Condor, Puma, Serpiente
Offering with portraits, 2018

I draw myself and the women of my family as a way to ground my individual and collective history. In drawing my mother and my great grandmother I carefully weave and knot pencil strokes to trace the paths that lead to me, the layers and tissues that compose me, the roots that keep me up. Drawing, which also means to bring close, is a memory device against the absence of photos or documents that can tell me the history of my past.

Below our portraits, I place a mesa curandera as a portal, with plants and objects towards which I feel a special connection and that link me to the amazonian andes in Peru, from which my mother migrated to Lima. Kiwicha in the shape of a quipu sustains all offerings. In the middle, a house with an andean rooftop is flanked by two oxes that head east and west, pulling in different directions. Three types of grain are offered in glasses as a pago to the upper world/condor, the middle world/puma and the under world/ snake: red and black quinua, peeled wheat, and lentils. A pink dolphin surrounded by orchids make reference to the amazon, as polished stones ground the despacho.

Quipus were forbidden devices that allowed to trace memories. Made of knotted twines, they resemble rope bridges when extended, taking the shape of the sun when closed. In andean cosmovision, remembering is also Ayni, a task of reciprocity and of universal sustainability. In this way, this work is a shamanic (in Anzaldúa’s sense) re/visioning of the transpersonal in self creation.

Fotos: kunst-dokumentation

Exhibited in Back/s Together. Gloria Anzaldúa, her drawings, our connection to her in VBKÖ, February 2018.