(Video Installation, 20', 2023)
Recado is a 2-screen, 20-minute video installation, depicting simultaneously the inside and outside of a house in the Colombian mountains, while a pot of soup is being cooked. Recado in Spanish means “message”. In Colombia, recado is a word also used to describe a mixture that enhances the texture and flavours of various typical concoctions, primarily soups.
The two scenes were built as animated digital collages. All of the textures: tiles, flooring, stains, roofing, walls, etc. are sampled from online found images of countryside Colombian houses and traditional Colombian kitchens, with a particular interest in the architecture of the Boyacá region. As well, I have sampled textures and elements from family photos such as one of my aunt’s original landscape paintings, as well as her miniature Colombian churches collection.
Although I sampled textures from images found on the internet, the final image of the kitchen in the video is completely imagined and is not replicating a real building or room. In the same sense, the landscape is also imagined: for the mountain, I sampled images from the mountain close to Villa de Leyva, Boyacá. Although blurry, the house is surrounded by frailejones which are plants native to this town and its altitude.
In the kitchen, the tv is playing an episode of “Los Pecados de Inés de Hinojosa”, a Colombian telenovela from 1988. Starring Amparo Grisales, “Los Pecados de Inés de Hinojosa” narrates the story of Inés de Hinojosa, a mestizo woman of the 16th century living in Tunja (Boyacá), who transgresses the strict social order of the time with her sexuality. At the time, this telenovela caused great controversy due to its erotic, lesbian and nude scenes; however, it was a milestone in Colombian television.
Catholic tropes are visible in both images: a red cross in the far mountains, an image of la Virgen del Carmen, saint patron of Villa de Leyva. Stuck in the same frame is an image of Archangel St. Michael. Outside, by the door, a Christmas light decoration is on.
Although there are references to the 80s, “Recado” is placed in a dystopian future. Same as in my previous works, “Recado” is set in a polluted, foggy, desolate, eerie, and dark version of Colombia, where its few inhabitants live isolated lives.
The work is installed in the shape of a house. For its installation, simple elements employed in house construction are used: dirt and bricks.