The assembly of texts, textures, photos, recipes, stones, potatoes, objects, and stories that make up Liliana Sánchez installations, are the particular souvenirs of a personal journey to a place. Perhaps it is a journey that began in Kalmar, Sweden, when she was searching for the vestiges of melancholia, but as a journey, it now continues to somewhere else. In this trip, as with any other travel, recollections and memorabilia are of the same type: stones, food, rare objects, and photographs of a landscape that’s entwined with memoirs, perceptions and projections. This is what souvenirs are for, to help us remember that we were alerted, being somebody else, discovering similarities and rarities, mapping them out in a new territory that slowly would become familiar. Some of these recollections have the capacity to change destinies.
In her recent installations, like Fingerlings Field, or the fest performance Topography of Earthy Pearls, Liliana has followed some of the stories, anecdotes and narratives that the potato has inspired since its journey from its native Andes, to various dinner tables around the world, where it has been adopted. It was in a trip to England in 1720 that Jonas Alströmer preferred to pick up potatoes instead of stones and brought them back to Sweden, introducing this crop in a country suffering from starvation. Part of the success of the root was not only its productivity and versatility for food, but also because it was possible to make three times more schnapps when using potatoes than with wheat. Suspicious by the looks of the potatoes, the root was firstly use for animal food and the comforting beverage, so the scarce wheat could be exclusively used for bread. The potato slowly proved to be good food during the long winters, and now no one remembers it was once a stranger.
About the artist
Liliana Sánchez studied MFA in Fine Art at Goldsmiths, University of London (2011), BA Fine Art at Universidad Nacional de Colombia (2005), was exchange student at Concordia University in Montreal (2003) and Los Andes University (2001); also worked in museums for several years and received a Jica Scholarship: Intensive Course in Museology at Minpaku Museum of Japan (2006). Sánchez has been awarded by the Colombia Ministry of Culture to develop several artistic projects and also received Jovenes Talentos Scholarship by the Central Bank of Colombia (2009)
Sánchez´s work has been exhibited in Colombia and abroad, group shows include: Todo sobre la mesa, Casas Riegner Gallery (2016); ARCO Art fair, (selected project-2015); Gulana, Film Sector. Art Basel Miami (2013); Spit and Dust, AS Gallery, Krakow (2013); El Dorado, Gentil Carioca, Rio de Janeiro (2013). Yes/No-No/Yes, Flat Time House, London (2012). Solo exhibitions include: Some oysters cook vitreous rocks (2015), Anonymous materials (2014), Viscous mass turned shame (2012), The third state or the principle of action (2008) at Casas Riegner Gallery, Bogotá; Matter states at Museo Moderno de Barranquilla (2012) and Feline or grown up cat at French Alliance of Bogotá (2008).