Margate, United Kingdom. 2016
A shelter from XIX century hosted a temporary exhibition about the evolving role of the landscape and architecture of Margate and Cliftonville in the expression and repression of the body and sexuality.
Blushing Pavilion - the architectonic installation, stimulates the theatricality of atmospheric powers such as wind and humidity through the addition of a temporary inner-skin-colored curtain to two of the sides of the existing structure and a night-time light display, and promoting so the potential of such a place as a space for social gathering and sensual contemplation. The colour also refers to Victorian dresses, to Walpole Champney’s original murals and decorative scheme at Dreamland, to skirts blown up by the breeze and to the complicit blushing of the observers and the observed.
Blushing Pavilion - the exhibition displayed selected examples of the vibrant contributions of Cliftonville, Margate to UK’s culture, portraying the earlier explained narrative in a poetical way and featuring material from Thanet District Council’s collection and other sources, recent recorded testimonies and documentation, a mixed media of contemporary art works, photography and performance;
The temporary exhibition will be in the Palm Bay shelter at the eastern periphery of Cliftonville, close to the unofficial nudist area of the town, at Botany Bay. This particular location has been chosen not just because of these architectural and anthropological issues but also because of its liminality, where those exploring the edges of public behavior - crying, screaming, loving, having pleasure, etc - have been forced by historic and current normativity out of view in public space. The event and exhibition should feel similarly guerrilla, embodying the courage of such acts that do sometimes create controversy. In the same spirit, Blushing Pavilion is an act of resistance to their being blown away.
This project is part of HOME, an ambitious programme of creative residencies and commissions in Cliftonville, Kent in 2014/15. It was selected under the Cross-border Cooperation Programme INTERREG IV A France (Channel) - England, co-funded by the ERDF and other partners including: Margate Arts Creativity Heritage, Resort, Thanet District Council and Kent County Council. European Union. Investing in your future.
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Photos: Charles Gonzalez Bernal
Developed by Vividero Colectivo.
Charles Gonzalez: co-creation and spatial Design
Acción de Gracia is a net of images, sounds and actions that allows the spectators to create an empathic and appropriative experience by coming into contact with social practices from the immaterial heritage of Barrio Santa Fe, the red light district of Bogota. Through a sensitive connection with the life and habits of some of their neighbours, the project builds up a cartography of the local cultural and political tensions and their association with the rest of the city and country. The project, relied on a research into the deteriorated architectural goods of the zone and the plans for regenerating/cleaning the area in contrast with the value of some humanistic activities happening there, as they practice an inclusive and organic construction of collective memory of a complex city and society like Bogota and Colombia. It also designates an endangered poetical territory.
Acción de Gracia (translated as ‘Thanks-giving Action’ or ‘An Action of Grace) has as its references the Central Cemetery and the dynamics that are generated in its immediate surroundings. Acción de Gracia deepens in the figure of María Salomé, patron saint of the prostitutes, whose tomb was originally buried there and was moved to the South Cemetery, an area of low working class. The displacement of her tomb can be seen as a metaphor of the current and possibly future situation of transgender women that have been forced to live inside the boundaries of the red light district. María Salomé and the numerous versions of her legend are a sensory device that made it possible to hear the plurality of voices that juxtapose in the Santa Fe neighbourhood. This piece is an offering to trans women that were murdered for shaping a gender full of grace and a disobedient sexuality. A piece of voices woven in legends, prayers and rituals, of voices that speak for those that were silenced and outcast, of bodies that let us see a physical and metaphysical territory, and of emancipations that generate a high impact in the city´s culture.
The theatrical installation is made within a warehouse beside the cemetery (bought by the Plan Centro for the future recovery of the zone) with the support of audiovisual documents and (non-actor) performers from the community of Barrio Santa Fe and workers of the graveyard.
Text: Carlos Maria Romero
Photos: Charles Gonzalez Bernal
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Canciones para vivos y muertos is a series of installations and performances that occur between the Central Cemetery and the Center of Memory, Peace and Reconciliation in Bogota. The cemetery is located in a powerful urban area, a place of big potential for renovation and development. Paradoxically it is surrounded by the Barrio Santa Fe, red line district of Bogotá. An area known for prostitution and also for the circulation of psychoactive substances. It is a place that reflects the most political, economic and cultural conflicts and asymmetries of the country. Its inhabitants, neighbours from Santa Fe, are those who have embraced the cemetery with great affection, providing activity with a series of practices and popular rituals to ask for improve of their daily live, through the contact with death. Also they, because of the lack of a public space have converted the cemetery into the big park of the neighbourhood. This work puts into dialogue different approaches to this territory, and questions the dynamics that are seeking to give signification and solidity to this place as point of memory of the city. Through the combination of these voices this work is generating a (live) polyphony to account for the heterogeneity of discourses that draw the micro and macro stories that are woven into this place. It is a travel from the city of the living to the city of the dead, from the proper name to anonymity, from the individual to the community.
Canciones para vivos y muertos is a project developed by Centro de Memoria, Paz y Reconciliación; Escuela Taller of Bogotá; the Department of History at the National University of Colombia; Cultural Heritage Institute of Bogotá (IDPC); Red Interdisciplinar de Artes Vivas Colombia, Unidad Administrativa Especial de Servicios Públicos (UAESP) and Vividero Colectivo.
Vividero Colectivo was commissioned to realize the creation of this experience, the design and dramaturgy of the first part of the tour through the cemetery that is connected to the work of other partners.
Installation. Bogotá 2013
Is an installation built in Space Odeon´s building for the Ciudad Bosque Festival. Made in collaborations with Ana Maria Ruiz and Johana Marin, clouds talk about the rain forest, and how nature emerges from the city from an artificial environment made by humans. We chose the interior garden from the old building to create an Installation, so it was visible from the first and the second floor, giving different readings in each case.
Photos: Ana Maria Ruiz
Installation-Performance. Bogotá 2011
Directed by Emilio Garcia Webi
Charles Gonzalez: Spatial design and performer
Research and creation, showing in an Animal morgue of a veterinary school, inspired by Kafka's writings and the text of G. Deleuze and F. Guattari, Kafka Toward a Minor Literature. Tour of the spectator through three spaces that are becoming progressively more dense. The aesthetics of the place with the appearance of objects, sounds and performers get mixed.
Photos: Emilio Garcia Webi