Delcy Morelos: The Place of the Soul

El lugar del alma [The Place of the Soul] is the ambitious project which the artist Delcy Morelos (b. 1967, Tierralta, Colombia) has created especially for the Museo Moderno. Morelos has had a long career, from a drawing practice very close to ritual, unfolding in infinite organic abstract watercolour weaves on immense planes of paper, to the creation of large installations transforming the experience of space for those who penetrate them by relating the most intimate experiences, such as the earth as a source for regeneration and life, but also a witness to pain and violence.

For The Place of the Soul, Morelos was inspired by the Museo Moderno’s Concrete Art collection (works from which can be seen in the exhibition ‘Vida abstracta’ [‘Life in the Abstract’]), taking an abstract human-scale composition and then suspending it. The artist also views this work as an evocation of the rituals of Andean Argentina and homage to the Pachamama. Submerged in this basement gallery deep within the Museum, you will be able to enjoy a complex sensory experience and, like the artist, listen in silence to the sounds of the earth.

Curator: Victoria Noorthoorn, with the collaboration of Clarisa Appendino
Production Coordination: Iván Rösler
Production: Javier González King

Portrait of Delcy Morelos

Delcy Morales (Tierralta, Colombia, 1967) has created a special project for the Museo Moderno entitled El lugar del alma [The Place of the Soul]. In recent years, Morelos has focused on creating large installations that transform our experience of space. She creates her works using earth as the raw material, which she presents as both a source of regeneration and of life, and also as a witness to pain and violence. According to the artist, El lugar del alma is a tribute to Pachamama and evokes the rituals of the Argentinean Andes she experienced first-hand during her visits to the country. In El lugar del alma, Morelos offers a complex sensory experience in a meditative, silent environment that surrounds the viewer and allows all of the senses to open and understand the earth as a powerful, living material.

Delcy Morelos began her artistic career as a painter, at which time she focused on the use of red pigments applied to paper. However, over time, her paintings moved from reds to earthy tones and, later, to immersive large-scale installations created from earth. Over the past three decades, she has developed a dynamic oeuvre expressed in different mediums, such as painting, installation, and sculpture. She works mainly with earth, clay, fabrics, fibres, and other natural elements. She has participated in solo and group exhibits at museums, salons and galleries, both in Colombia and cities abroad. This year, the curator Cecilia Alemani selected her work Earthly Paradise to be part of The Milk of Dreams, the main exhibition of the 59th Venice Biennale. In 2018, she presented Enie at the Nc-arte gallery in Bogotá. In 2023, she will participate in the Still Alive / Aichi Triennale 2023 in Japan, which will open on 30 July, and at DIA Chelsea, New York.

El lugar del alma is a large installation that has been created specifically for the Museo Moderno’s sub-basement exhibition gallery. It provides a labyrinthine space that allows us to experience both the depth and sacred nature of earth itself. Inspired by Andean rituals of devotion to Pachamama, the installation was built following the same ancient technique used for adobe houses. The artist then perfumed the space with cloves, cinnamon and coffee, as an offering and sustenance for the earth. With this immersive, sensory work, the artist reflects on the spirits of the region and the figure of the Earth as a living being and a witness to pain and violence. The Earth, a mystical and sacred space worthy of reverence and contemplation, enters the exhibition hall to envelop the viewer and present a space of silence, reflection and provide an encounter with nature. In the words of Morelos, “the Earth is alive and it is speaking”. Today, her work invites us to listen to it.