MATEO LÓPEZ: My name is Mateo López. I’m an artist from Bogotá, Colombia.
DIRECTOR, GLENN LOWRY: Travel without Movement is part of López’s ongoing engagement with Colombia’s abandoned railway system. Traveling on his old Vespa, López followed the railways routes, covering vast swaths of territory. Though the railway had been declared a national heritage site, for López it reflected the failure of his country’s efforts at modernization.
MATEO LÓPEZ: For me, it’s very poetic in a way—bizarre as well—to find something which is considered heritage in my country completely abandoned and eaten by the jungle.
GLENN LOWRY: Bearing witness to these ruins was both risky and an act of endurance as Colombia faced ongoing conflicts among government forces, revolutionary guerrillas, drug cartels and paramilitary groups. With his studio mounted to the back of his motorbike, López made drawings on the road, rendering in precise detail the ordinary objects he encountered.
MATEO LÓPEZ: And I’m collecting different material—drawings, maps, books, furniture everything that I found on this journey. I’m not only drawing on my sketchbook or doing watercolors. Because of my background as architect, and artist I’m thinking all the time on a third dimension.
I was thinking where to install all these drawings, maquettes, maps, material, documents. So I came with the idea of this staircase which I imagine coming from an old house in Bogota. It’s like those kind of empty or residual spaces in our homes. This is a staircase that goes to nowhere. All these objects are trying to go out of the space. And when you approach the piece, you feel that there’s a still life, like there is something stopped in time.