Broken language

This work comprises a series of twelve A0-size sheets of handmade paper reconstituted from selected cuttings taken from a cross-section Colombian newspapers, magazines, and printouts of online news pages. Arango collected this material from 2010 to 2014 and it only records of atrocity and suffering, creating an archive of violence.

These works can be thought of as a semi-permeable skin between past, present and future. Although each sheet of re-made paper holds some information from the original source, some show almost no trace of it and are almost completely blank and devoid of a trace of information. In others a fragment of a word or a partial image appears as a fugitive signifier, attempting to emerge from its encoding, from which meaning neither arrives nor escapes. In this work, the traces of violence become dissipated, obliterated, and contained.

The idea of transforming the collected archive into new sheets of handmade paper is an attempt at processing the load of information generated by a culture that produces images and reports with indifference. The re-emerging sheet disperses and conceals the traces of the past into a now elaborated and encoded material-memory. Here, the past is encountered as unattainable and silent.

Installation view at Chelsea's project spaces, London. 2010-2014. Photo © Marsha Dunstan.

Broken Language # 1 detail, 2010-2014.

Broken Language # 2 detail, 2010-2014.

Broken Language # 3 detail, 2010-2014.

Broken Language # 5 detail, 2010-2014.

Broken Language # 6 detail, 2010-2014.

Broken Language # 7, detail, 2010-2014.

Broken Language # 8, detail, 2010-2014.