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This essay was written by the artist Rosemberg Sandoval as the introduction to the exhibition catalogue Dibujos sobre lona, video e instalación, Rosemberg Sandoval that was organized by the Galería Casas Riegner in 2009. In his essay, Sandoval clearly expresses his artistic viewpoint; he does not ignore the political aspect of his work, and stresses the importance of context and history that influence the work of an artist. Sandoval also lists and describes some of his performances, staged between 1981 and 2008, that were recorded and shown at the exhibition at Casas Reigner. He refers to his regular use of unconventional materials (mainly human body parts). In closing, he explains the reason for his presentations. The essay is written in a critical and metaphorical style, as are most of the documents he writes about his projects.
The retrospective exhibition of works by Rosemberg Sandoval (b. 1959) at Casas Riegner was also shown at other local venues, such as the MAMB (Museo de Arte Moderno in Barranquilla) and Lugar a dudas in the city of Cali. The untitled text printed on the invitation to the event is the same one that expresses what the artist calls his “Political Actions” that is part of the exhibition and thus is important because it records his thoughts. In metaphorical words and his characteristic critical style, Sandoval describes some of his works, as follows: “In 2000 I drew the tender face of a baby with my pubic hair that I had yanked out.” And, “In 1983 I used hair from a human corpse to write on the walls and floor of an indoor space, describing sixteen creative ways to commit suicide.” Sandoval has consistently written about his work, but when his material is reviewed it reveals repeated ideas. It almost appears to be a speech that he recites from memory. All this notwithstanding, the fact that he produces written documents is important to an understanding of his work and its significance.
Acciones Políticas is a video and photographic recording, and uses visual memory embedded in objects, in twenty-one performances (or physical actions) by the Colombian artist Rosemberg Sandoval. These are projects created since the 1980s that embody the defining features of the artistic language of his work and express subjects such as death, pain, and the vulnerability of the human body through his art and his writing.
Sandoval refers to Acciones Políticas as a collection of his work where he “relies on allegory to present suffering and death as unavoidable threats, as demonstrable events, and as a condition of the matter that transforms us externally into dust, mud, and dirt.”
For more information on the artist and his work, see “Acciones para la venta” [Actions for Sale], (doc. no. 1129541); “Rosemberg Sandoval — reflexionarte X Festival de Arte de Cali” (doc. no. 1132564).