Elsa Salonen

La voz del paisaje

plastic waste and other objects collected on the beaches of Cartagena - Colombia, glass, picò loudspeaker with audio by the group Electromagnético 
2018, dimensions variable

On the Caribbean coast of Colombia, the handmade loudspeakers ‘picòs’ give voice to the local afro Colombian culture. These speakers are traditionally painted with  fluorescent coloured images and texts. In Salonen’s version; La voz del paisaje (The voice of the landscape), the voice is given to the local natural environment. For the installation colourful plastic waste, drifted onto the beaches of Cartagena, Colombia, was collected. The plastic items were divided by colours and some of them were ground into tiny pieces and pigments. Using these plastic pieces only, the artist decorated a picò loudspeaker. The audio track ‘Agua Sala’ was made for the installation by the local music group Electromagnético. The sounds of nature heard in the song - like the waves of the sea and the singing of the ‘maria mulada’ birds - were recorded in the same area in which the plastic waste was collected.

By letting the landscape make the creative choices and offer its typical ‘natural’ colours it starts to make its own political statements. 

Electromagnético: Agua Sala

Collaboration / music: Electromagnético; Dj Corpas, La Niña Bantú and Mc Garcia De España
Technical support / picò loudspeaker: Alex dela Hoz, Planeta Champeta
Technical support / project assistant: Jessica Escallón
Thematic consultancy / local picò culture: artist and activist collective Roztro
Thematic consultancy / ecological information about the local beaches and the sea: fisher Aniano Castro
Project location / artist-in-residence: Puerto Contemporàneo / El Kruce, La Boquilla, Cartagena, Colombia
Exhibition views: Miguel Urrutia Art Museum, Bogota, 2018 / Photographer: Tom Quintero