Geographies of the Self / Roots in the Dark


1. Embrace of the Amaru (Detail). 2. Khipu: Tying Woven Strands To Remember Everything We’ve Ever Lived. 3. Cosmovision Linked By The Identical Pace Of Our Livingness. 4. Installation detail view. Chalk and colored pencil drawings on paper, offering, text and sound. 2019.

I allude to the cosmovisions and insights of reality that underlay my upbringing in Peru. I present my work as part of an offering to invoke spiritual forces of above and below. I make reference to the concept of “Geography of Selves” developed by Gloria Anzaldúa, in which we are in constant interaction with environments, people and objects that are internal and external, real and virtual, past and present, and where the universe is a web of all these past, present and future circumstances tightly woven. Coming from a frame that understands the artist as having shamanic faculties, I underline the continuity between the material and the spiritual, and channel the power of the artist to re-vision the personal and the transpersonal in self-creation.

My reference to roots in the dark is a nod to the radix and the radical, but it also relates to my interest in exploring the role of darkness in Enlightenment, a project that describes itself as coming out of the dark ages of medieval era. Where the night and the underground would seem to evoke a place of the marginal and the morally condemnable, where control cannot be fully exercised and thus becomes a topos of danger, potential violence and the unknown – yet also a protection from the outer gaze and thus a secure haven from those seeking to heal from the evil eye. Like an x-ray revealing a reality underlying beyond what is apparent, in the darkness I explore the self-consuming energies that are part of all processes of creation, and trace rivers of meaning to navigate the multidimensional perspectives of my biography.

When talking about colonial wounds I mean the structural systems of domination that appeared during colonial times and continue to manifest until today, the colonial looting of indigenous cultures for the existence of ethnological museums, and disinheriting people of their cultural production, their meaning as a culture, and their sense of reality. I mean the celebration of discoveries of what was already known, the historiographies that begin in the north of the world. I mean a history where art is the neutral description for Occidental European art to which now inclusions are added but whose origins remain the same, I mean indigenous art deemed as crafts. I mean the existing migratory control system with the violence it enacts at the borders.

I seek through this work, to draw the complexity of spiritual relationships and ancestral mythos that is present in my lived experience, and to counter through this constructions of life based on domination.

Sound edition support: Georg Oberlechner
Installation support: Ahmad Abouchaar and Daria Kirillova
Thanks to Amaru Saya, Monica Lucia, Rosa Garrido, Lukas Oberndorfer, Verena Melgarejo Weinandt, Barbara Wilding, Georg Oberlechner, Daria Kirillova.