THEM (2015–ongoing) is an artist book that materialised when Oscar Murillo received a collection of family photographs as a gift from his mother. The photographs were dated from the 1970s to the early 2000s. An abstract of his father's endeavours as an activist in his early 20s and attempt to migrate from Colombia to Panama in the early 1980s introduce the book’s visual fluidity.
Murillo’s acts of drawing and energetic mark making on the pages function as a means of staying active during vast amounts of travelling. The blank papers inserted throughout the book mark intentional moments of pause and fill in transitional periods that trace the artist's movement. In one example, mark making on a Boeing 787-8 at a ground speed of 575 miles per hour at an altitude of 36,600 feet en route to Bogota on flight AV 121 might reference the aircraft's mapping system and note the specific geographies traversed en route. Taken together, the cumulative contents of the book follow the trajectory a group of people has traveled over the last 40 years.
This project was part of Sharjah Biennial 13.
Courtesy of the artist