Geographies of Selves / Roots in the Dark

Geographies of Selves / Roots in the Dark, 2019.  
Installation with drawings of colored pencil and chalk on paper, offering, text and sound. Drawing series: 70 x 100 cm, 50 x 70 cm.
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.

A work on the plurality of the self, the physical and emotional border fences, the galleries of colonial marks. I make reference to the concept of “Geography of Selves” developed by Gloria Anzaldúa, who writes that we are in constant interaction with environments, people and objects around us which are internal and external, real and virtual, past and present, that everything we’ve ever lived has left an imprint in our psyche; and the universe is a web of all these past, present and future circumstances tightly woven.

In this work I evoke the insights of my upbringing in Peru, and the spiritual relationships and ancestral mythos that are present in my lived experience through my Amazonian Andes roots. I present my work as an offering to invoke spiritual forces of above and below.

I trace one of and allude to its cosmovisions and insights of reality. I present an offering, framing the role of the artist as someone who invokes to material conditions as well as to symbolic and spiritual forces. I underline the continuity between the material and the spiritual and channel the artistic power to re-vision the personal and the transpersonal in self-creation.

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 that lead to me and the roots that keep me up. My reference to roots in the dark is a nod to the radix and the radical, but it also relates to my interest to explore what role darkness plays in modernity and in Enlightenment, the latter a project that describes itself as coming out of the dark ages of medieval era. It relates to the darkness of the night. Where the underground is connoted as 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. In the darknes, like an x-ray revealing a reality underlying beyond what is apparent, 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 I talk about colonial marks I mean the structural systems of domination of colonial times which continue to manifest until today, the colonial looting of indigenous cultures for the existence of ethnological museums, and disinheriting them of their cultural production along their modes of meaning and of making 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 a migratory control system with a rising amount of deaths and its violence enacted at the borders.

Unfolding and overturning constructions of life based on domination, and recovering a plurality of spiritual relationships and ancestral mythos, is one of the ways art can contribute to undoing colonial visions.

Sound edition support: Georg Oberlechner
Installation support: Ahmad Abouchaar and Daria Kirillova
Thanks to my Coleus blumei, to Amaru Saya, Ruth Sonderegger, Barbara Wilding, Daria Kirillova, Georg Oberlechner, Verena Melgarejo Weinandt, Lukas Oberndorfer, Gin Müller, Tomash Schoiswohl, Jean Pierre Cueto and Trenza.