In a game between fragility and strength, Ana María Velásquez's installations and sculptures are built from the meticulous collection and classification of everyday industrial waste: milk bags, plastic elements, industrial packaging and simple hardware elements such as guides and cables: nuts and bolts. She uses current invoice paper, residue from the accounting of everyday consumption, as an element to build dim mobiles. These various pieces are rearranged and assembled to simulate ghostly urban landscapes of the Big Apple, or to recreate flocks of vultures, astonishing creatures that inhabit impoverished urban landscapes, where waste and dead animals intermingle and accumulate in the streets.
The series Viajeros de Papel (2010) and Memorias Contables (2014) take the concepts of spending, consumption and domestic economy to the limit of the classification activity. The invoices support a work that speaks of the paroxysm of the consumer society where the main experience is cyclical: buy, consume and repeat; activity framed between satiety and desire. Her constructions on paper allude to illusion, the ephemeral and the fleeting.
With environmentally heavy waste of various synthetic nature, Velásquez builds her 'Flock' (2020-2022) composed of 'individuals' or life-size specimens in various postures, scientifically precise models of the most characteristic bird of the southern cities. Her work is built in loops where contamination, the abject and desire intertwine like the spokes of a wheel that turns endlessly. The mouser represents the worst, that is, the dirt that endangers the symbolic order of classifications; It represents the impure, the reprehensible, the non-symbolizable.
Bandada demonstrates Velásquez's investigative capacity. The accuracy of the 'individuals' of the same is based on a precise knowledge of animal anatomy where the structure, shape and size of birds of prey are identified. In his work, the vultures or 'pimps' are the mirror of an internally corrupted social system. 'Gallinazo' is a popular adjective to designate a dark heartthrob who does not stop at the decomposed. He is an archetypal figure in the construction of masculine identity. The 'gallinazo' also seems related to certain moments of the Colombian historical period known as 'La Violencia', during which it was common to locate the dead in the countryside by observing flocks of birds of prey.
The artist began by collecting all the purchase invoices that she was issued on a trip to New York, with them she recreated an imagined and desired city in which each moment has its price. And then she started receiving plastic waste from neighbors and friends. In summary; Ecology, economics and anatomy are the key to a work in which the extreme classification is a comment on a time of extremes. Her diverse work establishes a dialogue between a world on the brink of disaster and the social constructions that drive it, in the life-death oscillation.
In her words, “I look for beauty in the everyday, in the disposable, in giving value to what is discarded and despised. She developed cleaning, order and storage habits that allow a second life to be given to materials that would otherwise end up in landfills, rivers or seas. I seek to make the ordinary something extraordinary.”