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This is the record of the interview granted by the artist and researcher Rosario López Parra to UN medios (Centro de Medios de la Universidad Nacional de Colombia–Bogotá) [UN Media (Media Center at the Universidad Nacional de Colombia–Bogotá)] on the occasion of the exhibition of her project Abismo [Abyss] (2005) at the 2007 Biennale di Venezia [Venice Biennale]. During the course of the interview, Gilberto Bello and Víctor Viviescas explore the constant factors in the artist’s work and the way in which she weaves two artistic languages together: sculpture and photography. The interviewers never lose sight of the fact that López Parra is not only the author of a work of art, she is also an educator who is actively engaged in investigating contemporary forms of sculpture. Bello and Viviescas are also interested in her earlier work, specifically Esquinas Gordas [Fat Corners] (2000) and Trampas de viento [Wind Traps]. López describes how photographic language functions in her work, and explains the concept of expressing sculptural values through an exploration of the landscape that is captured in images. “In these works I am referring to sculptural matters but am also questioning the traditional values associated with the form, volume, and weight of the material.”
Abismo [Abyss] was the work that the artist Rosario López Parra (b. 1970) was invited to exhibit at the 2007 Biennale di Venezia [Venice Biennale]. This was the first time that Colombia had ever been invited to this storied event. Óscar Muñoz (b. 1951) and José Alejandro Restrepo (b. 1959) were the other two artists who enjoyed the privilege motu proprio [on their own initiative]. López had installed Abismo at the Galería Casas Riegner (Bogotá, 2005) as part of the exhibition, Fotología 4. The introductory essay for the exhibition was written by the critic Natalia Gutiérrez (b. 1954), who said: “(…) Rosario López’s work is inspired by a place (usually a specific landscape) that almost always has a life of its own; it is based on her observation of the materials and how they behave, and she works in the spaces between things.” López only exhibited part of her project at the Venice Biennale, but it nonetheless retained the essence of her original installation.
Abismo is López’s reflection on the land and the idea of a “horizon”; it was based on her travels in Peru (Paracas and Machu Picchu). Paracas suggested the concept of a void and in Machu Picchu she was inspired by the monumental size of the wall. Once again, both ideas are a byproduct of her constant search for sculptural values in contemporary visual forms. The abandoned houses with lattice walls in the desert in Paracas and the stone walls in Machu Picchu suggested two different expressions of space. López sought to communicate her feelings through a visual medium (photography and installation), using the elements she had seen in the landscapes she had visited.
Rosario López is an artist and a researcher. Her desire to understand space arose from her experiments with landscape, sculpture, and photography, all of which she uses in her work as a means of expressing her response to the philosophical ideas of a number of contemporary writers, such as George Bataille, Jacques Derrida, Rosalind Krauss, Gilles Deleuze, and Yve-Alain Bois, among others. Text plays an important role in López’s work, allowing her to explore the idea she is expressing and explain the meaning taken on by the elements she works with in each project.