The Skin of Memory

Artist: Suzanne Lacy, Pilar Riaño Alcalá
Location: Barrio Antioquia, Medelliń, Colombia
Year: 1999
Researcher: Rodrigo Matri

In a neighbourhood where gang allegiance impacted where people could safely move, ‘Skin of Memory’ provided a neutral space by creating a mobile museum on a bus. The 'Archeological Museum of the Antioquia' toured the area for 10 days attracting thousands of visitors and national attention. The museum provided a space for collection, and became a powerful symbolic action where people could come together in a non-partisan zone to display memories of those that they had lost.

The artists involved the community in the process through memory workshops with community members, followed by interviews with members of the community where a number of personal objects in relation to memories of past violence were collected. A second outcome of the project included letters written by community members, of which nearly 2000 letters were collected and displayed unopened alongside the personal items for the duration of the exhibition, and then distributed within the community. Once the project ended the community asked for the museum to be moved downtown to provide continued visibility to the project and draw attention to the positive vision that the community was able to build for itself.

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It was supported by the region of Medellin. Many famous local artisnts took part in this activity positively. All the information were from local people and their local life, the data is autentic.

It brings the positive side of the communities in Medlin. These communities used to be filled with drugs and violence, now that people's ideas have changed after seeing this artwork. It vividly shows the local life and spiritual world from all the angles and perspectives. It shows people's hope towards future.

All copyright belongs to Shanghai Academy of Fine Arts, Shanghai University.

Progress Agency