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A photo of a longhouse in the river Piraparaná, overlaid with an intricate geometric pattern.

Maloca (Longhouse) in River Piraparaná, 2016. Photo by Richard Decaillet. © 4 Direcciones AudioVisual (Diana Rico and Richard Decaillet), courtesy of the artists.


El Origen de la Noche (The Origin of Night)

September 7, 2023–May 12, 2024

El Origen de la Noche (The Origin of Night) is an immersive sound installation by 4Direcciones Audiovisual (directed by Diana Rico and Richard Decaillet) working in collaboration with a group of traditional authorities from indigenous communities of the north-west Amazon, as well as anthropologists, musicians and linguists. Originally commissioned by María Belén Sáez de Ibarra from the National University in Colombia, the work is an assemblage of both archival and new recordings from several indigenous nations in Colombia, all dealing with the Amazonian myth of the creation of night. The sound installation is structured like a “maloca”, a traditional social unit and communal hut integral to many communities of the Amazon. El Origen de la Noche is organized into eight sequential chapters that convey myth and ritual through narration, chants, music, and the sounds of nature.

El Origen de la Noche (The Origin of Night) is a recent acquisition of the Contemporary Art Department. 4Direcciones, El Origen de la Noche (The Origin of Night), 2016. 16-channel sound installation, 134 minutes 4 seconds. Purchased with the Contemporary Art Revolving Fund, 2023-89-1a--c.

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About the Artists

4Direcciones Audio-Visual is a production company and an art collective founded in 2006 by Diana Rico and Richard Decaillet, a collaborative duo of Colombian artists based in Bogotá. Its aim is to raise awareness of the cultures and traditions of indigenous communities in the Americas through a creative dialogue of worlds. The company produces documentaries, feature films, animation series, immersive sound installations and mixed reality exhibitions, as well as live events that explore the relationship between art, spirituality and the environment.

Diana Rico is an artist, filmmaker and singer based in Bogotá. During her 25-year career in media production, cultural management and journalism she has created and hosted TV shows about art and cinema. In addition to her 15 years of work with 4Direcciones, her artistic activities explore heritage, indigenous traditions, music and activism.

Richard Décaillet Quintana is an artist, filmmaker and farmer. Since 2005, he has been working with indigenous and peasant communities in different regions of Colombia. In recent years his main interest is in the regeneration of ecosystems from agriculture and art. And how to to bring the new generations closer to the work of caring for the land.

Reynel Ortega: Kubu/Heegu, synonymous with Curador del Mundo (Healer of the World) and Curador de Yuruparí, from the community of Puerto Ortega on the Pirá Paraná River performs the most important rituals in his communities. These rituals call for equilibrium between man and nature, and give back spiritually to the natural and supernatural owners of the sacred places and nature for their environmental service, and for the healing resources they offer to the region and its communities. He is a member of the Barasano ethnic group and recognized by the Asociación de Capitanes y Autoridades Tradicionales Indígenas del Río Pirá Paraná (ACAIPI), (Association of Indigenous Captains and Traditional Authorities of the Pirá Paraná River) as the Highest Traditional Authority of the Los Jaguares de Yurupari Territory of the Pirá Paraná River in the Department of Vaupés. Reynel was educated in the traditions of his parents and grandparents in the Mambe circles, rituals, and ceremonies. His traditional and ancestral knowledge encompasses an ancient wisdom, still relevant and manifest in ritual ceremonies and in social, economic, and ecological practices today. This ancient knowledge centers on maintaining health and equilibrium in the relationship between human beings and nature.

Reynaldo Giagrekudo Pacaya: Traditional Elder of the Huitoto Nation.
His ancestors were displaced from Colombia to Peru during the period of the Cauchería, after being enslaved by the Casa Arana company. They escaped, returning to Colombia after the war with Peru in 1930. Reynaldo was educated by both the traditional teachings of his parents and grandparents and the Capuchin missionaries who had established themselves in the region in 1933 with the backing of the Colombian government. He graduated from secondary school in 1960, and studied to be an agricultural technician in Cundinamarca. He went on to become a teacher in the Amazon region and share what he had learned. He has been a part of his people’s political struggle, which led to the creation of the first Indigenous reserve in the country.

Hernando Fisi Andoque: Traditional Elder of the Andoque Nation
In the 1930s, his father, Giñeko, who was of the eagle lineage, took charge of gathering the Andoque people, who had been dispersed throughout the forest after the Cauchería massacre. Through ritual and song, he helped to reconstruct his culture, which lives on to this day. Fisi Andoque is a singer whose traditional knowledge encompasses the most important songs and dances of the Andoque Nation.


El Origen de la Noche (The Origin of Night) has been made possible by the Daniel W. Dietrich II Fund for Excellence in Contemporary Art.


Carlos Basualdo, Marion Boulton “Kippy” Stroud Deputy Director and Chief Curator, with Alison Tufano, Collections Assistant, Contemporary Art

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