Mariana Cristina Vargas Perilla


Una bestia muerta, 2022


The beast goes beyond an animal, a person and a place.
It is the result of a whole; beyond time; away from humans;
superior to animals; embodying demons; furious over the land; reluctant; 
hidden in a cave, there the beast awaits to be found.


The Eastern Plains of Colombia refuse to let go of their past, the concept of belonging to the plains is that epicenter of a culture that constantly denies itself and invalidates others: guate is everyone who comes from outside. However, since the bipartisan war and the oil boom, most of the inhabitants of the Eastern Plains are displaced people who seek refuge in the open plains.

This influx of guates and the lack of relationship and mutual interest between the plains people and their new neighbors has caused a slow disappearance of cultural knowledge in the region, causing only those with direct relatives to continue learning about this culture, either by family heritage or because of the need to survive.

In the great pillars of the collective imagination about the Eastern Plains of Colombia are the tradition and the dynamics around oil, epicenters that have slowly begun to convalesce in a large part of the territories. In the Savannah, the people call a beast any large animal that has a direct relationship with their territory, among the beasts there is one that forms close and deep ties with the inhabitants: the horse, inspiration for songs, drawings and couplets.

In 2019, in the municipality of Tauramena, Casanare, on the outskirts of the urban area, lies the abandoned oil well of Buenos Aires. Nothing exists there now but a flat, vacant lot with a commemorative plaque attesting that tons of oil were extracted there. That place, among the undergrowth and the flies, hid the skeleton of a horse. 

He who forges a love relationship with his animal gives it a burial worthy of his feelings. There is nothing left to say when the beloved beast of the plains is found abandoned in the vestiges of an obsolete economy.

, Colombia

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