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by Víctor Albarracín
February 1, 2018 – February 28, 2018

Every month Marginalia invites an artist, curator or project to provide a series of images that will serve as the background of Terremoto, in relation to their practice and current interests. At the end of each month, the identity of our guest is revealed and the whole series of images is unveiled.


El Bodegón was a space for artists in the Bogotá of the early 21st century. It was born with the desire to be and to show something more, without knowing very well what. At first obsessed with the myth of La Panadería in Mexico City and closer, wanting to fill the void left by La Rebeca, the Bodegón emerged without a plan, or rather, with too many. Every Friday we opened something: a party, a punk concert, the exhibition of a new artist or a renowned one with the desire to smell a young spirit, the launching of something or someone talking about something. In the beginning, everyone went and we were the sensation. A good part of that Bogotá scene that you now see in fairs all over the world was forged there, by discard, for not having where else. Art teachers and students passed through El Bodegón, becoming the damned extension of a nonexistent school. Some arrived, others left, few stayed from beginning to end, but in those comings and goings the idea of ​​a community, of a scene, was born. A scene with comic, dramatic and action actors. We got drunk, we loved each other, we fought. We did everything while we swept the floor and cleaned the vomit of our many friends and enemies in the bathroom. El Bodegón started being an adventure that became an institution, maybe the first artist institution in Colombia. It was not the first space that existed, but it was the first that institutionalized its anti-institutional practices. El Bodegón bloomed and allowed the brief existence of majestic moments, of exhibitions that changed the horizon, of voices that grew and of fists that landed in the face of many, mostly of us. For a while we were cursed, intimidating with the small world of Las Aguas neighborhood at our feet. Neighbors loved us, kids played between new postconceptual pre-postinternet Colombian art. Magaly brought her hen to exhibitions. Ex-presidents of the Republic transformed into gallerists and art collectors visited us. We paid everything out of our pockets; it was like a club for loosing. There were no grants, we did not have networks, we were an islet. An islet is a prison surrounded by sea. There was no sea here, but that’s how it felt sometimes. We began to lock up: we fought each other; others went to other projects, to other lives. Some of us were trying to save a ship that we should have leave shipwrecked in time. We disappeared, we reappeared, we fought with the world, but we did not enjoy that fight anymore. Nobody was amused, we were the stone in the shoe of many ladies of culture. They were bitter and we were bitter. Still we continue, for a long time. One night shows, almost every Friday. Solo-show openings, then death, until the next. We lived poor. Being from El Bodegón closed doors for us, some were not allowed to graduate from their careers, some of us were not granted with teaching positions. They thought of us as sons of bitches, resentful, or simply despicable. We also had allies though, followers, friendly hands that impelled us to continue. And in that tension we were consolidating as a prolonged performance of institutional critic. The institution understood, they started to be inclusive. They created grants for spaces, the money arrived, the institution was rejuvenated, the thousand fairs of Bogotá inflated unstoppable. The artistic district of San Felipe made us unnecessary, obsolete. There were galleries for the new art and bars where they served cocktails with a great soundtrack. People started to buy to young artists because they started to know how to sell. Everyone seemed to say: “no more precariousness”, although many times, “no more precariousness” meant “no more rudeness”. Fix your face, cut off your beard, but make it look natural, and smile. El Bodegón, that new adventure space, became a solitary dinosaur that died in silence. However a documentary was made about us. It’s called Mordíendonos la cola or Chasing our own tail. The collective Interferencias did it and it’s available on Vimeo. Without grief or glory we left and some of us dragged for a while the consequences. In four years many things happen.

Many things happened, past and always past, pasadísimo.


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