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37The thirsty ones

Leonel Vásquez 1981, Sibaté, Colombia. Lives and works in Bogotá, Colombia

Understanding and Interacting with reality requires careful and deep attention to its sounds. As our interpretation is subject to the influence of meanings, interests, and powers, listening is more than anything else a political act. I work in a manner in which, as a listener, I am a witness; sounds and silences are a footprint inseparable from the circumstances that have surrounded me, a demolished house, an unburied corpse, unresolved grief, a dry river, a silenced song…

Sound, as a subtle substance, transparent, without form, and at the same time a vibratile and malleable force, has permitted me to shape experiences of the body and of space within the flow of time and emotion. In my artistic work I seek to make time for the process of listening in order to truly hear the sounds and their petitions. I stubbornly investigate ways to commit the body to the act of listening, make the bones vibrate, and let the sounds pass once again through the heart.

“The Thirsty Ones” (2017)
Materials: Audio installation, system of mechanic transduction of sound through living trees, including underwater field recordings. Duration: 20 minute loop When some trees feel thirsty, you can hear the internal popping of air bubbles that occur within the dry cavities through which water once flowed. (Ponomarenko, 2012) In Beethoven’s later years, with the loss of his hearing, he relied on his sense of touch to be able to feel his music in his flesh and bones; placing his head on the body of his piano, he filled his inner chamber with distant echoes. From within the trees that make up the intervention echo the waters of contaminated rivers of Colombia, and others that over the last years have been drying, soundscapes in danger of extinction that show ‘the crisis of the water’.

© Sofie Isaksson / OpenART

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