Fotografías Lisa Palomino

Rubber and ink stamps on paper. Exhibition copy.
Wall 1: 11mts2, wall 2: 22 m2, floor: 17.6 m2.
Total: 50,6 mts2
FLORA ars+natura
Bogotá, Colombia



This project departed from research on the braided hairstyles of the afro-descendant culture in Palenque, Bolívar. In its origins, many of these hairstyles were designed as escape maps; like a non-verbal language that transcribed specific topographic spots, revealing in code the escape routes during slavery. The braided hairstyle, considered as a resistance instrument, understood as a complex system, containing the cyphered knowledge of a particular culture, drove me to think about identity and its manifestations. In this way, a study about fingerprints, with their singularities and characteristics, was started at the same time. This repertoire of digital forms allowed me to delve into the meaning of the braided hairstyles and its relation to territory

By investigating the characteristic points of the fingerprint, I found names and shapes that refer to topography as well: island, fork, junction, detour, etc. Similarly, when observing the hairstyles from above, I found a formal and direct association between them and the imprint of fingerprints.

In this process, I started an exercise in translation, by drawing each of the fingerprint’s characteristic marks, combining it with elements particular of the landscape, nature, and hairstyles,-such as seeds and vegetable species- later transforming each of these drawings into a stamp.

Starting with the imprint produced by a bas-relief of the fingerprint, I decided to work with the linocut technique. Taking advantage of the plasticity of the stamps, I modified the original matrices using some of their parts. I insisted on the gestures, the actions, the repetitions, and the overlapping, since my main tools are drawing and my own body. For two years I moved from one sheet to another building a territory, drawing with the stamps and blurring the sign through its fragmentation, thus evidencing the temporary process of its making, showing a memory of what is left in the mind. As well as my fragmentary gesture, the ink also blurs this large format piece, as it fades with time.

Infinito became a work of art where the significance of an investigation is enlarged, reproducing with the stamps a fiction that extends the representation of the landscape and merges different perspectives. The work is the result of an action, an intimate and emotional trip through a map of a non-place; it’s the search for freedom in imagination. The size of this linocut print allows people to submerge in a personal topography to find their own, simultaneously reconfiguring a narrative that tries to leave linear time to settle in infinity.


Body and imprint

 José Roca - curatorial text

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