Argentine artist La Chola Poblete received a special mention at the Venice Biennale 2024, selected together with artist Samia Halaby.


La Chola Poblete engages in critical play with histories of colonial representation from a trans Indigenous perspective. Her multivalent art - including watercolor, fabric, and photography - resists the exoticization of Indigenous women while she insists on the power of sexuality. She approaches Western religious iconography and indigenous spiritual practices with a trans and queer flair, inverting power relations with pieces that refer to ancestral knowledge from South America.


The jury that gave the mention to the artist was made up by Julia Bryan-Wilson (United States), Alia Swastika (Indonesia), Chika Okeke-Agulo (Nigeria), Elena Crippa (Italy) and María Inés Rodríguez (Colombia). More than 300 artists competed for the award.

La Chola participates in the 60th edition of the Venice Biennial with her characteristic watercolors. Her work is part of the main exhibition Stranieri Ovunque - Foreigners Everywhere, within the Nucleo Contemporaneo section. This is the first time that La Chola Poblete's work is presented at the Biennale.


In words of historian and curator María Amalia García: “La Chola Poblete is a transdisciplinary artist who works with performance, video art, photography, painting, and objects: through a sophisticated queer imagery, she recovers ancestral knowledge from the South American territories. La Chola Poblete’s large-scale watercolours exhibit the fluidity derived from her identity. A flood of hybrid beings coexist with abstract, religious, and pop motifs, among which small reproductions of her works, such as bread masks, are included. Virgins with braids, swords slicing potatoes, and organic forms adorned with penises resonate like songs of resistance. The Virgin is a multifaceted central motif in La Chola Poblete’s oeuvre as she embodies the syncretism between Western culture and indigenous communities. Her Vírgenes Chola series takes up from the mestizo baroque the identification between the Virgin and the goddess Pachamama (Mother Earth to the Andean communities). Also in this series, the enthroned Virgins wear their attributes as pop icons. The performance Chola’s Martyrdom (2014) addresses the social marginalisation of the Bolivian community residing in Argentina, along with the use of evangelisation as a form of emotional and physical torture”.

Related Topics