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“On the regional process of the bio-vanguard” 


José Hernán Aguilar, Bogotá, 1984

The process carried out in Río Cauca [Cauca River] updates our idea of a better or worse future; the ascetic Plexiglas pools denounce a reality that is no less rigorous. The denunciation is visual and “artistic,” but serious. Along with Adolfo Bernal’s anonymous “SOS,” the tanks of polluted water from the Cauca River constitute a call for attention to the public (whether this is the spectator or the one who receives the message); the work is art, but also acts differently: it is scientific proof, a document, and a political attitude.


However, the work is no less beautiful or attractive for all that. Responding to certain traditional aesthetic demands, Río Cauca acquires an aura of mystery that surely comes from the delicate and subtly golden tone of the water of the pools, as well as from the minimalist rigor of its design.


The impartial test tubes, which indicate the spot where each sample of polluted water was taken, reaffirm the investigative nature of the work, but also its artistic intent. Moreover, the region which Barney studies, which we might call her genetic consciousness, is presented through a drawing that seems impersonal (the hydrographic map of the river) but which in reality is just that: a drawing.

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