Gallinazo: a black-plumaged scavenger bird that prevents the spread of diseases caused by harmful bacteria from decaying meat or rubbish; their open wings can reach a length of up to 160 centimetres; they have red eyes; they move in 'flocks', performing ecosystem cleansing; an older man who flirts with young women; the surname of a Colombian composer, Pablus Gallinazo, author of 'boca de chicle'.
For more than a year now, Ana María Velásquez has been focusing her attention on this mysterious and shadowy being in order to carry out a thorough reflection on its conditions of existence. She has become an expert on this silent and very sociable bird, which tends to gather in large groups or flocks. She is interested in its complex morphology, the number and shape of its plumage, its skeleton and its habits. Experts have recognised their importance and dignity, as they cohabit with man in cities, doing the dirty work generated by waste and rub, to the point of becoming one more element in the complex ecosystem we have created.
Man has definitively and irreversibly transformed the earth. In a manner analogous to the taxidermist, Velásquez works in the classification of our waste to represent this travelling companion, fulfilling a scientific task as he has found a niche where the leftovers are transformed into durable and expressive material. His repertoire of sculptural material includes brushes of all kinds, milk bags, laundry hooks, in short, some of the innumerable everyday waste produced by man in his wisdom, modernity and culture, this sort of 'flora and fauna' that we discard after each visit to the planetary supermarket.
The living species that are classified today into families, genera, subgenera, and groups. They are beings that live in a fragile balance between the danger of extinction and the possibility of perpetuating themselves. The hen hen is, for the moment, the travelling companion that reminds us of the need to order knowledge and work with it in an organised way. Velázquez represents it through the flexibility, dimension or colour of the industrial materials recycled for this purpose.
In his work, Velásquez explores in a conscious way that investigates material and aesthetic possibilities that oscillate between radiography and drawing, sculpture and the serial production of parts (eyes, bones, feathers, legs) to give an account from his mad scientist's workshop of this prehistoric animal. And she does so precisely from waste that comes from our indiscriminate use of artificial and industrial materials collected and classified by her with scientific zeal. The fact is that the imprint left by man on the planet is verified; it is deep, disseminated and undeniable.
We project our fears on to the hens; perhaps the annoyance we feel towards our own wasteful and destructive species. May this exhibition, BANDADA, bring us omens of better times.