Making use of its immediate environment, the work of Oscar Murillo (born in La Paila, Colombia, in 1986) indexes the quotidian moments of life, drawing upon personal memories and experiences. Working across different media, Murillo’s practice combines painting, sculpture and video to form intimate yet immersive installations. Today his work embraces a far-ranging practice that includes public interventions and performances, as well as community-based projects. Concepts are free to be transferred, distributed and repackaged through processes of exchange, collaboration and, most importantly, production. Influenced by non-Western practices of cultural consumption, his work encourages us to challenge forms of hegemony, while pointing towards alternative ways of being and living together.
In the exhibition, Murillo combines a series of works made in collaboration with friends, family and other agencies to form a poetic framework shaped by the experiences of the familiar yet unknowable lives of other people. Tracing and documenting journeys through Asia, Europe, Latin America and North Africa, the project is a reflection on how cultural production informs our sense of place, community and belonging, wherever we find ourselves. In Untitled, produced for the Satellite programme, and A Mercantile Novel we can observe parallels between Murillo’s art-making and forms of mass-production less often associated with our social and personal identities, even if they are integral to the character of national culture. The significance placed on the lives of others is also embodied by a group of effigies, known collectively as Human Resources, seated together as if to form an audience. They could be seen either as arbitrary placeholders, a mass of revolutionary bodies or a labour force.