Skin of Memory Revisited -Full Projection(2011)
In 1999, human rights activists, community members, artists and public intellectuals joined forces to produce The Skin of Memory to support the development of alternatives to violence in Medellin. Eleven years later, because this project lives on as a referent in local and national contexts, Lacy and Riano were invited to revisit it for the Medellin 11 Biennale. . In the decade since The Skin of Memory, political activism, public policies, community and artists projects have continued to develop some of the earlier themes; in particular the use of memory work as a tool for developing public voice in the midst of on-going conflict.
The current project took advantage of the reflective space of the museum to view the past decade through the lens of today; to consider the present moment and the future for the region; and to revisit the diverse Medellin residents who produced The Skin of Memory and created a fabric of relationality that continues today. It offered a space of discourse, separated by 12 years, to rethink the future in the context of the past. As an early work of community-activist public art that grew out of, and subsequently was reabsorbed into, the ongoing production of a civil society in Colombia, this moment of reflection also provided a rare opportunity to revisit a work based on memories and layer on that original work the subsequent memories of over 30 participants. From the most basic questions--what happened to those who produced this work--to the more complex--where did we succeed and where did we fail?—this installation takes the position that memory is a disputed and present terrain where the rich fabric of relationships across generational/geographic/background differences is, ultimately, the skin that unites our plural memories .The installation consisted of two video projections facing each other: one of the 1999 performance and directly across the new video featured former participants reflecting on the cultural and political changes in the intervening 11 years.