Upcoming .........................................................

NOV. 2021.  Impact21. Urgent translations. Pact Zollverein, Essen. 10-14 Nov.
NOV. 2021.  Feeling-thinking with spiritual political practices, symbiotic ecosystems and beings.  Dekolonisierung des Wissens. Universität Wien. 19 Nov. 
NOV. 2021.  After Progress. Unit of Play. Goldsmiths College, London.
JAN. 2022.  Programa de presagios y destinos compartidos. Bisagra, Lima.

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Practices of connection

Collective ritualist gathering, 2019.


Artistic political spiritual gathering on Indigenous Resistance Day at Columbusplatz. The work I do with the collectives I am part of in Vienna is in affective continuity with my personal artistic practice.


Offering Stations

Photo: kunstdokumentation.


Three offering stations is a collective work produced for the exhibition "Who is Afraid of the Museum?" at Weltmuseum. The stations were a way to pay respects for the bodies that are present in the Museum. Placed in-between rooms, they thematized the political economies of migration, dissident affects, and the power of ancestors and guides. Produced in a dialogue between Afrobrazilian and Andean-amazonian traditions, in a collaboration between Imayna Caceres,  Pêdra Costa, Marissa Lobo, Luisa Lobo and Verena Melgarejo Weinandt.





Kleine Post


Digital print. Original: Colored pencil and pastel on paper. 50 x 70 cm.


On Caring and Drawing during a pandemic that is a rupture and an ‘awakening’ to our interconnectedness, as well as an aggravation of social and ecological crises. Drawing, guided by what earth-beings themselves show and teach. I draw in relation to the caring for the body and the soil necessary for our well-being as a community and thus these postcards are to be sent to farmers and to people working in hospitals. The art project ‘Kleine Post’ was curated by public art Lower Austria (Kunst im Öffentlichem Raum Niederösterreich).


Ancestral Re/visions

Digital drawing, 2019


Notes on visual dialogues with the Banisteriosis Caapi plant. Many of these dialogues featured symbolic presences such as the underground world, the Amazon, smokes, meetings, and black and red ink. Part of “Picking out images from my soul’s eye”, Understanding Gloria E. Anzaldúa through Artistic Practices.






Geographies of Selves / Roots in the Dark

 
Geographies of Selves / Roots in the Dark, 2019.  


A work on the plurality of the self where I evoke the insights of the spiritual relationships that are present in my lived experience through my Amazonian-Andean roots. Drawing, which also means to bring close, is a device to ground my individual and collective history. I carefully weave strokes to trace the paths of the roots that keep me up. My reference to roots is a nod to the radix and the radical, but it also relates to my interest to explore the underground. The underground connoted as a place of the unknown. Drawing like an x-ray revealing a reality underlying beyond what is apparent. I trace rivers of meaning to navigate the multidimensional perspectives of my biography. Unfolding and overturning constructions of life based on domination, and recovering a plurality of histories is one of the ways art can contribute to undoing colonial visions.

Installation with sound, offering, and drawings of colored pencil and chalk. 
1. Embrace of the Amaru (Detail). 50 x 70 cm.
2. Khipu: Tying Woven Strands To Remember Everything We’ve Ever Lived. 50 x 70 cm.
3. Cosmovision Linked By The Identical Pace Of Our Livingness. 50 x 70 cm.

Thanks to my Coleus blumei, Georg Oberlechner, Gin Müller, Tomash Schoiswohl, and Jean Pierre Cueto.






Making meaning in more than human worlds

Making meaning in more than human worlds, 2020 (6 min).


In a dream, a toad appeared surfacing on a very dark night illuminated by an intense moon. The toad emerged filling almost entirely the river pond and stayed there quietly. Without speaking, the toad said that danger was coming and that "she" needed to be protected. When I dreamt about this it made sense with the ongoing conversation about climate change and what is happening to the planet. After the Amazon fires I realized that that was what the toad might have been warning about. I wanted to do a work that spoke of the toad's political call to activate ourselves.
Produced in collaboration with plant-neighbors and animals that appeared in dreams bringing specific messages. With plants that took care of me and that I took care of. With beings that were present while I was sewing this work. With the support of loved ones. Several ideas are threaded with the reflections of racialized, gender-dissident thinkers, contributions of the south, scientific findings and the teachings of a myriad of earth-beings.

Condor, Puma, Serpiente

 

Condor Puma Serpiente, 2018


I draw portraits of myself and the women of my family along handwritten stories that ground my individual and collective history. I draw my mother and my great grandmother as tissues that compose me. I approach remembering through drawing, as a task of reciprocity and of universal sustainability. Drawing as a memory device against the absence of photos or documents that can tell me the history of my past.
I place an offering below the portraits for which I enlist four grains I knew were important for my mother’s biography: quinua (quinoa), kiwicha (amaranth), lentils, and trigo amarillo (yellow wheat). Grains which I knew she had recollected working the land in the fields of Uchumarca in the Amazonian Andes 3000 meters above sea level.

Fotos: kunst-dokumentation. Exhibited in Back/s Together. Gloria Anzaldúa, her drawings, our connection to her. VBKÖ, February 2018.





Intervention to Columbus in Vienna



Anticolonial Intervention by the Trenza Collective, 2018


On the date of the 'discovery of America', TRENZA intervened a Columbus statue in front of the Vienna Business School. This statue is one of the several places, companies and products (from columbusplatz, to the beer Stiegl-Columbus 1492) that commemorate the processes of exploitation and death of colonized peoples and racialized communities. In their multiplied repetition, these spaces reaffirm and sustain the structures at present -where racism towards migrants running from the sequels of inequality is used as a scare facade by many political parties across Europe.
TRENZA is a feminist collective marked by a Latin American migratory experience where several of us are active since 2014. The collective is a braiding of different marginalized knowledges, ideas, desires, and needs; a space for crossing memories where we reflect about the structures that affect us. This with the aim to heal by be-coming together.

Photos: Verena Melgarejo Weinandt, TRENZA.



Plant Ancestors, Coca Relatives



Plant Ancestors, Coca Relatives, 2018. Digital drawings, variable dimensions.


Coca in Quechua means "plant" or "tree". To enter the universe of the coca plant, I produce an extensive bio/graphía that narrates the life of the plant in Andean history. Woven in the survival of the traditions and beliefs of a people experienced in survival, and who have understood the coca leaf as a sacred being. From archaeological findings of its use, botanical records, its representation in precolonial art, its indigenous names, its colonial history in the mines, its demonization by the church, its praise as magic cure-it-all, it's illegalization, to current chemical and botanical studies. The history of the coca plant is a story of the entanglements between capitalism, colonialism and imperialism, but also an inherited record of wisdom and strength.

 







Remaking of Beings



The Remaking of Beings, 2015
Digital drawing, variable dimensions.

The Nahuatl that first domesticated the turkey called it "big monster" or Huexolotl, a name that survives in Mexico as Guajolote. The concept of monstrosity did not carry the connotation that is attributed to it nowadays. In fact it makes reference to what is not ordinary, and in that way functions as an evidence of the divine. The Mexica related him to the God Tezcatlipoca and the deities of the sun and life. For the Otomíes, the turkey is a sacred animal that is related to the creation of agricultural activity. Jóconi is how the female turkey is called, and dáma-'gni, is the male turkey. In North America, the Apache and Hopi associated the turkey with healing and agricultural practices, as a "giver of life" and participant in the creation of the Earth. The bird was known under many different names for different nations and communities.
The turkey has also being made synonym with Thanksgiving, a celebration of the installation of settler colonialism in the United States. And in many other countries it is also synonym with Christmas. Turkeys were one of the first birds to be taken to Europe and keep in their name changes, a tracking of the routes through which the turkey was commerced in the old world. The bird is known as Dinde "Of India" in French, Indjushka " bird of India" in Russian, Indyk “India" in Polish, Hindi in Turkish and Hindi diiq "Indian Rooster" in Arabic. They are thought to have been taken to Turkey where it was selectively crossed to increase its size. 








Politics of Hair


Trenzamientos / Hair bondings, 2017


For many racialized people, the experience of hair is marked by the notion of "bad hair". In my surroundings, hair that like mine, was thick and straight, was a synonym of indigenous "bad hair". Such hair when cut short becomes "trinchudo", hair that sticks up and stands defiantly even against the gel of aloe vera. It is voluminous hair that takes life of its own. By contrast, good hair was thin "fino" and slightly curled hair. And thus people modify their hair, curling it up and cutting volume away, not as a possible alternative, but as a way of "fixing" it. 
In my drawings these hair-dos come to life through the sculptural possibilities of thick and straight hair. In tracing these braidings I was trying to tie the lessons I had in the process of coming to understand the aesthetic politics of hair. This in order to think of a plural aesthetics that values the ways in which one has learned how to exist and how to make sense of one’s reality in the world. A reality in which parallel ways of existing take place in regards to: how one does their hair, what one likes, what one chooses to wear, what one thinks of as beautiful and valuable, what one finds funny, what one hears, how one talks, how one walks, one’s ideas of worthy knowledge, of healthy practices, or one’s ideas of fiction and fantasy. 

Khipu / Nudo: Memory (and world) making knots


Khipu or Tying Woven Strands In Order To Remember Everything We’ve Ever Lived, 2019. Inspired by a Khipu physically located in the Museum of World Cultures in Göteborg, Sweden.


Khipus are growing beings with a visual structure that would seem to be inspired by the stems and roots of plants, or the veins traversing our bodies. Alive as they are, they grow by bifurcating and tying experienced life to them. Khipu literally means “knot” and is a technology that has been used by several cultures in the Americas, as it is attested by the findings in Caral, at least since 5000 BCE. The khipu tells a history of practices that were developed to organize life but also to pass on myths and valuable information. It is this meaning of information, memory and bridge between eras and spaces which I explore in the figure of the khipu.

Extract from a longer text written for the exhibition Underground Blossomings, 2019.

Anticolonial Fantasies

 
 
Anticolonial Fantasies, 2015. Acrylic on cardboard. 50 x 70 cm


I reflect on the notion of territory as something that is marked by borders for its administration and regulation under the nation state, that controls who has the rights to transit and inhabit spaces and who is allowed the right to travel and explore different territories, who must engage in paperwork limbos and how this mirrors historical colonial relationships. 
The statistics sheet shows the list of countries the students at the Academy of Fine Arts come from (2015) It includes the number of students from the continents of Africa and Latin America, and whether they re legally allowed to come to Austria, and the differential access that exists to roam the planet. The numbers correspond to the hierarchy of mobility and visa-free travel where nationals of ex-colonial empires hold a passport that grants them the possibility of unhindered travel. The aftermath of colonialism categorizes nationals from ex-colonies as migrants who are subject to strict migration laws, exhausting bureaucratic systems and chains of paperwork.





Center and periphery





Small handwritten texts that related to borders and migration where written on the wall and could only be read by passersby. Hohermarkt Square, 2011.