Carolina Montejo

Currently based
San Diego, California

During the initial years of the development of my work, especially in series such as Parallel, Monochromatic, Conscious/ Unconscious and Technical Recreation I emphasized questions and scenarios based on memory, the relation between conscious and unconscious thought, dreams and illusion. Based on these elements, I was particularly interested in chance as a generator of new language, the juxtaposition of thought and desire, as well as in their accumulation and interpretation as information.

My first groups of series explore the means in which the brain receives, experiments, archives and reproduces. Through the work and personal analysis of these subjects, I discovered that imagination and reality - or other dualities born from the tangible and intangible product of thought - are two poles between which there is at moments no distance at all, and then, at others, the concept of distance does not even apply as an element for their comprehension.

Beyond the personal ideas and obsessions that have established my work, I have always been interested in time in a few of its possible paths: 1) time as a definer of what is contemporary, and 2) time as an abstract and impenetrable reality that affects all things. The first side has driven me towards a passion, both inside and out of the artistic realm, of the digital world, as well as of forward thinking contemporary ideas in science, philosophy and spirituality - such as quantum mechanics, artificial Intelligence, memory study advancements, environmental solutions, Buddhism, unity and evolution. Stephen Hawking’s A Brief History of Time has inspired me to consider the centuries of theories, acknowledgements and facts about relativity and quantum mechanics that have inspired a recycling of personal views, characters and landscape-based scenarios. And so, not only has my interest in time become focused on digital production and its re-interpretive language, but also, it has left a wider cross section in my interests, bringing them closer to different cultural and social aspects of the present, of our contemporariness.

The second path – abstract and impenetrable reality - has pointed me in the direction of a new creative stage based on another tangible/intangible duality: fiction and non-fiction. It is through the creation and recreation of content and storytelling that I see all the information being true to the abstract nature of time. Jorge Luis Borges succinctly clarifies this notion in his story Thön, Uqbar; Orbis Tertius where he speaks of a (1)“planet where men conceive the universe as a series of mental processes that do not develop in space, but in a successive manner through time”. I juxtapose the real and the unreal and give sense to time as a merging of personal, collective and fantastic experiences. This has particularly had an effect on my choice of medium and, even though photography will always be the essential binder of my process due to its closeness with the machine as an object that assists in the production of real content, I have also started to incorporate literature, objects and sculpture into my work – mediums that equally contribute to the tangibility of the realization of my conceptual development. Ideas vary in shape and content and are better expressed through a combination of sources - two dimensional, tridimensional and abstract - that speak to different senses and create fictional narratives that have more closeness with that which we consider non-fictional.

Historically, my work has evolved in many ways from the analogue/digital duality as a post-modern cultural reality that seeks to detach from the ties of the past without negating or dismissing it. This is referenced in John Pfahl’s publication of his 1997 exhibition Permutations on the Picturesque, where he adapts a tangible activity from the 19th century into an intangible medium from the 20th century.

In my most current series, Era: Fragments of an Evolving Landscape, I present these ideas through photographic images and a multi-disciplinary approach I have taken in order to create a fictional document of a new era. One where the very large possibility of time reconciles with the very mundane aspect of it and proposes a view where the fear/worship of technology is balanced by the fact that analogue and digital are the same, but from different times. Pfahl’s series is important in this way (2) ”as the photographic and post-photographic are wonderfully intertwined in an insightful interpretation of traditions, technologies and histories.”

The project includes 45 photographs, two 3D printed installations, 2 videos and a book. The book, and the story it creates, is the central piece for the series. At a moment of much speculation and reality around our planet and the state of science, technology and spirituality, this science-fiction storyline presents the perspective of an Artificial Intelligence created in the present as a nostalgic experiment to guarantee that, through the preservation of information, a new hybrid version of landscape can be re-created once earth no longer exists. The satellite-like AI is sent to space and suspended in an unknown future where it has a monologue about human life while searching through terabytes of information: profiles, memories, photos and other imagery that it uses to complete its mission. Upon selecting a group of new discoverers - or profiles that it accesses for its re-interpretation - the AI rambles in it’s solitude and eventually starts getting hit by flying rocks, comets and asteroids and barnacles grow on its metallic surface, finally transforming it into a planet of its own.

(1) The garden of Forking Paths, Jorge luis Borges
(2)The Focal Encyclopedia of Photography, 4th Edition, Therese Mulligan

Bucaramanga, Colombia (1981).

Individual Exhibitions:
Manifiesto/Latente, ArtexArte Gallery, Buenos Aires, Argentina (2013)
Monochromatic, Contaminate NYC, New York, NY (2012)
Parallel, Zona Cinco Photography Institute, Bogotá, Colombia (2011)
Fotocromatosis, Andrew Ütt Gallery, Oakland, California (2009)

Group Exhibitions:
Intergalactic Dreaming, San Diego International Airport (2017)
ArtBo-ArteCámara, Bogotá (2016)
Thunder in our hearts, Noysky Projects, Los Angeles (2016)
Sinking,Sinking,Sinking, San Diego Art institute (2015)
Pixel, Galería MÜ (2014)
Fotofever, Paris, France (2014)
VI Young Art Salon, Colsanitas-Embassy of Spain, Nueveochenta Gallery (2013)
Laatikkomo, Jyväskylä, Finland (2013)
Formato Chic 3, +MAS, Bogotá, Colombia (2012)
Odeón, Bogotá, Colombia (2012)
Night for the Arts, United States Embassy, Bogotá, Colombia (2012)
Under Control, Contaminate NYC, Nueva York, NY (2012)
Revélate, Ágora, Bogotá, Colombia (2011)
Salt Dreams, Galería MÜ, Bogotá, Colombia (2011)
Formato Chic, Cero Gallery, Bogotá, Colombia (2010)
Never Think Small, Climate Gallery, New York, NY (2010)
Invisible Race, 1/4 de Arte Galería, Bogotá, Colombia (2010)
We’re all Millionaires, AOD Gallery, Jakarta, Indonesia (2009)

Pontifical Xavierian University- Bachelors in Communication
Argentinian Photography Institute EAF -Photography

Open Show-San Diego-SDAI
Intergalactic Dreaming-San Diego International Airport
San Diego Art Institute Winter Show