Auras Anónimas (Anonymous Auras), 2007-2009
Installation on four Columbaria of the central cemetery of Bogotá: 8 matrixes of serigraphy on polypropylene plates, repeated on 8957 niches

At the Bogotá's Central Cemetery, in the buildings known as Columbaria, Beatriz González has covered up to 9,000 former graves with images that refer to the people charged with picking up the corpses of the war dead in various Colombian municipalities. The artist had already explored these images, which have circulated in the mass media, in a previous series of paintings and drawings. There she analyzed the features that could make them visual icons of Colombia's historical present. When it was active, the cemetery held the dead from the lowest social classes, which connects its story, in social and political terms, to the corpses that today are picked up and carried using hammocks, sticks, or plastic sheets by peasants throughout Colombia. Beatriz González created eight matrixes that repeat numerous times to cover the empty niches. For the artist, infinite repetition is a way of updating things, bringing them more evidently into the present. The works installed in the Columbaria are silk-screens and the printed surface imitates granite of the kind used for tombstones. In this project, Beatriz González is interested in connecting the character of the print media graphic record with the preservation of an „aura“; for her, the „aura“ is the trace of a person‘s presence, which remains in place for as long as someone remembers them. This is why she wanted to use these iconic images to seal an empty site where absence meets presence.

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