7th Havana Biennial -  Home November 2000 - January 2001Home
Nadín Ospina - Statement
Written down by Pat Binder and Gerhard Haupt, based on an interview with the artist.
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The model for my work are small pre-Columbian figures from Colombia's central coffee region. They are ceramic objects often found in old graves which have become a popular symbol in Colombia for the pre-Hispanic culture. They are reproduced very frequently and are sold to tourists at such souvenir markets as this one here at the Morro. And so they have become pieces which are easily recognized, and besides that they have a strong sculptural form which I find very interesting. I saw that they have a monumentality - even in a small format - and for just this reason I chose them as a point of departure. As my work is executed in plastic, the aura of the pre-Columbian original is lost and the gigantic, blown-up figure becomes a banal, element of advertising that says nothing.

In my work, I am always playing with elements confronted with each other which are a bit "light," which come from the contemporary culture of "mass media", and I test if a banal thing's value can be increased by the use of traditional forms, and how greatly cultures are degraded by this. There is something there like friction, a bit like how my sculpture at this moment is at the mercy of the wind, has to endure the storm. I am interested in such a struggle.

In terms of the location of my figures, the urban intervention is very important to me, the fact that the work projects into space, that a dialogue with the architecture and the cultural elements actually occurs. At this place there is a correspondence to the fortress, to the city, to the ocean, to all of that which is characteristic of Havana. ...

The work is called "The Stroller" for the very reason that it produces different effects at the various locations at which it is placed. It does not have its own independent value but rather its idea is realized at that moment in which it is staged in public space.

(Translated from the German version by Rebeccah Blum)

© Interview, translation, photos:
Gerhard Haupt & Pat Binder,
Universes in Universe
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Ospina - 1 Tour

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