The editorial categories are research topics that have guided researchers during the recovery phase and continue to be the impetus behind the Documents Project’s digital archive and the Critical Documents book series. Developed by the project’s Editorial Board, each of the teams analyzed this framework and adapted it to their local contexts in developing their research objectives and work plans during the Recovery Phase. Learn more on the Editorial Framework page.
This document is the cover of the “Monografía del Bachué,” published on June 15, 1930, by some of the artists and writers who began the Bachué group. In this text, the Bachués use poetic and lyrical language reminiscent of prayer as they extol the characteristics of the indigenous goddess from which the group drew inspiration. The authors of the text point out that this Chibcha goddess symbolizes water, vital energy, and fire—the three powers that fertilize the race. They then mention some of the incidents that explain why Bachué is a privileged figure in Chibcha mythology: she is said to have redeemed the earth from guilt and to have infused humanity in its entirety with her love-filled blood. Finally, the authors summon Bachué to guide the fate of the group of artists and writers in the making, a group that intends to return to the heart of the earth and uphold the local above all foreign influences.
In 1925, Colombian sculptor Rómulo Rozo (1899–1964) carved the figure of the goddess Bachué in Paris. According to Chibcha mythology, Bachué is the mother of all humanity, the supreme sustaining female deity. Rozo’s statue became the starting point for a long reflection on nationalism, and on the role of the ancestral indigenous figure in Colombian art, movement that eventually came to be known as Bachué. While there was no defined Bachué group with a specific aesthetic agenda, a number of artists were concerned with the problem of specifically Colombian art, among them muralist Pedro Nel Gómez (1899–1984), and painters Ignacio Gómez Jaramillo (1910–1970) and Luis Alberto Acuña Tapias (1904–1984), although they never used the name Bachué to describe themselves.
In June 1930, a group of writers and artists under the age of thirty decided to take the reins of the movement, publishing the “Monografìa del Bachué” in Lecturas Dominicales, or Sunday Readings, section of the newspaper El Tiempo. The authors of the text were writers Darío Achury Valenzuela (1906–1999) and Tulio González (1906–1968), poet Darío Samper (1909–1984), Juan Pablo Varela, politician Rafael Azula Barrera, and artist Hena Rodríguez Parra (1915–1997). This text, which appears on the first page of the monograph, encapsulates the interest at that time in a return to the country’s roots, which places value on local culture in literature and on the indigenous in the visual arts. This text could therefore be considered a manifesto of the Bachué movement insofar as it briefly expresses the intellectual spirit at its core. It is signed by “the Bachués,” which attests to a collective intention. Under the heading “Tableros” on the eighth page of the monograph, a few paragraphs present the group’s objectives. While the importance of the Bachués in Colombian history exceeds this specific group, this document is essential to the task of reconstructing the Colombian art scene of the twenties and thirties.