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    Facundo, Rodrigo, 1958-
    En la punta de la lengua / Rodrigo Facundo
    Bogotá, Colombia : Instituto Distrital de Cultura y Turismo, 1997
    Book/Pamphlet – Essays

    Facundo, Rodrigo. "En la punta de la lengua." In En la punta de la lengua. Bogotá, Colombia: Instituto Distrital de Cultura y Turismo, 1997.


In this essay, Rodrigo Facundo introduced his art project En la punta de la lengua, which took an in-depth look at how countries (for example Colombia) use photographic images in official reports on events, and the role played by memory, both individual and collective, in the ultimate version of those events. This project earned Facundo first place at the Luis Caballero Prize (1997), the competition organized by the Instituto Distrital de Cultura y Turismo and the Galería Santa Fe at the Bogotá Planetarium. This essay appeared in the event catalogue, which featured the winning artist and his work. The provocative title of the project and the style of Facundo’s essay prompt readers to reflect on important issues, such as the history of Colombia, the constant state of amnesia that prevents Colombians from coming to grips with the unfortunate circumstances they endure, and the lack of a sense of national identity. The essay is illustrated with photographs that were selected from the archive of images that Facundo used to create his project, and includes quotes from other authors who refer to the subject of memory.


Rodrigo Facundo (b. 1958) created En la punta de la lengua by assembling several projectors in a circle, each of which was loaded with photographs of typical everyday scenes of Colombia. The sides of the projectors were covered with portions of photographs that were different from the images that were being projected onto the walls of the exhibition space. The projectors were suspended from the ceiling and were mobile, which meant that viewers could move them. The projected images could therefore be superimposed on each other, creating the overlapping that Facundo intended and that in turn sought to express how memory works. The use of space and the interplay of images were something entirely new in the exhibition of art and were effective because they accentuated the intensity of Facundo’s work. 


En la punta de la lengua is one of the most interesting attempts to interpret photographic work that has ever been produced in Colombia. The project is also of interest because of its original and effective approach to associating what can be shown (photographs) with what can be constructed (memory). It is one of the most outstanding exhibitions in the last two decades of Colombian art in terms of this subject, which for Colombia, is of profound importance.” This is an excerpt from the essay by the Colombian art critic and curator María Iovino (b. 1962) that introduced Facundo’s project at the Festival de la Luz in Buenos Aires (2006).    


The catalogue for the Luis Caballero Prize includes three photographic sections: “Lugares” [Places], Gente” [People], and Pensamientos” [Thoughts], where the type of images that were part of the installation were illustrated. In his discourse on memory, Facundo also quotes earlier and contemporary authors, such as A. Brossat, T. Ribot, Gilles Deleuze, Aristotle, and Simonides, among others.  


Facundo’s art typically experimented with photographic images and how they are assembled, and also explored the use of supports in which the image is neither stable nor defined, so that viewers are able to take an active role and participate in his works.

Erika Martínez Cuervo
Universidad de los Andes, Bogota, Colombia
Courtesy of Rodrigo Facundo, Bogotá, Colombia