HABLANDO BAJO RECUERDOS – Talking Beneath Rememberings

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Installation and performance

2016

I set myself on a quest around The Netherlands to have conversations around belief and witchcraft. What began as a quest for knowledge about Santería, led me to the Winti culture. As a result, this project became an account of my continued path to belief and worship, comprising encounters with magic, people, practices, and ideas in Colombia and The Netherlands. I searched for mentors and spiritual guides, who, at the outset of my journey taught me about the colonial history of The Netherlands and its relationship with the worships practiced in the Caribbean islands and Suriname, where the Winti movement originated. This project was mostly based on my own perceptions and personal experiences, and on how I integrated the different voices of the people I encountered into my own forms of belief. All the objects, experiences and images that are part of this installation went through a series of revelations, channellings, interventions and spiritual cleansing in my studio space, where we lived together through out the time of this quest. Besides a written text comprising of diary entries, psychoanalysis and interviews, I constructed an atypical altar with symbols and experiences fixed on sculptural objects, songs and actions as containers of a newly built and emerging faith. These devices became a way to liberate myself from hegemonic spiritual systems and trivial cultural appropriation, to instead rethink superstition as a method to find freedom, render tribute to relation and de-colonize my beliefs.

For the Exhibition at TENT in Rotterdam as part of my graduation show, I included a performative component that revealed, hid, changed, activated and left alone the installation and objects every second day at noon through out the period of the show. These actions and performances became my way of giving voice to the people who participated and guided me in my research. Fred, Debbie, Boku and William were these mentors, and the first four people that introduced me to Winti. The performances and interventions included readings of diary entries, psychoanalysis reflections and interviews of the mentors mentioned above. I sang and played the guitar, while also narrating stories of my quest and the situations I found myself in, as a way of inserting oral tradition to the tone of the performances.

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