MILITUM TELLUS

TSAMANI NIÑO TOVAR

Bogota | 1991

Church of SS. Crucifix at Calvary

This work stems from the stimulus that has determined from the beginning the flow of Tsamani's artistic research in Situ, the Latin toponym from which the name of Militello derives: Militum Tellus [Land of Soldiers].  

A toponym that, according to one hypothesis, refers to the geographical quality that this area had to accommodate the Roman military camps, a "quality" that the artist has inevitably dislocated to his imagination, to his territory, since he himself considers himself to come from a land of soldiers, which is now known as Colombia [Land of Columbus]. This toponym honors the history of a territory that was determined by the hegemony of colonization. The research process was consolidated as a dialogue between two territories, two very different historical contexts but which in turn are intertwined in a fabric that belongs to what J. Beuys called invisible energies; energies that in this project want to transform themselves into form and claim two historical memories and perhaps reach what goes beyond history as we know it, that history so alien to memory, the one that was built and to which we would certainly never have access, is for what “Militum Tellus” is outlined as a tenuous practice for the construction of collective memory.

The purpose of this project is to provide what indigenous peoples call spiritual food, a food that seeks to heal and symbolically reclaim the historical memory of these territories and their peoples, perhaps in a similar way to the Wiwa people of Magdalena (Colombia). , who with the aim of repaying the damage that has been caused to the heart of Mother earth (Muñi) present offerings that become spiritual food for the Mother. However, "Militum Tellus" is not only outlined in the solemnity of healing and vindication, but is also consolidated in the sacredness of the celebration, a feature common to the various religious manifestations, both of Christianity and of the cosmovision of the natives. With regard to this last celebratory aspect, a particular mention is made of the rite of petition and then of gratitude that the Arhuaco people perform in Eyzakuriwa (the door to the spirit of the snow, in the mountains, the spirit that provides water).  

"Militum Tellus" raises a performative action that is configured as a sacrificial rite; an action that reaches a real sacred experience, by virtue of the space in which it takes place, the church of SS. crucified at Calvary, the Christian symbol par excellence of sacrifice.