A handsome man enters to the most famous nightclub in Santiago de Cali. The waiter said, “this is the first time anyone saw this tall, slim man with an angelical face, it was impossible not to see him”. The stranger awoke the curiosity of all dancers at Changó nightclub; all females were attracted to this gentleman.
In 2002 the biggest sensation to hit London was Body Worlds, Gunther von Hagens’s travelling exhibition of dissected and elaborately displayed corpses. Preserved by his newly developed method of “plastination”, whereby all bodily fluids are pumped out of the body and replaced with plastic, the bodies were positioned in a variety of poses designed to show off the wonder of the human form, from a “swimmer” and a “chess player” to the pièce de résistance, a man astride a full-sized plastinated horse.
John Martin, born in the week that the Bastille was stormed in July 1789, was an instinctive revolutionary. His generation may have suffered from a misty-eyed envy of new-found liberties in the United States of America and France, but they understood what practical revolution might mean at home and they strove to achieve liberation from repression and tyranny without bloodshed; very largely they succeeded.
In 1802 a prominent collection of Parisian waxworks was transported to London, commencing what was to become a nearly thirty-year tour of the British Isles. The collection had been modelled by Philippe Curtius (1737 – 1794) and his apprentice and heir, Madame Tussaud (1761–1850). Waxworks displays were not uncommon at the time, but Philippe Curtius’ collection stood apart. The typical display, often at a fairground, might represent a scene of allegory or fantasy, or even portray a story from classical literature. Two of the better-known waxworks collections of the eighteenth-century, the Dutch Doolhof collection and Mrs Salmon’s in London, exhibited such scenes as Solomon and the Queen of Sheba, Salome dancing before King Herod, David slaying Goliath, and Queen Thomira with the overthrow of Cyrus the Great. Philippe Curtius distinguished himself from these shows by presenting figures taken from contemporary history that were cast from live subjects. He cultivated personal relationships with men such as Benjamin Franklin, François-Marie Arouet, and Rousseau, all of whom were said to have sat for Philippe Curtius to have their wax portraits made. Philippe Curtius’ collection was in this way unique, claiming direct ties to the notable and notorious figures that were presented to the public.1
Earthy, gloomy, mysterious, dark, and enchanting. All those sentiments can be gathered from both the shallow and deep ends of the Earth, it can be warm as it can be cold. It can hold life as it holds death. As a concept, earth or “Terra” as it is named in Latin, holds a fascination that few people are able to explore head on, let alone in an artistic way. To cast the magnificence, the complexity that the realm of earth can hold, artists of the odd and strange have gathered to make a collective exhibition called Terra Tenebrosa at Sin Espacio gallery in Cali from August 12th to 23rd.
After travelling across London, the United Kingdom and waiting around for some time outside the entrance of the Crypt Gallery to proceed, the entry that lays beneath Saint Pancras Parish Church. The gathering of exhibition lovers begins to accumulate at a steady pace and once inside, various paintings hang on display for today’s malicious event. Most notably, Ester Segarra’s Shards photographic portrait draws highly to the attention of the event’s early arrivals.