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La courte échelle

Guest-curated by Yto Barrada, Mateo Lopez and Carlos Garaicoa

Meriem Bennani, M'Barek Bouhchichi, Yaima Carrazana, Johanna Castillo, Juliana Góngora,

Dania González, José Manuel Mesias, Mazenett Quiroga and Santiago Reyes Villaveces

Online viewing room

July 1 to August 8, 2020

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Juliana Góngora

Techo de leche y tierra, 2018/19

Cabuya fibre and 93 sticks of earth and milk

140 x 500 cm

Courtesy of the artist

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Techo de leche y tierra, is a delicate and monumental installation assembled over the viewer’s height, by artist Juliana Góngora at Biennial 12. The artist researched the process of turning liquid milk into a solid yarn with which it is possible to knit. The project was born from a tale by Marguerite Yourcenar, La leche de la muerte (The milk of death), about a buried woman whose milk continues to sprout to feed her son. Or from Hera's story, that would have created the Milky Way by the spattering of her breast milk. Juliana physically and intuitively investigated how to translate these stories into a real dimension by converting milk into fiber. She extracted the milk’s casein, added lime, and soil to form a mass combined with earth and modeled by hands. The yarn came after an experiment of two years, first in the laboratory and after in her home kitchen, where she watched carefully and emotionally, the milk always different, and extremely permeable to its surrounding environment. The yarn has an elastic and almost translucent appearance. Techo de leche y tierra (Milk and soil ceiling) embraces the bodies that circulate. (text by Andrea Giunta) 



Juliana Góngora (Colombia, 1988) is an artist and sculptor. She currently works as a sculpture professor in the Arts program of the Jorge Tadeo Lozano University in Bogotá, Colombia. She is interested in the process of transformation in primitive and organic materials such as: earth, salt, spider threads, sand grains, stones, and glass. Through her work she intends to manifest the tensions of nature, for example: salt can be rough and can corrode, but it can also help preserve and harden other materials. Spider thread can be invisible and ethereal but at the same time it is strong and resistant. Stones can be witnesses of human labor and its history, yet they are so frequently disregarded. Juliana considers matter and sculpture as transversal languages in life. For her, sculpture is not an intellectual research, but a relationship with matter that evolves over time. Through sculpture she learned about patience, and that its processes like those in life, are not immediate. She believes that art and life cannot be separated, that we are entangled with ordinary matter and our relationship with it is physical, humane, and frequently overlooked. As an artist, she calls for a material consciousness and asserts that as human beings we must begin to focus more on our daily actions instead of centering our attention in our discourses.  

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