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Luis’ artistic practice reflects on contexts and history, also analysing Western and Latin American (artistic) thought. He appropriates objects and imaginaries to create links between the work of the artist and the larger working-class community.

Luis has exhibited around the world (a.o. Colombia, US, UK, Switzerland, France, the Netherlands, Belgium, Spain, Mexico, Brazil, Argentina, Paraguay and Ecuador) at prestigious institutions, e.g. the Museum of Contemporary Art of George Mason U. in Washington and the Modern Art Museum of Medellin. He was artist-in-residence at CBK in collaboration with the Stedelijk Museum in Amsterdam. Luis' work can be found in major public and private collections in Colombia, Europe, and the Americas. He obtained a MFA from both the National U. of Colombia and the National U. of the Arts in Buenos Aires. He currently lives in Bogotá.

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La Construccion de un Mundo Mejor - Gallery Nueveochenta   

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Visual and spoken language are powerful tools that humans use… However, we might be also victims of it. Maps do not represent the actual proportions of continents and countries. Nevertheless, we do not question them. They have remained the same… 

I come from Colombia, and even though people did not speak Spanish there, I do now. Today, I live in Belgium, which has three official languages: Dutch, French, and German.

As a result of its history, Belgium has six governments and language has become fundamental in its society, involving resources, decision-making power in parliaments, etc. In theory, Belgians are required to learn all three languages and then add English on top of that, which is the language "everyone should master" nowadays. Many people here want to speak as many languages as possible, while others prefer to only speak French or Dutch.

Some may not want to speak English, but others even want to learn Spanish. What language should I speak? What does this mean for me after living in the part of the country where the language is non-Romance for five years?

Language allows us to communicate, which can bring us together but also set us apart. We can use language to recognize the other (as an intruder? a friend? Your equal? The alien?), as well as for making assumptions about (good ones or bad ones?)  or taking interest in one another.

 

Semantic infiltration is the use of language to make the enemy vulnerable.

According to myth, in 1832, former prime minister of Belgium Charles Rogier wrote in a letter that he wanted to make French the only administrative language for the government so that "we will gradually be able to destroy the Germanic part of Belgium”.

We will be showcasing an individual exhibition of Luis, whose work is comforting to me because it addresses these paradoxical uses of language and it also creates the possibility of an absent language, an absent space in geography, a space to rest, a place where there is only form, where we only are, a place where it is possible to be equal. Would such a place be possible?

 

What are we beyond maps, language, and rivers? What are two words without a space between them? 

Yes, without those empty spaces that separate the words that supposedly have all the content of myme ssag ean dwor ds. What is a language without spaces and are there languages like that? Or are those spaces common to humankind?

You are welcome to come see and experience Luis's exhibition. He will probably arrive himself at the end of May to carry out a work in situ and share it with everyone. As part of this exhibition, we will make bread one day.

 

-Laura Peña, director & founder PARCE

The place between words - Bradwolff Projects   

ABYA YALA

Year: 2022

Technique: School maps and bronze

Format: 

Abya Yala, which in the Kuna language means "land in its full maturity" or "land of vital blood", is the name used by the Native American Guna people who inhabit the geographic region called the Darién Gap, between what is now northwest Colombia and southeast Panama, to refer to the American continent since Pre-Columbian times. Hence, this is how the territory was called before the colonial conquest. Various groups are now trying to retake the name and it is associated with political mobilization to decolonize words. That is why school billboards and the continent are used horizontally to the north and south. In order to learn this name again. 

luis hernández mellizo, La construcción de un mundo mejor at Nuevaochenta Gallery in Bogota in 2022.

The world corrected. 

Year: 2018

Technique: Corrective liquid on map

Format: 24,5x31 cms

luis hernández mellizo, the place between words at Bradwolff Projects in Amsterdam in 2018.

ATLAS

Year: 2018

Technique: Book intervention

Format: 

Luis explores identities by searching inside atlases for words and maps that have been drawn up, either highlighting or physically removing material from the books. His meticulousness in deconstructing these ‘books’ accentuates a ‘place’ that lies between the words.

Dutch Family

luis hernández mellizo, the place between words at Bradwolff Projects in Amsterdam in 2018.

Year: 2018

Technique: Post card intervention

Format: 

In this work Luis refers to his exploration of cultural identities  during his art residency of CBK/Stedelijk Museum in the Bijlmer neighbourhood (Amsterdam) and his endeavour to distinguish something that cannot in fact be written, spoken or translated. Luis’ project seeks to portray a social landscape through his own experience of coexisting in the midst of the multicultural area, where he is caught between being a tourist and a newcomer, visualizing his own experience and those of others living in the Bijlmer.