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.
In this article, Johanna Calle discusses the works in her series of drawings Zona tórrida [Torrid Zone] and the rationale behind them. The Colombian artist outlines various environmental modulations or conditions that can be seen in the shapes of leaves, which as she explains, are a plant’s main source of essential life-sustaining substances, such as oxygen and carbohydrates.
Johanna Calle (b. 1965), one of the major Colombian artists of the early twenty-first century, has written a great deal about her own work. She usually writes short articles, like this one, that provide basic clues to understanding her art work. The images she produces blend her varied interests (social and political conflicts, biology, literature, and artistic expression), and she also writes about the media she explores.
Zona tórrida [Torrid Zone] (2005), like Torrencial [Torrential] (1999), No (2001), or Ciel étranger [Foreign Sky] (2001), includes writing to create a complex polysemous universe in which the artist uses metaphors of different types to express the particular problems involved. Her metaphors are usually based on her observations of structural frameworks. In this particular case, Calle explores the forms adopted by natural bodies (such as plant leaves) either when they submit to adaptive processes or when they are subjected to negative environmental influences such as crop dusting. In her works, the delicacy of both the observed subject and the laborious, accurate drawing is as always a powerful allusion to the fragility of life.