This House Isn’t Worth Anything; What Is Really Worthless Is The Lot. 2016 (Site Specific Installation)

Galeria de la Oficina. Solo Show. Medellín

Galería de la Oficina is pleased to announce “This House Isn’t Worth Anything; What Is Really Worthless Is the Lot,” An exhibition of Pablo Gómez Uribe.  With this intervention in La Oficina, the artist responds to the silent rumor, in which it was speculated that some time ago somewhere in that Poblado’s neighborhood, only the lot was sold where a house was built.

Mitológica  #37  

 

From the series LOTES Y CASAS 

It’s already an ingrained habit that, on a nice morning and without warning, one of the emissaries randomly opens one of the grates that surround each of the lots of that distant Poblado, takes a few steps toward the door of the house that is in the middle of the lot and rings the bell (if it exists) or knocks three times on the wing of varnished wood.  And so, once the door is opened, the emissary asks for the head of the family, to whom – after greeting him very politely with a big smile and a complicated bow (for which he removes his hat) – he gives him the well-known manila envelope that he removes from the briefcase he carries under his arm while he recites the phrase of rigor:  We are giving you what corresponds to the value of the lot.  Then, following the protocol, the emissary snatches the envelope recently given to the head of the family, puts his hand inside it, takes out a smaller (but thicker) envelope, and puts it in one of the inner pockets of his uniform (exclusively designed for this purpose), to finally give back, with a half-smile, the already opened envelope.  Finally, and to terminate his mission, it is a tradition that the emissary replicate the same gesture made at his arrival, but reversed; that is:  first the complicated bow (which – inevitably – causes the hat to fall to the floor) and then the big smile, to finally run away and bury, pirouetting as has been rehearsed to many times (as if he were a matador that victoriously stabs the banderillas into the bull’s spine), the famous billboard (that confirms everything) on the boundaries of the property, while shouting loudly, turning toward the head of the family:  And remember that your home is worth nothing!, a phrase that is heard by all and that – with great protocol – consummates the mission.  The head of the family then suddenly closes the door and sits at the table where he takes a deep, long look at the other heads (if they exist).

 

From that moment, the new owner of the land (once the emissary informs him of the success of the mission) can decide to implement one of the following actions:

1 – Nothing. 

2 – Come for the land and take it with him, leaving a gap around the house. 

3 – Occupy the land around the house with several heads of cattle or guard dogs.

4 – Make a house around the existing house.

5 – Excavate connecting tunnels under the house or, conversely, erect tall towers on stilts high above it.

As for the head of the household and the heads that have no other choice but to stay there, vigilant, surrounded by objects that still have some value to them:  furniture, jewelry, lamps, paintings, pictures, plates, spoons (still knowing that with a house that’s not worth anything, nothing, consequently, can have any value).  They wait, who knows what for… by inertia.  So, over time, there arises, spontaneously (as it is the indisputable order of things), another type of objects.  Valueless, they are born as sediments of the disuse of the objects that preceded them.  They are slowly installed along the length and width of the interior of the house, mingling with their predecessors, being confused with them, until it is difficult to distinguish, for sure what is what (and who’s who).

 1. Belonging to Mitológicas, the compilation of an undefined number of micro – stories about the practices of that distant Poblado.

 

Esteban Restrepo Restrepo.