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Sabiduría a flor de piel (Wisdom on the skin)

Silvino González Morales | Colombia

Doris Canencio, nurse and expert in traditional medicine from the Ambaló Reservation, Nasa People.

Sabiduría a flor de piel (Wisdom on the skin) is a visual homage to some of the elders of the aboriginal people Nasa and Misak from Colombia.

Women and men who are pillars for their communities and which knowledge and life must be take in account for a better future.

It includes an itinerant exposition, a website and a free e-book. From thousands of photographs taken during 4 months, 230 were delivered in hand to the people who gave me the honor to take an snapshot of their lives. And I selected 10 for the itinerant exposition which has been displayed in 3 Reservations of the Nasa and Misak people so far.

A honor to work with Gustavo and Juan Yonda in this project. My most deep thanks to each one of the people Who let me be part of their lives and take an small snapshot for this project.

My artistic life as a fine art photographer began somewhat late; After struggling to find myself in engineering I’ve followed my Father's footpath to pursue my love for photography. While my parallel professional career continues to be as a graphic designer, photography presents a unique way to control and mitigate my bipolar condition; it is my personal treatment and many pieces are deeply influenced by my changing and contradicting mood states. But my discovery of alternative photographic processes and the influence of Omaira Abadia more than anything/anyone defines, and refines my approach to photographic art.

As a Colombian visual artist and designer my work is focused in discovering and evolving artistic pathways to meld indigenous cultural roots with a global, humanistic vision.Currently my goal is to experiment with mixtures between classical (analogical) and digital techniques combining representation, capturing and printing images; trying to find a uniquely personal way to express my vision and feelings on subjects. Thematically I focus on the city: its landscape, its struggles, its stigmas, its misfits and undocumented inhabitants. The City as an extension of humanity’s inter-relationships. Bogotá is somehow a cosmopolis of the developing world of greater Latin America; It has become a volatile admixture of many conflicting elements and factors, and a destination for thousands running from forty-years of warfare. A place to live, learn, dream and suffer. A city destroyed and rebuilt, full of people giving the best to build and rebuild their own dreams and lives. But above all, a city full of hope and hard work. In my art I attempt to reflect my concerns about my role as a man and an artist who is in processes, and, perhaps caught between traditions and preconceptions, (as well as more post-modern perceptions) about my self, my sexuality, my place of belonging and my future. Between traditions, rituals, history tempered by sometimes (nihilist urges and hedonistic streaks) I try to find equilibrium.

As for many artists my works are catharticand a declaration of pride about my bi-polar condition. My art speaks about and into my country, our wars, our pain, our dreams, our cultural mélange and its iniquities and inequalities, and our unending search for meaning. And the other omnipresent theme in my work is the concept of role as a cultural creation that has little relationship to human beings and is the fruit of powers and principalities in specific historical space and times. I don’t believe I “create” photographs; Instead I believe I build images using photographic medium and techniques as a part of the process of giving material(s) sensate qualities, and providing visual form and content to abstract concepts and ideas. I admire photographic artists able to capture meaningful instants allowing them to stand still (per se) temporally. But as a creator, I see myself as an artisan, a designer who plays with ideas and thoughts, cultural values and pressures; And who attempts to balance tensions, tones, shapes in the pursuit of visual pieces that are imagistic in their deepest nature but beyond the act of capture alone.

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