September 13, 2018 -
October 13, 2018
La Balsa Arte Medellín
Panoramicl. Topofilia, La Balsa Arte Medellín

Being and being are two indissoluble verbs that poetically condition our existence. Once born we begin to inhabit, to be for others and to be in a place since we are as long as we can modify the environment that gives us sustenance and it serves as our abode to us and our fellow men.

Every place before was simply a place. With our arrival, life and significance, that site became a place; place of birth, of accomplishments or, simply, place of death, the result of experiencing that unique space where something extraordinary happens.

We are clear that we create the places with our presence, but at the same time, and in a paradoxical way, it is those same spaces that enable and forge the result of our personality. Loving the places where life occurs is a logical consequence of being (feeling) and being (place).

Topofilia, a word that results from the Greek words: topos, which takes place, and philos, to mean lovers or friends; It is the noun that serves as a title for this new exhibition by Edwin Monsalve. A proposal that includes a substantial part of the last two projects of this young artist from Antioquia, and that are presented in a place with a mobile name and poetic significance:La Balsa Arte(Gallery).

Being and being rejoice in topofilia; This word that speaks of loving the places of life, of feeling passion for the spaces that have been our own and have allowed us to grow, dream and realize our accomplishments. Something like the nostalgic notion that brings to mind the idea of landscape, a word that manages to vibrate with the topofilia and that Monsalve knows well since it has been the north of his research.

If we understand by landscape everything that we contemplate with emotion, we could without fail to say that, not only that in the distance that can be seen from a high place, it is landscape. Psychological spaces, symbolic construction, and art are known places where we can find joy and notice fullness. Consequently, topofilia is a statement of meaning that the artist formulates with his particular way of evoking and transforming the place into a landscape.

Site, place, and landscape is a sequential concatenation of ideas that are elaborated thanks to the poetics of art and that in the creative process of Monsalve have a grammatical force of nodal importance.

Two big projects converge in this survey, which, in their review, display countless associative operations that end up enhancing their conditions and expand their horizon of meaning.

Narcissus, a port to the subconscious, a space for reflection that recalls the myth that blinded the beautiful Narcissus and handed him over to his ego, and at the same time condemned ostracism to Eco, a voiceless voice who fled from the perfidy of love for the mountains from where our voices always return us. A bridge to nothing or all of the unconscious inside a raft. This powerful image is the backdrop that supports the subsequent series of pieces: Geodecia.

Here, and according to the logic of this word (geo: earth, it said: divide), Monsalve plays with precious elements constituting the landscape such as oil, coal, gold, silver, and copper, which binary relates to reiterate the absurdity that hasled to its unbridled extraction, to the point of putting in suspense the natural balance of the space that gives us sustenance and that we love because it is the one that has been possible for us to build.

Without moral or ethical judgments, Edwin Monsalve lets us see the reflection of our mirage, warns us with the beauty of the minimum elements the risk of being and being in an ancient operation that has brought us so far: an instant where practically no There are still places, we have turned everything into a place, a landscape, and art.

Oscar Roldán-Álzate
Director of the Department of Cultural Extension.
University of Antioquia

Selected images

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