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    Conversaciòn con María Elvira Escallón
    Otras Miradas = Other Glances. -- Bogotá, Colombia : Ministerio de Relaciones Exteriores de Colombia, 2004
    p. 87- 89 : ill.
    Book/pamphlet article – Interviews
    Jaramillo, Carmen María. “María Elvira Escallón.” In Otras Miradas= Other Glances, 87–89. Exh. cat. Bogotá, Colombia : Ministerio de Relaciones Exteriores de Colombia, 2004.

The catalogue for the exhibition, Otras miradas = Other Glances (2004) includes the historian Carmen María Jaramillo’s interview of María Elvira Escallón, which focused on the latter’s series Desde adentro [From Within] (2003) that was inspired by the unfortunate events of 2003, when a terrorist attack destroyed the premises of the Club El Nogal in Bogotá. After an introductory text, in a transcript of the conversation between curator and artist, Escallón discusses the factors that made it possible for her to enter the club after the unfortunate event, when she recorded the material for her series Desde adentro. Jaramillo also mentions the concept of “landscape” and the idea of “memory and deconstruction,” which are essential aspects of Escallón’s visual art works. Escallón also refers to her status as a woman-artist and the troubles in Colombia. Otras miradas = Other Glances was an exhibition organized by the Colombian Ministry of Foreign Affairs that included works by ten artists whose work suggested new ways of seeing and approaching the subject of violence.


The works of María Elvira Escallón (b. 1954), a London-born Colombian visual artist and photographer, are inspired by contemporary events; the construction-destruction duality, appropriation, violence, and memory, where aesthetic images (the product of shrewd perception) reveal other ways to understand certain situations.  


The Desde adentro [From Within] series that Escallón showed at Otras miradas = Other Glances says something about the curatorial approach of the historian and critic Carmen María Jaramillo (b. 1958); the subject of conflict and memory is present in the works of some Colombian artists. Jaramillo selects works whose formal nature reveals a process of prior observation and analysis that has no use for “literalness.” They are therefore visual works that stimulate reflection for the viewer as well as for the creator.   


Desde adentro (2003) is a collection of photographs and videos that Escallón shot in the Club El Nogal, in Bogotá after the terrorist attack in February 2003. Jaramillo explains: “The artist presents what remained etched in the film of ash that covered the walls and the door, leaving traces of fear and pain.” In the interview included in the Otras Miradas catalogue the artist discusses her work and her experience in the field of art and photography.   


Otras miradas = Other Glances also included works by other artists, as follows: Débora Arango (1907–2005), Beatriz González (b. 1938), Patricia Bravo (b. 1966), Johanna Calle (b. 1965), María Fernanda Cardoso (b. 1963) Clemencia Echeverri (b. 1950), Delcy Morelos, from Argentina (b. 1967), Libia Posada Restrepo (b. 1959), and Gloria Posada (b. 1967). The idea of violence as a theme through which to articulate contemporary visual art in Colombia is also discussed in the following documents: “Memoria, guerra e historia” [Memory, War, and History] by Gonzalo Sánchez [see doc. no. 1092308]; “Memoria, imagen y duelo. Conversaciones entre una artista y un historiador” [Memory, Image, and Grief: Conversations between an Artist and an Historian] [doc. no. 1092383]; and “Otras miradas” [Other Glances] by Carmen María Jaramillo [doc. no. 1092368].

Erika Martínez Cuervo
Universidad de los Andes, Bogota, Colombia
Courtesy of Carmen María Jaramillo, Bogotá, Colombia