Monday, 6 December 2010

Dissertation - Colombian Trucks: a Moving Museum - INTRODUCTION


The subject I chose for my dissertation is the Camiones de Escalera and the concept of moving art which creates different meaning to different people in different contexts.
The Camion de Escalera is a columbian truck that serves the function of transporting people as well as goods and animals especially in Antioquia, Medellin, Colombia.
These buses are decorated in a very peculiar and folkloristic way by a team of local artists, therefore giving rise to an extremely original and popular style. My dad owns some paintings that normally hang on the back of these buses.  My idea starts from the object being detached by its original context (the back of the bus) and becoming a painting hanging in a private collection (my familyhome) to then be displayed in an exhibition in Italy. Some of the paintings were commissioned for my father, therefore assuming a different subject matter, the geometric patterns, although still in line with the traditional genre of the paintings, which include popular art images such as landscapes, humoristic subjects and religious images as well as geometric patterns. The body of the dissertation will thus follow the journey of the paintings in their numerous changes that altered their perception and function.
The reason I chose this subject for my dissertation is that I feel personally involved in that my father is the owner of the paintings and I also wanted to find out more on the history hidden in these sheets of metal covered with paint. I was fascinated by the richness of colours and of the culture, a culture whom I hardly know anything of, and decided to go into depth and get to know more about it and understand how this movement of objects in time and space had affected the reception of the paintings by different people in different contexts.
The paintings have been detached from the buses where they originally hung, sold to a private (my father) to be displayed within four walls of a domestic interior, then consequently showed to the public, one which is not like the folkloristic one crowding the buses, in an exhibition in Milan and with the intention of being exhibited in a near future in London.
The sources and materials I have used are of primary and secondary type: photographs of the paintings in the house and in the exhibition, a video documentary on the buses, the social network Facebook that gave me the opportunity to get to know Ramiro Lopera, a professor teaching at the Universidad de San Buenaventura Medellin and director of the Foundation Camiones de Escalera by joining a group dedicated to those, interviews conducted with my father, Mr Lopera, articles written by the local architect Edgar Jaime Isaza Isaza, a friend of my dad whom he met in Columbia and who is passionate about the subject, and books.

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