How many of us have made this question when they see a person that they know that spends a big part of the day in one of those bogotan streets in the center of the city? How do we believe that could be a day in a place that we just see at a glance while we walk by? What does it mean to be there? What does it mean to live there? Surely some of these questions have been following Manuela Garcia during the development of her final project in which we had the opportunity to see in the Cultural Center Textura. But these questions that certainly have been in your minds in a given moment seem to not find the time or the motivation to be seriously posed. This can be the fundamental difference between the behavior of Manuela in face of this reality. She doesn ́t only took the time for that, but also developed a relationship with the streets and their inhabitants which allowed her to see and understand herself from the other riverside and, therefore, understand which could be her function as an artist within her surroundings. The drawings, objects and videos that she presents enable us to be participants of those places and of the people who live there and invite us to contemplate them as legitimate spaces, human spaces.
The work of Manuela relativizes the importance attached to art and understand that this can be a valid mechanism to get to know and to live on daily basis in relationship with the other. Nevertheless, this requires a relief of the load that sustains that. Only through a free attitude, the art can serve us not only to explore
and get to know the world, but to know and understand us inside it.
Juan Fernando Herrán, Projects Director https://arte.uniandes.edu.co/expo/manuela-garcia-aldana-un-querer-habitar/
“I am Juan, the Chilean, an adventurous walker. I earn daily what I need for my basic needs, my breakfast, to have lunch…I live on the top of the hills. I live already 20 years over there. I always wake up with zero budget and so it depends how the weather is…if the weather is good, nice…if not…anyway I have to go down because I need to check how is the habitat of people here. With these people I communicate and some of them help me. I don’t know but here…there are many different paths in this life and it can be that all of them are right. To not be committed with anybody and to not take part in a constant routine…to be like a little bird and observe what comes in your way. Apart from that, to not be attached or dependent on any rule…to be free of all those things, to be detached. Do you understand me?
I don ́t know….As I feel good I keep going with this same ritual. I like this place because it ́s more neutral. It ́s not in any entrance of the university. I have been always occupying the church as my office.
I observe the routine of the people, the students…when they arrive, when they leave, when they make photocopies…or when they plan to go for lunch. I dedi- cate myself to observe the public in this way.
I like to feel the time…here one can feel the time…do you get me? I ́m not attached to any routine and I see that the people pass by in a hurry because they are attached with their routines, their times… what I don ́t have. I think it ́s very funny to see all these people in a hurry going to their appointments and obligations because they have to do it.
The time is a measure of the daily tasks, for example, in a day. If a day has 24h one has to do something in this 24 hours.
I guide myself more with the sun and the nature…I let the nature in charged. I don ́t wear a watch because I don ́t have appointments so I ́m free in this sense. People are very attached to the time and they think I ́m detached from time. I ́m somewhere in the middle…time doesn ́t catch me…I simply let myself be driven by it.
I wish the people would be free and forget a little bit about the time and in this way they would not have borders.”