“Landscapes shape people”, affirms Sandrine Pelletier. The Swiss artist is one of the residents of the COMMON GROUNDS project. For her exhibition, she has immersed herself in Colombian traditional culture. From conversations with other residents, Sandrine Pelletier got to know about Colombia’s indigenous tale about a giant black serpent that has shaped the river in the south of the country. According to indigenous culture, landscapes, borders and people were created as the serpent crawled through the land. During her residence in Medellín, Sandrine Pelletier recognized elements of this ancient legend in Medellín and its people. Drawing inspiration from this, the artist began sketching ideas until she reached the final result presented in the Bodega Comfama from February to March 2022.
LA SOMBRA is a sculpture made predominantly out of black glasses and mirrors modified with chemicals, and some old newspapers from Medellín that represent the city’s past. Sandrine Pelletier’s artwork reflects the visitors as they walk around it. Full of plasticity and drama, LA SOMBRA shapes the image of the one who looks at it, such as the serpent has shaped Colombian society in the past. The dark colors and the disorganized aspect of the sculpture instigate a mystical feeling in the public, and the broken pieces that compose the sculpture remind us that it is an ephemeral work: that time is constant, but it passes. Aligned with the Edgelands Institute’s purposes, Sandrine Pelletier has explored how a community’s traditional culture not only signifies many elements of a landscape but also builds social cohesion and identity, which are fundamental to consider when imagining future social contracts.
Created by Séverin Guelpa and Anja Wyden Guelpa in collaboration with the Edgelands Institute, MATZA EDGELANDS MEDELLÍN is a project held in Colombia between 31.01 and 17.02.2022. Gathering artists, experts, citizens, and activists together to reflect on contemporary issues, urban dynamics, and social tensions in the heart of Medellín, the project lead to the COMMON GROUND art residency and exhibition, which presented original artworks regarding security, digital surveillance, technology, and urbanization.