March 7 to April 4, 2020

Centro Espacial Satelital de Colombia

La Decanatura


On March 25th, 1970, less than a year after the arrival of the first man on the moon, The Space Communications Centre of Colombia was inaugurated in the tiny municipality of Chocontá. The monumental satellite antenna, built in the middle of an untamed landscape, would be responsible for microwave transmissions of radio and telephone signals. In 1981 the second antenna or Ground Station for International Communications would complete the Space Communications Centre complex. Chocontá, whose colonial name is the Loyal and Noble Villa de Santiago de Chocontá, began to be known as the "Satellite City of Colombia.” For more than two decades the Satellite City was a destination for the curious. 45 years later it is in decline; people no longer visit, while the surrounding landscape seems to slowly absorb these massive and neglected structures.

Centro Espacial Satelital de Colombia was planned as a tribute, a lullaby and a farewell. The Chocontá Symphonic Youth Band, whose members range from seven to fifteen—too young to have first-hand knowledge of the antennas in their prime—were responsible for creating and performing a requiem. The structures’ imposing nature and location within the inhospitable climate of the dense Colombian savannah evoke a glorious past, an agonizing present and an uncertain future.

La Decanatura is a collective made up of Bogotá artists Elkin Calderón Guevara and Diego Piñeros García. Their artistic projects generate new approaches to art from hybrid perspectives and disciplines, questioning hegemonic forms of knowledge and power. La Decanatura is interested in displacement as a metaphor to explore other realities, as well as to create links between memory and ruins of the past. Through the audiovisual medium La Decanatura establishes poetics of time and space, playing with mise-en-scène to document events, places and objects, creating narratives of dislocations and alteration towards new readings of reality.