Quiet and well measured, Johanna Calle’s exhibition “Semántica” (Semantics) comprised a carefully selected group of works that revealed most of the Colombian artist’s aesthetic concerns. Her practice is rooted in an ambiguous place between language and image, or rather, in one systematically polluted by both. As the show’s title suggested, her work goes far beyond formalism, involving drawing and writing as methodologies of understanding. Over the years, linguistic signifiers often related to the social and political complexity of her country’s recent history have unfolded as fragmented, inconclusive, or simply illegible; on the one hand, they’ve portrayed a critical position toward her country’s reality, and on the other, they’ve underscored the visual potential of writing itself.
Returning after three years abroad in 1995, Calle was confronted with the dramatic turmoil of her
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