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Elena Vargas and Laura Penelope Porras


  • Residence period: May-June-2017

  • Experimentation topics:   Costs in human terms of the armed conflict and corruption in Colombia

  • Website / blog: n / r



Elena Vargas placeholder image


Elena is an artist who has enjoyed painting and drawing since she was a child, in addition to taking advantage of her time to work with the surrounding communities. When she entered the National University in 1980, she realized that she had constant questions about culture and, above all, a question about what kind of relationships the human being weaves, especially with the context that inhabits it, in addition to what is it. that affects the contemporary individual, questions that he was answering little by little in his studies in art. Art for Elena became a language with the world, especially to express what she felt, since from a young age she was a very reflective person. Art is a mix between doing and reflecting. For her, achieving that direct connection with the profession of being an artist was something that came very easily. He remembers his elementary school teachers from his studies in the arts, they were key pieces so that his childhood was not affected by violence. Among his favorite techniques is engraving and he also likes to work with what is communication material, with elements that are a medium for an idea. This can be anything from a sheet of paper to a pencil. For Elena, the profession of a good artist is one who works tirelessly around an idea or concept despite going against the current


Laura Penelope Porras

As a child, Laura Penelope was attracted to materials and artistic techniques: from clay and dirt from the garden at school, to painting, engraving, drawing and sculpture. However, in 2008, when he decided to take it seriously and entered the academic world of art, he discovered spaces where techniques became bridges and excuses to be able to think about himself and the world around him. He also found that he could use objects and other non-traditional materials and techniques to create images and to be able to converse with others. In 2012 Laura joined Arteerrante, a research group led by Elena Vargas Tisnés and has the opportunity to meet with the other members of much of southern Colombia, Peru and Ecuador, establishing links with artists and institutions in these places and opening doors for exhibitions and workshops. In this process, Laura has consolidated her idea of art as a tool to understand the world in which we move, humanity, crises, our ways of relating to things and objects, but also as a special language for the universal and rich in interpretations. Laura Penélope did an undergraduate degree in Arts and a master's degree in Aesthetics from the National University of Colombia, Medellín.

In the Cu BO.X


The Quantvalés project, an investigation, creation developed by the artists Elena Vargas Tisnés and Laura Penélope Porras. In their talks, the resident artists proposed a format where they will show the progress they have made in their research. Which began with the idea of ​​investigating the family basket, and other issues related to informal economies and is currently wondering more deeply about problems in the country associated with the indifference and lack of critical thinking of citizens. How muchvalés seeks to reflect on some aspects of the cost and value of life in Colombia. What is the foreign debt with which a Colombian is born? How much are we worth? How much is a young person who dies or disappears worth to us? They steal from us? How much do we steal? Among other issues of a social, economic and political nature.


The project was called "How much value" in consequence of a question that the artists ask themselves about how much the life of a young person who dies from different causes is worth, only in the economic sphere (taking into account that a dead young person can take away from the country a possible doctor, engineer, shoemaker, farmer, etc. and the debt that all Colombians have from the moment we are born is approximately 7,000 dollars), which in its solution process accounts for an overwhelming amount of information, sometimes insufficient and at the same time the need to include other disciplines, to answer questions related to economics, sociology and politics; They realize all the money that is missing due to different acts of corruption, and how these influence the decrease or increase of the family basket and consequently contribute to turn the residence around and initiate an investigation, which due to its nature could last for years. It is about how the family basket does not depend only on the people, but on the entire economic system of the country and the social and political dynamics, in addition to this it seeks to reflect on the problems of the country associated with the indifference and lack of critical thinking of the citizens.

Regarding the plastic work that was made in CuBo.X, these two artists, together with their entire work team (Art students from the National University of Colombia, Medellín headquarters), used the intervention of three maps of Colombia as a bridge communication, since this is the symbol of a territory. In the first place, "requiem" was found, a tribute to Colombian leaders from each department (caretakers of land, rivers and communities) who were disappeared or murdered; this map was surrounded by article 12 of the constitution.

"No one shall be subjected to forced disappearance, or torture, or cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment"

and at the same time the translation that the Wayú make of it.

"No one can carry anyone above his heart, or harm his person even if he thinks and says differently"

In second place, "The robbery map" was displayed, which contained 49,000 points that symbolize the 49,000,000 inhabitants of Colombia, accompanied by sheep, rats and snakes, which raised a reflection comparing Colombians with "sheep" who are at the mercy of the "rat" or the "snake" disguised as public servants, taking into account that with every $ 1,000,000,000 (trillion pesos) they steal, they charge Colombians $ 25,000 (twenty-five thousand pesos) and nothing is done.

In third place was "The map of true riches" where he observed the great biodiversity that the country has, in addition to animals, plants, people as culture, water, the Siriris ... And in fourth place was "The map of the family basket ”backwards, in the form of SOS, that is, a way of asking for help.

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