December 3rd, 2010 to January 16th, 2011
Opening: Friday December 3rd, 2010, 7:00pm-10:00pm. Performance at 8pm.

Gallery Gachet presents the Vancouver premiere of Claudia Bernal’s Made of the Same Blood, a video-installation and performance created over three years (2004 to 2007) as a result of the artist’s reflection on what is considered a collective drama in Colombia, but also in many regions of the world: the forced displacement of entire communities because of armed conflicts and violence.  Considered one of the world’s most violent countries, Colombia has been torn apart since the 1950’s by an undeclared civil war between drug mafias, militaries, guerrillas, and paramilitaries. Expelled from their wealthy lands, thousands of people flee the conflict and migrate each day to big cities, leading to severe social problems: dispossession, urban over-population, disarticulation of the family structure, loss of identity, and more violence and poverty. In this collective drama, women are without doubt the most affected.  Made of the Same Blood uses everyday objects rich in potential meaning – dozens of hair braids, a fishing net, water and wool – to summon fear, isolation, danger, movement, social cohesion, liberation, aggression, wandering, uprooting: all contradictory sentiments rising from the symbolic power of the installation’s objects. These are brought to life as the artist uses her body as a creative space through live performance.

Bernal dares to push interdisciplinary onto a new terrain by integrating a video projection that some may call experimental documentary. Yet, while the film features three victims, three survivors, three women who can transform violence into poetry, the artistic treatment of the images allows a renewed dialogue with the installation and the performance.  Bernal’s work speaks of a promised paradise, an Eden of spiritual transcendence… the promise of a purified infinity (…) Artists like Frida Kahlo, Ana Mendieta, Nora Ancarola or Claudia Bernal can take on as their own the pain of the other and represent the conflicts of humanity in a poetic, timeless and universal way.  – Elina Norandi, Art Historian / University of Barcelona

A thing that calls our attention in Claudia Bernal’s work is the unity among the diversity of elements which liberates feelings, it is her unified cosmogonic vision [which] largely escapes the post-modern conceptual bursting and its hybrid and intellectualist collage of aesthetic elements (…). Heart and soul have much to do with this art of emotion and sensation. (…) Bernal gives room to popular contents, in a fusion with contemporary artistic vernacular. A shamanic breath, a sense of magic infuse her work (…) created in the unity of perception and feeling, even before the most intense tragedy.  –Andre Seleanu, Art Critic

Through the apparent hiding that symbols and metaphors exercise, Made of the Same Blood embodies great signifying power which allows a widening of the semantic field – universalizing it – to the point that the work creates clarity and illuminates the memory of all victims of violence and the political dimension of their fates.

Thursday Dec 9th: Performance at 7pm, Roundtable Discussion Forum at 8pm featuring speakers: Claudia Bernal, Christine Stoddard, Fiona Jeffries (SFU), Chris McDowell (ROSE),. Moderated by Karen Ward. See website for further details,

Media Requests: Lara Fitzgerald,

Programming Director, Gallery Gachet

T: 604 687 2468,

To see pictures from this exhibition, please visit our Flickr account

  • About Gallery Gachet

    Gallery Gachet is a unique artist-run centre located in Vancouver’s Downtown Eastside. Gachet is a collectively-run exhibition and studio space built to empower participants as artists, administrators and curators.


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  • Accessibility Info

    Front door - 32" width
    No steps

    Door - 35" width
    Toilet clearance:
    8'' left side
    29'' front
    Support bars on left and behind toilet

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