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Mónica Naranjo Uribe

//June-July 2022

Mónica Naranjo Uribe is a Colombian artist interested in the intimate and physical exploration of territories. In her research she combines different sources of information: the one resulting from direct experience of the territory; the scientific narration as a possibility to think the world beyond human space/temporal dimensions and; the ancestral wisdom of communities where empirical knowledge is permeated by a bond of affection and respect for the territory they inhabit.

In recent years, she has focused her more personal research on the mineral world and its geological processes, working through different media such as drawing, installation or ephemeral interventions in the landscape documented in video, publications, among others. Her interest in delving into an investigation of the territory and its representation from a more collective perspective that would also include a diversity of geographies, led her to create in 2014 the publishing project Nómada Ediciones, dedicated to the publication of cartographies, artist books, zines and drawings.

She graduated in Fine Arts from the Universidad Nacional and Graphic Design from the Universidad Pontificia Bolivariana in Medellín. She studied a Master's degree in Communication in Art and Design at the Royal College of Art in London. Mónica has taught at the Universidad de los Andes and the Universidad Javeriana in Bogotá. Recent residencies include Casa Wabi / ArtReview (Puerto Escondido, Mexico 2022), La Becque / Prohelvetia (La Tour-de-Peilz, Switzerland 2021, Artista X Artista / Jorge M. Pérez Family Foundation (Havana, Cuba 2018), Flora Ars+Natura / Beca Fe (Bogotá, Colombia 2017), among others.

El Boga Residency: Cartography of Mompox

The residency project is part of the 46th Salón Nacional de Artistas supported by the Colombian Ministry of Culture, whose thematic axis this year revolves around the Magdalena River.

The residency/laboratory proposes to create a cartography of Mompox that encompasses a collective vision of the people who inhabit the territory about their own place. I am interested in tracing a notion of place that encompasses not only the present moment but also what is no longer visible in the territory but remains alive in memory.

After the Magdalena River changed its course towards the end of the 19th century, Mompox ceased to be the focus of attention as a strategic place of commercial and economic connection. Its rhythm and activity changed, it quieted down. Other processes of interaction and appropriation of the place began. A new spirit emerges from the shadow of its colonial past, which has been moulded over 5-6 generations. A more personal passage of time is established, without historical, everyday, invisible protagonism, which has continued to shape the links of the inhabitants with their territory. I am interested in developing an investigation that delves into a narration of the place from the perspective of its inhabitants and the intangible character of the place, and in documenting the information gathered through a map. The participation of different generations is important for the development of the research as their knowledge, experiences and intuitions vary and are equally important to understand the territory in a deeper way.

The very nature of a river and the elusiveness of its waters, which are and are not there, recalls the invisible layers that also shape a place: what is not seen but felt, what is not verifiable but can be sensed. The cartography seeks to weave together the everyday life of the place, the past of the territory that still lives in the memory of its inhabitants, the geographical particularity of the depresión Momposina, beliefs or stories that help to reveal the type of connection with its natural environment.

Like any map, it represents an incomplete and subjective exercise of the territory, which does not pretend to present a truth or a unique reality. There are many versions of everything in Mompox, the map does not take a specific side and randomly brings together different interpretations and stories heard. The cartography is intended more as an instrument of documentation, and at the same time it can later serve its inhabitants, especially as a connector between the more distant generations (older adults with children).

The mapping is part of a series of previous mapping exercises/projects carried out with communities in Mexico, Honduras and the Amazon.


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