For its inaugural exhibition, LMNO will organise for the first time in Belgium a solo exhibition of the Colombian artist Marcos Avila Forero (born in 1983. Lives and works in Paris and Bogota).
The most striking characteristics of Marcos Avila Forero's work is the unique combination of his capacity to open our eyes on historical injustices or on ignored facts of the contemporary history and his empathy with the actors facing these injustices who agree on participating in the creation of his work. Thanks to his talent, he can make projects out of it with an indisputable aesthetic quality.
The title of the exhibition « Reappropriaciones » sounds like a motto. The fight for the conservation of agricultural land and for the dignity of farmers towards the land owners is a central point of his work.
The exhibition gathers works that allow to appreciate his wide practice since 2013 as well as recent projects. Amongst the works that will be shown let's highlight « Estenopéicas Rurales ». It's a triptych made of pictures taken with improvised pinehole cameras set up in Colombian farmers' small houses. The long exposure used gives ghostly portraits that could represent their insecurity and their impending disappearance.
For the work entitled « Zuratoque » (from the name of a slum in the region of Santander in Colombia), the artist asked to families who had been expelled from their homes by the violence of the armed conflict to write down the story of their uprootedness on jute cloth bags. The bags were then unwoven and the threads re-used to make «alpargatas» (traditional sandals) as if their memories were put in motion.
In « TIROFIJO », «le tir convaincu» he used a photopgraph which is vivid in the unconscious mind of all Colombians. It shows the tipping point when farmers become guerilleros. The artist enlarged the picture to a real scale. He set up the silhouettes in a way they are in a tridimensional space. Then, for 50 days, he used a pinehole camera to record the image that has been recreated earlier. Everything is contained in the image though there is a strange feeling of trickery similar to the political situation of the Colombia from the past and Colombia of today.
« Palenqueros » is representative of the artist's work showing that his projects always have a wide scope. Giuseppe Penone, his former teacher at the École Nationale Supérieure des Beaux-Arts in Paris, promoted this prestigious project and the Hermès Enterprise Foundation sponsored it in 2013. He had a collaborative residency with the artisans of the leather manufacture in Nontron in Dordogne. Based on the triangular commercial exchanges between Europe, Africa and South America, he tried to give a new interpretation to the manufacturing of five drums from the Palenque culture. Actually, Palenqueros were rebel escaped slaves who built settlements in Latin America during the colonial period. To make the drums the artist used the know how of leather, of stave wood and rope workers. The instruments were traditionally used by Bantu musicians.
« Arquitecturas de la memoria » has been edited thanks to the partnership between the Palais de Tokyo and the Galerie de Multiples. The text combines testimonies and poetic feelings of the artist and is linked to a photograph depicting an architecture that suffered from the violence of conflicts. All editions are different. This way, LMNO wants to ease the financial access to quality artists' works.