Juan Manuel Echavarría


c-print mounted on dibond
40 x 60 inches
edition 1 of 3 + 2 AP

I was born in 1947. We haven’t had one year of peace since. There has been a continuous civil war in Colombia… Many of the guerrilla and paramilitary forces come from families who were victims of that violence. The point is that this recurring cycle, this vicious circle of violence, has become normalized. People grow up with it—children see, read, hear about violence. They have lived through violence, political violence in their homes. – Juan Manuel Echavarría

For Colombian artist Juan Manuel Echavarría the derelict spaces he captures act as the witness to the profound loss brought on by the decades-long cycles of violence. Here, in Silencio Con Sombras (Silence in the Shadows) dramatic shadows dapple across the void of the blank chalkboard and colorful numbers from a deserted school. Returning multiple times to the abandoned zone of Montes de Maria in Bolivar, Colombia, Echavarría captures “what memories are left in those chalkboards.” The people of the area were ordered to evacuate by paramilitaries in 2000, leaving behind the ghost of their rural community. A writer, filmmaker, and photographer, Echavarría lives and works in New York and Bogotá. His work has been exhibited extensively throughout Latin America, Europe, and the US, and is included in the collections of The Goetz Collection, Coleccion Patricia Phelps de Cisneros, The Daros Collection, Museo de Arte Moderno de Buenos Aires, Museo de Arte Moderno de Bogota, and The North Dakota Museum Art.