Link to video:
El agua que tocas es la última que ha pasado y la primera que viene
The water that you touch is the last of what has passed and the first of that
Nicolás Consuegra in his most recent work titled El agua que tocas es la última que ha pasado y la pri-
mera que viene (The water that you touch is the last of what has passed and the first of that which co-
mes), Consuegra took video images of the Magdalena River—the most important river in Colombia—in
the city of Honda—a town located 91 miles away from Bogotá. For the presentation of these short vi-
deos, where the river flows slowly through the blind walls of waterfront homes, Consuegra invoked pa-
norama, pre-cinematic device in vogue in the nineteenth century, proposing a kind of contemporary
landscape where the viewer, immersed in a cylindrical space, see the river run cyclically and circular.
Consuegra is interested in the way the water (the river) flows from monitor to monitor, giving a sense of a circu-
lar (eternal) motion—Consuegra has kept an ideal “vanishing point” in all videos to emphasize this effect. This
can be interpreted with Consuegra’s interest in connecting a natural event with the visual illusion provided by
a motion picture.
The artist is a keen observer of everyday life, pointing out the peculiarities of certain features of urban culture. In
one of his most important works Uno de Nosotros, entre Nosotros, con Nosotros (One of Us, Among Us, With
Us) (2004–6), Consuegra notes the ubiquity of the Renault 4, during the 1970s, as representative of the aspiring
Colombian middle class towards (social) mobility. His interest in popular forms and attractions is also reflec-
ted in the series of sculptures based on candy store display cases, or in the ironworks that suggest his graphic
design background, where he plays with the signifier and the signified (the white sun that announces the word
“night”), or by using repetition to hide text within ornamentation (the word “day” camouflaged by a black grid).
Image rights: Courtesy of Galería La Central
About Nicolas Consuegra
Colombian, b. 1976, based in Bogota, Colombia