Victor Enrich depicts cultural contradictions faced by South America's youth

Artist brings New York's Guggenheim to Colombia to make a statement.

RAFAEL URIBE URIBE – Catalan artist Victor Enrich has created an image series which combines his finesse in photography and 3D rendering. 

The town of Rafael Uribe Uribe in Colombia is an example with which the artist thematizes the migration phenomena not alien to many other rural and suburban areas of South America. Since the 18th century, people have been fleeing conflicts between drug cartells, right-wing paramilitary and extreme left-wing guerillas to find security and economic prosperity. The cultural challenges of establishing a new life without loosing old roots are what concern Enrich.

What happens when rituals and traditions become the epitome of economic stagnation? They are rendered worthless and become forgotten, especially by the younger generation who sees them as rudimentary, as obstacles to their aspirations. The expression of their aspirations to live a more Western lifestyle can be seen in very calculated choices of clothing, an enactment of the desired self through fashion. In contradiction to the creation of the sophisticated identity unrelated to one’s origin stands the home.

The architectural conglomerate of self-constructed housing is often of poor quality, with hard living conditions due to poverty, the instability of the soil and the available materials of mostly clay brick and corrugated plates.

Into the favela landscape, Enrich inserts the Guggenheim Museum New York, using architecture to ask questions of identity, suggesting that differences in culture must be protected rather than ignored and suppressed. Breaking the second law of classical logic, the contradictions represented by South America and North America are able exist together in the same place. At least within the artist’s images.


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