|The street as a matrix
By Eduardo Serrano
The Group Grafito, formed Gloria Posada, Ana Maria Arango, Alejandra Gaviria and Carlos Uribe has been carrying out for the past months an artwork that, at first sight could seem a nonsense but that really constitutes an innovative excercise with serious artistic as well as social implications. The artwork makes important remarks about Medellin's history, the engraving technique and the infinite posibilities of expression and group creativity.
The artists have dedicated themselves to print -over linen cloth and by a kind of frottage- the surface of asphalt and sidewalks with its sewers, accidents and trayectories, valuing the perceptible registries in the materialistic culture and pointing out the street not only as a natural source of art but as the reservoir of the collective memory where the passing of time, of generations, of styles and of the different activities that have been assigned, to the street, as a way of communication have been left inscribed. The artwork is then, tightly related with arqueology, and by presenting data without tergiversation that could derive from representation or interpretation, acquires the character of an irrefutable document.
The artists start from the principle that Medellin is a vivid territory in which diversity doesn't contradict unity and where different groups coexist, generating each one a characteristical place according to their convictions, and expectations. They also studied carefully history and the peculiarities of each and every neighborhood and commune in order to do their job in the most representative place of each sector.
The impressions of the rear parts and facades of some buildings complement coherently the idea, permitting to visualize in a broader manner the circumstances and patterns of the urban development, as like to register the traces of the life that has been left impregnated on the walls that were once interior but that have passed to make part of the outline of the city.
The work is not only original and ambitious as a document but also from the point of view of the technique, since in converting public space on the plate of their engravings, dimensions of this technique are widened to realities sizes. Furthermore the fact of taking out the impression of the workshop and turn it into an action in which the citizens can participate asking about its objectives and procedures enriches the possibilities of graphic production and gives a special coherence to this artwork whose fundaments are found precisely in the signs, activities and executions of the community. Then, The Group Grafito's project draws nearer the possibilities that an artistic work be realized by all a collectivity.
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