Gonzalo Fuenmayor's "Columbia, project"for P.AR.C
The "Columbia" installation consists of a series of drawings exploring the ambiguous relationship between identity, nationality and the act of belonging.
The staging of "Columbia," by means of a bright sign allusive to theater and entertainment business, aims to point out, the ironic and misleading use in North America of the word "Columbia" to refer to the South American country of Colombia.
The name “Columbia” was based on Christopher Columbus and was used at the end of the eighteenth century by Francisco de Miranda. The meaning can be understood as "the land of (or discovered by) Christopher Columbus." In the XVIII century, -writes Javier Ocampo López- "Columbia" was popularized in the English colonies of North America and Canada, to designate some districts, cities, rivers, etc… In the United States the name references the Federal District of Columbia, the city of Columbia -capital of South Carolina-. In Canada, there is a province with the name of British Columbia. There is also a Columbia River, and a Mount Columbia in the Canadian Rockies.” In addition, the name is also used to refer to the University of Columbia, the space shuttle, film producer, and last but not least, the South American country.
Given the plethora of references around "Columbia", a series of charcoal drawings complement the luminous installation. How does one become American? How does one become Colombian or "Columbian"? These questions set the starting point for drawings exploring the Americanization of Latin American culture, as well as the cultural gaps implicit in the act of translating and being translated.