Translations:Alicia Barney Caldas/8/en
“First performed in 1987 in Cali. They were 5 cm in diameter and 1,80 cm tall. There were 10 acrylic tubes built by hand by heating each piece in a bakery oven. When taken out there were wrapped in some blankets around a PVC tube. These pieces were then joined lengthwise and glued and then two were joined to achieve the height of 1,80 cm. The materials were collected at the roadside up past Piedras Blancas near Farallones in Cali. The garbage was collected for six months in plastic buckets. The roadside clearly presented the stratification I was looking for. Large stones below, followed by smaller stones, sand, and colored soil until the vegetation layer was reached. Then the garbage was introduced and sealed with purba (charcoal) and fine sand as indicated by the formulas for how you seal garbage so you can plant the dump a few years later. The garbage is all biodegradable. That is why utopia is in the title. This work was exhibited in Bogotá at the then Garcés Velázquez Gallery. Then it was sent to Medellín for the biennial and there the tubes were placed against the wall and fixed. I went out for lunch convinced that no one would enter, but a French artist on the other side of the wall decided to go in and nail his photos and plants to the wall, and he knocked down all the tubes, destroying most of them, since acrylic breaks, even though it is more resistant than glass (Barney, 2015).”
Although at the time these works did not receive all the recognition they deserved, over the last few years artists, critics, and curators have become interested in highlighting the importance of Barney’s work. The invitation by Wilson Diaz in 2008 to the 41st National Artists’ Salon to make a second version of Yumbo is among these efforts. In 2014, Barney returned to execute the work Stratification of a Utopian Dump, and the National Museum bought two of the tubes from the new version, while eight more were acquired by a private collector. In 2016, her work Untitled (1984) was included in Fuerzas invisibles: exposición a partir de la primera asamblea de críticos frente a la crisis del No-objetualismo (Invisible Forces: Exhibition from the first assembly of critics addressing the crisis of non-object art) by Ericka Flórez and Pablo León de la Barra for the Referentes section at ARTBO. In 2017, her work El ecológico (1981) was included in the selection 33 Revoluciones (33 Revolutions) by Sylvia Suárez for ARTBO Referentes.