What is the relationship between the occupation of public space and the sense of community? How does one interfere with the other? What is humanity’s place in a world inhabited by many different species? For the Edgelands Institute, some of the answers lie in COMMON GROUNDS, symbolic spaces where trust and belonging are built among a community. In the same way that seeds need fertile soil to grow, the Edgelands Institute, in collaboration with MATZA MEDELLÍN, placed eleven artists together at Bodega Comfama, a space where they lived, worked, researched, debated, and created artworks. During three weeks of art residency, the artists cultivated new forms of signifying urban social contracts and public space.
Margarita Pineda was one of the Colombian artists who participated in the COMMON GROUNDS project. Her artwork NO SOMOS SOBERANOS includes a publication, drawings, and workshops on self-building that expanded the debates on habitation and public space in various neighborhoods of Medellín. As a visual artist and professor, Margarita Pineda advocates for the idea that humans are not as sovereign as we might think, but rather plants are. To her, there is a silent exchange of power in the cities, which makes the relationship between plants and humans unbalanced. In this sense, the Colombian artist poses questions about the lack of reciprocity to other species and its connection to habitational issues.
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.