Two new exhibitions were presented last week in the framework of BIENALSUR, the international biennial of contemporary art that is held simultaneously in 124 venues in 50 cities around the world. In this case, the expo’s are held at the Enrique Udaondo Provincial Museum Complex in Luján (Province of Buenos Aires), and are dedicated to the native peoples of the American continent.


Under the curatorial axis named Constelaciones fluidas (Fluid Constellations), the exhibitions feature works by artists from Mexico, Argentina and Italy. On the one hand, “The Eternal Return of the New World” is launched, made up of works by the Mexicans Carlos Colín and Gabriel Garcilazo and the Argentines Mauricio Poblete and the collective El Bondi Colectivo, along with pieces belonging to different native cultures, from the museum's collection. With the curatorship of the Argentines Marina Aguerre, Leandro Martínez Depietri and Florencia Qualina, this proposal reviews the processes of conquest and colonization of the American territory and the forms that they currently adopt.


What mechanisms of domination survive throughout our history? How to look at this legacy and our heritage to better understand our present? These are some of the questions that resonate in this new curatorial story by BIENALSUR.


“This contemporary interpretation proposed by Colín, Garcilazo, Poblete and El Bondi Colectivo is generated from their critical reflections on pre-Hispanic documents, iconographic traditions and the narrative style of the different Native American peoples. These pieces carry stories of dissidence and resistance from subdued civilizations and racialized bodies. The images are updated, thus enhancing their ability to interrogate the crises of the present in their interweaving with the oppression that founded the New World. From this proposed viewpoint, the heritage of cultures allows for this critical dialogue at the Udaondo. The utensils, tools and crafts, beyond their archaeological value, reveal ways of life that attend to harmony with the environment and the cosmos, the search for everyday beauty and respect for aesthetic traditions as an element of identity. Faced with climate chaos, a consequence of the extractivist realities of capitalism, the harmonious shape of a bowl encloses a worldview that makes our dejected present explode from an active memory in the matter and in the bodies of those who recognize themselves as descendants of the producers of these objects and their struggle”, the curators say.

Besides "The Eternal Return of the New World", "Silver rights", by the Italian Elena Mazzi (in dialogue with the Argentine Eduardo Molinari and the Mapuche Mauro Millán), was also inaugurated. Curated by the Italian Emanuele Guidi and with the support of the Italian Institute of Culture and the Italian Council, this project consists of a large installation with multiple elements, and delves into the ancestral relationship of this original community with its territories in South America, today denied by neocolonial forms of extractivist capitalism.


“For years, Mazzi has investigated environmental areas at risk, using new forms of contextualization of local artisan traditions. Silver Rights is developed from a residency during which Mazzi carried out a series of theoretical-practical laboratories in collaboration with leaders, youth, artisans and activists of the Mapuche community. Mazzi investigates the colonial actions of multinationals, particularly Benetton in the Patagonia region, and their insertion with the cultural, economic and political system of the area. The work functions as a map of community narrative and a symbol of social denunciation that reveals other forms of significance for the mineral (argentum, or silver) that gave this country its name”, Guidi points out.

Both exhibitions are presented at BIENALSUR’s Kilometre 70 and have the support of the Government of the Province of Buenos Aires. They can be visited until April 18th, on Saturdays, Sundays and holidays from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. without reservation, and Thursdays and Fridays from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. with prior registration.

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