Museum of Modern and Contemporary Art in Toulouse, FRAC Midi-Pyrénées

Medellin: a Colombian Story

from the 1950s to the present
From 29 september 2017 to 21 january 2018
 
les Abattoirs
Vernissage on Friday 29th September at 6.30pm
Antonio Caro, Colombia Coca-Cola, 2007, Peinture émaillée sur laiton, dimensions: 104 x 146 x 4.8 cm, Collection Musée d’Antioquia, Medellín, Colombie – Copyright musée d’Antioquia

This exhibition,  presented for the first time in Europe, suggests broaching the recent history of Colombia through the eyes of its artists, for whom responding through art to the traumatisms and shockwaves provoked by the conflicts of recent decades has proven a necessity.

Exhibition as part of 2017 France-Colombia Year

This autumn in Toulouse, Les Abattoirs will present Medellín: A Colombian Story within the framework of France-Colombia Year. This exhibition, presented for the first time in Europe, suggests broaching the recent history of Colombia through the eyes of its artists, for whom responding through art to the traumatisms and shockwaves provoked by the conflicts of recent decades has proven a necessity.

This project brings together almost 40 artists, some of whom have never been presented in Europe before, and focuses on the art practices in the Antioquia region and its capital, Medellín, from the 1950s to the present day. It presents around one hundred artworks in different formats – including painting, photography, installation, and video – and, significantly, a collection of exceptional loans derived from the collections of the Museo de Antioquia in Medellín, as well as productions by guest Columbian artists. The exhibition develops key themes from recent Columbian history, a country that is home to many different peoples, which has been in the grips of violence throughout the 20th century and was engaged in the latter half of the century in the longest internal armed conflict on the South American continent.

Based on three periods – the causes of the war, its complexity and various ramifications (particularly social ones), and finally, the path towards peace – the visit begins with the creation of a specifically Columbian modern and contemporary art scene, from the 1950s onwards, featuring artists such as Fernando Botero, Carlos Correa, and Benjamen de la Calle. The exhibition then highlights the extent to which political violence and social tension have marked several generations of artists, from the artists of signs and concepts – Antonio Caro, Taller 4 Rojo, and Adolfo Bernal, among others – through to the remarkable rise of an especially verbose contemporary scene, evolving hand in hand with the peace process underway.

The visit introduces us to the evolution of the violence and its collective and individual consequences, with the recent peace accords with the FARC attempting to break this cycle. The exhibition will enable us to discover an extremely rich arts scene and to see the world from a new perspective, with the example of this scene that has emerged within an explosive context, and whose creative and avenging power remains in our memories, through political art often dealing with social themes. In particular, the exhibition highlights the resistance of women in this conflict – such as the artists Libia Posada, Clemencia Echeverri, Delcy Morelos, and Laura Huertas Millán – and on the way in which their works reveal physical and emotional scars caused by the many years of violence, but also their capacity for reinvention, a fundamentally universal theme.


Within the framework of the 2017 France-Colombia Year, the exhibition is jointly organised by Les Abattoirs and the Museo de Antioquia de Medellín. It is structured around a body of works from the collections of the Museo de Antioquia from 1950 to the present day and by Columbian artists from the Medellín region invited to create works in Toulouse. Several productions by ex-pat Columbian artists, particularly those in France, will also be presented. Objects from Pre-Columbian collections of the Musée des Jacobins de Auch, the second largest collection in France, will be displayed as part of the visit at Les Abattoirs and will provide an historic echo to today’s arts scene. In return, as part of the regional programme of Les Abattoirs - Frac Occitanie Toulouse, the works of art by contemporary Columbian artists presented in the exhibition at Les Abattoirs will also be shown in Auch among the museum’s permanent collection.

 

Artists presented in Toulouse:
Archivo Pacifista, Diego Arango, Iván Argote, Débora Arango, Fernando Arias, Maria Jose Arjona, Taller 4 Rojo, Marcos Avila Forero, Álvaro Barrios, Adolfo Bernal, Fernando Botero, Benjamin de la Calle, Francisco Antonio Cano, Antonio Caro, Christina Castagna, Natalia Castaneda, Luz Elena Castro, Carlos Correa, Wilson Díaz, Juan Manuel Echavarría, Clemencia Echeverri, Gonzalo Escovar, Umberto Giangrandi, Ethel Gilmour, Béatriz González, Carlos Granada, Juan Fernando Herran, Albeiro Lopera Hoyos, Rafael Mesa, Laura Huertas Millán, Pablo Mora, Delcy Morelos, Oscar Muñoz, Viki Ospina, Ana Patricia Palacios, Libia Posada, Federico Rios, Miguel Ángel Rojas, Camilo Restrepo, José Alesandro Restrepo, Rodriguez, Rafael Sàenz, Carlos Uribe, Santiago Vélez, Nirma Zarate, etc.

 

Exhibition curator:
Nydia Gutierrez, Chief Curator of the Museo de Antioquia, Medellín
Annabelle Ténèze, Heritage Curator, Director, les Abattoirs, museum of modern and contemporary art – Frac Occitanie Toulouse
Valentin Rodriguez, Heritage Curator, Director of the Collections, les Abattoirs, museum of modern and contemporary art - Frac Occitanie Toulouse

 

The exhibition is organised by Les Abattoirs - Frac Occitanie Toulouse in co-production with the Museo de Antioquia, Medellín, Colombia.

The exhibition receives the exceptional support of the Town Hall of Medellin, the Institut Français and the city of Toulouse as part of 2017 France-Colombia Year.

    

The exhibition also receives the support of the Patronage Committee of the 2017 France-Colombia Year.

 

Francisco Antonio Cano, Horizontes, (Horizons), 1913, Huile sur toile, 95 x 150 cm – Collection Museo de Antoquia, Medellín, Colombie