Amo a la Reina

 
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Amo a la Reina series | 2020

 

These works use found materials and a dramatic use of scale to respond to the cities visited by Van Haver across Colombia. Cheap and strong, the red bricks are a commonly used material, integral to the construction work largely carried out by refugees and migrants.

Many of these cities were growing and emerging out of the cheap labour that these individuals brought and the red brick centres.

 

Van Haver’s works in the identities of these ever changing spaces and the people who built them. Muralistic in her intention, the artist also recalls the street art she saw,

defined boldly by colour, scale and storytelling.

Found on the side of buildings and down small roads cultural histories, indigenous communities and creativity came together to shape these pub lic spaces.

Words by Lauren Gee 

 
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From left to right 

 

Salmona’s historia de la selva | 2020

masonry, mortar, steel, collages and wood

(320x250x120cm)

La historia de migrantes | 2020

masonry, mortar, steel, collages and wood

(270x310x40cm)

La historia de la esperanza | 2020

Oil paint on burlap, tar, plastic flowers, resin, hair, gel and paper

(420 x 315x50cm)

El sol y la luna, el ritmo del ruisenor | 2020

Oil paint on burlap, tar, plastic flowers and homemade paint (240x310x40cm)

Salmona’s historia del as ciudades | 2020

masonry, mortar, steel, collages and wood

(320x250x120)

El sol y la luna.jpg
La historia de migrantes.jpg

La historia de migrantes | 2020

masonry, mortar, steel, collages and wood

(270x310x40cm)

El sol y la luna, el ritmo del ruisenor

Oil paint on burlap, tar, plastic flowers and homemade paint

(240x310x40cm)

La historia el camino del seuno.jpg
La historia el sueno.jpg

La historia el sueno que la cometa navega hasta el cielo,

para que nunca se olviden | 2020

Oil paint on burlap, tar, plastic flowers, resin, hair, gel and paper

(180x210x25cm)

La historia el camino del seuno, la esperanza y el amor | 2020

Oil paint on burlap, tar, plastic flowers, resin, hair, gel and paper

(190x210x25cm)

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Esperanza, Fe y amor. La madre, la hija y la sabiduria | 2020

Oil paint on burlap, tar,

plastic flowers, resin, hair, gel and paper

(420x315x50cm)

La historia de la gloria.jpg

La historia de la gloria desvanecida y el sueno del Caribe | 2020

Oil paint on burlap, tar, plastic flowers, resin, hair, gel and paper

(230x210x25cm)

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La historia de migrantes | 2020 

masonry, mortar, steel, collages and wood

(270x310x40cm)

La historia de la esperanza | 2020 

masonry, mortar, steel, collages and wood

(420 x 315x50cm)

El sol y la luna, el ritmo del ruisenor | 2020 

Oil paint on burlap, tar, plastic flowers and homemade paint

(240x310x40cm)

All photography by Justin Livesey

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Amo a la Reina | 2020

In HD, duration 27.53 minutes

 

Shot and directed by Raquel van Haver.

One part of the film installation, Amo a la Reina, this work features Fabiola Torres, a leading singer in the traditional Pacurita scene. Together with her granddaughter she sings songs of female power and beauty, her own history as a female and interweaved through it all, her heritage and culture. This bond between two different generations, strengthened by song is also complemented by another woman, one of the eldest

of the infamous Huitoto tribe.

 
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MOCAUGA | 2020
diasec mounted print of photo collage 

(210 x 140 cm)

Celebrating the pioneering female social lead-ers of Colombia, Amo a la Reina maps the extraordinary diversity of the people, culture and biodiversity which characterise Raquel van Haver’s native country. Meeting women, communities and collectives leading the way for social change, Van Haver’s series is the consequence of an extensive two and a half year research period across Colombia.

Created from the artist’s considerable archive of her trip, consisting of photography, footage, interviews, textile materials and other miscellaneous objects, Van Haver began with creating large scale collages of each of the cities. These collages bring together the people, his-tories and traditions connected to each place, in what she refers to as a ‘puzzle’.

In Hans Wilschut’s studio these collages were then realised as digital prints, transposed onto symbols, animals and tokens corresponding to the various cities.

 

Amo a la Reina seamlessly blends stories and landscapes in a visual study which gets to the heart of each city, with colour, materials and text forming portals into these distant spaces.

This remote Amazonian region, only accessible from Colombia via boat, produced a pro-found moment in the artist’s travels. Struck by the vastness of the river and its mysticism, this print pays homage to the omnipotent role water plays in Mocauga for its people. Here, social leaders are focused on preserving and celebrating the unique symbiosis between their culture and the region’s unique ecosystem.

In this print, Van Haver depicts the city’s embrace of the Amazon river, the myths and beliefs it inspires transcendent in its impact upon daily life: the stories told, practices inherited and a mutual respect for the water-ways that nurture and enliven this extraordinary city.

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RIO HACHE | 2020
diasec mounted print of photo collage 

(210 x 140 cm)

Home to the artist’s biological mother, Rio Hache, one of Colombia’s most northern cities was once home to nomadic tribes. The city’s arid landscape and harsh conditions inspire a desert-like climate, yet contrary to the apparent barrenness, the city’s birds still thrive, with prolific symbolism and meaning attached to each breed.

 

In this print Van Haver curates a quasi-dreamscape, informed by the prominent cultural practice of honouring one’s dreams. Here messages, memories and characters experienced in sleep follow through into daily life, becoming an active part of the city’s identity in the process. 

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SAN BASILIO DE PALENQUE  | 2020
diasec mounted print of photo collage 

(210 x 140 cm)

Heralded as the first free city for runaway slaves, San Basilico is a bricolage of culture, language and history, a fusion felt most poignantly by Van Haver through the myriad of dialects she heard woven together.

 

This phenomenon was brought to life by a Palenquera Van Haver befriended in the city. Palenqueras, once a traditional part of Colombian life, in recent years have become more of a tourist attraction, however this meeting was crucial to understanding the colourful history of such a place. Amidst this diasporic melting pot, the social leaders Van Haver met were campaign-ing tirelessly to improve the lives of the city’s women and children, many of whom were living in poverty.

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THE BORDER OF VENEZUELA/CUCUTTA | 2020
diasec mounted print of photo collage 

(210 x 140 cm)

Located on the border of Venezuela, Cucutta has long been a site of contention,

politicised by the ongoing conflict between guerilla groups and the government, as well as the consistent influx of Venezuelan refugees seeking sanctuary.

 

In light of its past and current situation, it is a city that has come to be defined by a certain turbulence. Once renowned for its excellent shoe making, the city’s traditional craftsmanship has been overpowered in recent years by sellers trading cheap goods. Gaudy inflatables and pastelled plastic toys sell a Disney fantasy at odds to the deep poverty of those passing through. 

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CARTAGENITA | 2020
diasec mounted print of photo collage 

(210 x 140 cm)

Cartegnita was forged out of an urgent mission to house old residents forced out of Cartage-na through acute gentrification. Cartagena, an old colonial fort, well known as one of Lat-in America’s biggest ports, is now popular with cruise ships, its direct links to Miami ushering in American tourists who in recent years have inflated prices exponentially.

 

It was in Cartagenita that Van Haver connected with a local social leader running Fundicar, an organisation providing education and outreach to vulnerable children and women; presenting a new way of life in offering children a life beyond their local environments.

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MEDELLIN | 2020
diasec mounted print of photo collage 

(210 x 140 cm)

This print is a portrait of the Son Batá, a group that began in the Communa 13 neighbourhood in Medellin. This dynamic collective was  formed in reaction to the devastation left behind after years of violence, producing  a safe space for young people to come together through music, art and dance.

 

This creative collective nurtures a community of young  talent, its leaders and participants celebrated in this print through the myriad of cut outs and vibrant use of colour.

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CHOCO | 2020
diasec mounted print of photo collage 

(210 x 140 cm)

Choco is well known as the capital of Afro-Colombians, proud home to the largest population of this community in Colombia and located in a rural region only accessible by boat or plane. Famous for its gold, this region has been exploited by illegal gold mining, the pollution of which has decimated the local fishing scene, making the river unsafe to bathe or drink from.

 

Here, Van Haver met with social leader Johana Maturana, one of Colombia’s most visible Afro-Colombian trans women, providing support to LGBTQ+ people in her community. This print is an unapologetic celebration of the Afro-Colombian community whilst highlighting the darker side of the gold business in the region.

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CALI | 2020
diasec mounted print of photo collage 

(210 x 140 cm)

Regarded as one of Colombia’s major cities through its sheer scale and population, Cali exudes all the grittiness of an urban metropolis. With many of its residents settling here after the war, Cali is home to a spectrum of communities across Colombia and Latin America more widely. With found materials being used to build a constant stream of emerging areas and neighbourhoods, a large part of Cali’s cheap labour revolves around construction, from the making of bricks to charcoal.

 

In Cali, Van Haver met with a range of social leaders working at grassroots level with street dance, graffiti and community based work including fixing street lighting to ensure women felt safer at night. In this sprawling city, Van Haver documents the individuals and communities who have made Cali home.

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The woman of my land | documentary | 2020

In HD, duration 51 minutes

During the trip to her native Columbia, artist Raquel van Haver meets strong women who fight for social equality. During her intensive painting process, Raquel processes the impressions of her journey and reflects on her personal history.

In ‘The women of my country’ we follow artist Raquel van Haver in the run up to her exhibition ‘Amo A La Reina’ in the Bonnefantenmuseum. Raquel travels to her native Colombia where she meets several women fighting injustice in their communities. Back in the Netherlands, Raquel embarks on an intensive painting process, depicting the women as modern Maria figures, an ode to the women of Colombia. We are intimately drawn into the working process of this special artist and follow how, while painting, Raquel also reflects on her own personal history as an adopted Colombian woman in the Netherlands.

The Woman of my land 

Director & Writer Bibi Fadlalla

 

Camera Reinout Steenhuizen

 

Sound Kasper Koudenburg

Dennis Kersten

Robil Rahantoeknam

 

Editor Saskia Kievits

Syncing Niels Koopman

 

Fixer Colombia Julieth Pacheco

Line producer Kiyomi Molin

 

Animation & Titel design Bob Mayata

Componist Tobias Borkert

Sound design Regard Ibrahim

Grading Qianwei Tong

Postproduction manager Rob Maas

Translation Daan Visser

Einion Media

Transcriptions Maud Taborsky

 

Production coordinator NTR Astrid Prickaerts

 

Editor NTR Diana Tromp

Commissioning editor NTR Oscar van der Kroon

 

Producers Willem Baptist

Nienke Korthof

Thanks to

Johana Maturana
Camila Dussan
Fabiola Torres 
Leison Hachito 
The people of the village of Mocagua
Mariela Cabarca 
Sjors Mosman
Marjan de Haan
Hans den Hartog Jager
Familie en vrienden van Raquel van Haver
Stijn Huijts
Esther Wagemans
Marijntje Knapen
Jacobien Peeters

 

Painting Out Loud is a co-production of Tangerine Tree and NTR This film was supported by the NPO-fund.
Logo NPO-fonds Logo Tangerine Tree + NTR
© 2020 Tangerine Tree / NTR

Words by Lauren Gee
Graphic Design by Xanthippe Partsakoulaki