. The exhibition took place in another house that was confiscated by the drug enforcement department of the Ministry of Justice in the 90s. It featured photographs taken at El Mexicano’s mansion in Bogotá.