Related themes

Migration and Movement

Artists move around the world, shifting their identities, cultural traditions, and artistic techniques.

Travel without Movement

Mateo López
(Colombian, born 1978)

2010. Installation of drawings, objects, and furniture, dimensions variable

Over the course of two years, Mateo López rode his Vespa scooter along 1,300 miles of train tacks in his native Colombia, beginning in the city of Bogotá, passing through Cali, and finishing his journey in Medellín. The railway system, once a symbol of the promise of industry, was never completed. It remains abandoned in a country still struggling with forces such as drug cartels and paramilitary groups.

During his travels, López carefully recorded the objects he encountered in detailed drawings. His installation, Travel without Movement (or Viaje sin movimiento in Spanish) combines his drawings with objects he picked up along the way and objects he reconstructed in paper. López, who trained as an architect, constructed a staircase for the centerpiece of the installation. He said that he imaged the staircase as “coming from an old house in Bogotá. . . .This is a staircase to nowhere.”1

From MoMA Audio, Interview with Mateo López, 2013

The science, art, or profession of designing and constructing buildings, bridges, and other large structures.

A work of art made with a pencil, pen, crayon, charcoal, or other implements, often consisting of lines and marks (noun); the act of producing a picture with pencil, pen, crayon, charcoal, or other implements (verb, gerund).

A form of art, developed in the late 1950s, which involves the creation of an enveloping aesthetic or sensory experience in a particular environment, often inviting active engagement or immersion by the spectator.


AUDIO: Mateo López discusses the significance of Colombia’s abandoned railway system for his work

AUDIO: Mateo López describes his expanded notion of drawing