Premio LOOP del LOOP Fair 2014 : Marcos Ávila Forero

Márcos Ávila Forero, À Tarapoto, un Manati (2011) presentado por la Galería Dohyang Lee (Paris) LOOP Award LOOP Fair 2014.

Puerto Nariño, is a municipality located on the shore of the Amazon River, at the crossroad of the Colombian, the Peruvian and the Brazilian borders. There I met families of the Cocama community who told me the story of the Manati, a sacred and almost extinct animal living in the freshwater habitats of the AmazonBasin. I draw my inspiration from those stories that the young generation tend to forget about, to revive them in this new social context.

Following the indications of an old sculptor, we carved the shape of this sacred animal in wood. I then asked a young taïta – a person initiated into the magical rituals – to travel along the river to the Tarapoto’s lake on its back. There he left it adrift along the currents.

“Videos, frescoes/murals, objects, sculptures, performances or installations, the work of Marco Avila Forero (born in 1983, lives and works in Paris) always seems to evoke an off-screen: a meeting, a story or a process it keeps track of. Its micro-fictions made of bits and pieces seek to build up a colusion between times and places that seem at odds rather than demonstrate or document. The richness and poetry of this work come from the visit and the diversion of the boundaries. The imperceptible lines which oppose the city from the countryside, the foreigner from the local, or those visible and barbed which provoke conflicts and uprootings.

At times of increased and dematerialised flaws, Marcos Avila Forero broaches the duration and materiality of moving/shifting and migrations, provides meaning and substance that are too often neglected.

As in these alpargatas de Zuratoque, these jute shoes that the artist has manufactured by Columbian farmers moved in slums after the permanent armed conflict in Columbia. The yarns used to manufacture the shoes are parts of the jute bags on which the families have written their own story.

The bark, be it plasterboard or cardboard, is a leitmotiv in his work. It becomes an unsteady symbol of these breakaway attempts with uncertain fate. The human being is also central in his work. It is the one who paradoxically waits at the edges waiting forever “the good moment” to jump ahead/lead the way”.

Daria de Beauvais

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