press release only in german

This autumn, Les Abattoirs will present Medellín: A Colombian Story within the framework of France-Colombia Year. This exhibition, presented for the first time in Europe, suggests broaching the recent history of Colombia through the eyes of its artists, for whom responding through art to the traumatisms and shockwaves provoked by the conflicts of recent decades has proven a necessity.

This project brings together nearly 50 artists, and focuses on the art practices in the Antioquia region and its capital, Medellín, from the 1950s to the present day. It presents around one hundred artworks in different formats—including painting, photography, installation, and video—and, significantly, a collection of loans derived from the collections of the Museo de Antioquia in Medellín, as well as productions by guest Columbian artists. The exhibition develops key themes from recent Columbian history, a country that is home to many different peoples, which has been in the grips of violence throughout the 20th century and was engaged in the latter half of the century in the longest internal armed conflict on the South American continent.

The visit begins with the creation of a specifically Columbian modern and contemporary art scene, from the 1950s onwards, featuring artists such as Fernando Botero, Carlos Correa, and Benjamen de la Calle. The exhibition then highlights the extent to which political violence and social tension have marked several generations of artists, from the artists of signs and concepts—Antonio Caro, Taller 4 Rojo, and Adolfo Bernal, among others—through to the remarkable rise of an especially verbose contemporary scene, evolving hand in hand with the peace process underway. The exhibition introduces us to the evolution of the violence and its collective and individual consequences, with the recent peace accords with the FARC attempting to break this cycle. The exhibition will enable us to discover an extremely rich arts scene, with the example of this scene that has emerged within an explosive context, and whose creative and avenging power remains in our memories, through political art often dealing with social themes. In particular, the exhibition highlights the resistance of women in this conflict—such as the artists Libia Posada, Clemencia Echeverri, Delcy Morelos, and Laura Huertas Millán—and on the way in which their works reveal physical and emotional scars caused by the many years of violence.

Artists: Archivo Pacifista, Diego Arango, Iván Argote, Débora Arango, Fernando Arias, Maria Jose Arjona, Taller 4 Rojo, Marcos Avila Forero, Álvaro Barrios, Adolfo Bernal, Fernando Botero, Benjamin de la Calle, Francisco Antonio Cano, Antonio Caro, Christina Castagna, Natalia Castaneda, Luz Elena Castro, Carlos Correa, Wilson Díaz, Juan Manuel Echavarría, Clemencia Echeverri, Gonzalo Escovar, Ethel Gilmour, Béatriz Gonzalez, Carlos Granada, Juan Fernando Herran, Albeiro Lopera Hoyos, Rafael Mesa, Laura Huertas Millán, Pablo Mora, Delcy Morelos, Oscar Muñoz, Viki Ospina, Ana Patricia Palacios, Libia Posada, Leonardo Ramos, Federico Rios, Miguel Ángel Rojas, Camilo Restrepo, José Alesandro Restrepo, Rodriguez, Rafael Sàenz, Carlos Uribe, Santiago Vélez, Nirma Zarate