Sudarios is a wrenching series of portraits of witnesses to massacres committed during the Colombian armed conflict.
Printed on silk, these portraits tells the stories of twenty grief-stricken victims who, as part of their torture, were forced to watch unspeakable violence perpetrated against their loved ones and were left alive as witnesses. Sudarios is a portrait of the irreparable harm which violence leaves in humanity.
Art not only fulfills a very important role in conserving the memory of a country and its people, but also opens up a space that eases the process of mourning. These portraits are printed on silk that resembles the fabric used to make shrouds because I wanted to convey the victims' feeling that they no longer belong to the world because violence has left them dead to life. This is why I like to show the work in sacred places where, we, regardless of our feelings about religion, can commune with the work, reflect on it, and honor the memory of the people involved, both the living and the dead.
ABOUT THE ARTIST
Erika Diettes lives and works in Bogotá, Colombia, exploring issues of memory, pain, absence and death.
The photographs have been exhibited in unique spaces linked to re-memoration processes developed by the victims’ movements in Colombia.
Erika received a Master’s degree in Social Anthropology from the Universidad de los Andes and has authored several essays on artistic representation in times of war that have been included in books, newspapers and journals. Her work is part of the permanent collection of major museums, including the Museo de Antioquia (Colombia) and the Museum of Fine Arts Houston (USA).
Her work has been exhibited at the Museums of Modern Art of Bogotá, Cali, Medellín and Barranquilla; the Museum of Contemporary Art in Santiago de Chile; the Museum of Fine Arts in Houston and many more. The work Sudarios has been included in the Fotofest Biennal, the Festival de la Luz in Buenos Aires, the Ballarat Foto Biennale in Australia, and The Center in Santa Fe New Mexico among others.