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The landscape of devastation is still a landscape. 

In the ruins, there is beauty.

Susan Sontag




A Better World is the new plastic proposal by Yosman Botero (Cúcuta, Colombia, 1983). In it reappear some constants of his work, such as cartography and the questioning of power relationships, a set of doors and mirrors in which limits are blurred. Architecture and landscape are again protagonists framed in the study of the ecology of war, this time taking images from the declassified CIA archives during the 1950s, corresponding to the period of the Cold War. There, some soldiers turn their backs to the viewer while a town that does not exist disappears in front of their eyes. It is the nuclear testing ground in which the United States measured its capacity for devastation. In that town inhabited by cientifics, militaries and mannequins, for decades the world's leading power closed deals with death on a global scale




A better world


For Yosman, the past is moldable and history a palimpsest that at first reveals a story that does not necessarily conforms to the truth: under an initial image there are others that tell other things. Likewise, on top of these images it is possible to superimpose others, resignifying what the world powers have anxiously guarded for years, presenting to the viewer the illusion of a better world than it initially was, thanks to his work. The paint is shaping the faces of the people who on behalf of the international organizations negotiate the war; In grey ranges, scenes of those involved in various military confrontations at this time in history appear as ghosts.


A better world?


The loneliness, melancholy and symbolism that invade the works of Edward Hopper (1882 - 1967) are said to stem precisely from events such as the Great Depression of 1929 and World War II, which made Americans feel vulnerable. In Yosman Botero's work that desolation reappears, you see motorhomes that despite the asepsis of white and the shades of grey seem abandoned, sailors who look at the void, silos next to abandoned roads and, again and again, the faces protected by sunglasses and masks are indulging themselves to the spectacle of nuclear tests that promise victories and days of fireworks. Thus, the specular meaning of Yosman Botero's work, allows a re-reading of official history and of power relationships through what could be called the construction of the deconstruction of a better world.


Natalia Castillo Verdugo

Director AMA+

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