Matadero Madrid center for contemporary creation
Peru will be the guest country of ARCOMadrid 2019, and within the framework of the series of events that that country has lined up, Matadero Madrid is pleased to host the collective exhibition Amazonias. The exhibition brings together one hundred proposals by 46 Peruvian and Latin American authors from the collection of one of Latin America’s largest and most emblematic museums, the Lima Art Museum (MALI), and from other important private collections.
The title, Amazonias, in the plural, reflects the multiplicity of artistic views on this historically neglected geographical and social space which occupies a significant proportion of the territory of Peru. Far from having an ethnographic or anthropological intention, the works that form the collection are articulated as representations of and reflections on the Amazon, combining the production of artists who operate in the so-called international contemporary art circuit, with the work of indigenous creators who are updating visual languages to propose new approaches to their contexts and traditions. The exhibition includes a wide variety of contemporary and historical works, materials and media ranging from paintings, sculptures, photographs and installations to traditional works from the region such as ceramics or Shipibo textiles. The Amazon region is one of the territories in which issues crucial to contemporary life are being debated: from the struggle for the indigenous communities’ rights and the preservation of their ancestral knowledge to the conservation of a natural environment that is essential for global survival. The revision of the artistic production in this region, which has for so long been excluded from the historiography of local art in Peru, turns this exhibition into a starting-point for the knowledge and dissemination of one of Latin America’s least well-known artistic processes.
The exhibition Amazonias is structured around four sections. The first one, entitled The Construction of the Idea of Amazonia, presents a series of works by contemporary Peruvians artists who, together with other pieces by international artists, have turned their gaze on this vast and complex territory. The section Visions of the Cosmos brings together work by indigenous Amazonian artists on the complex worldviews and mythology of their Peoples –Shipibo, Tikuna, Asháninka, Huitoto and Awajún–; as well as paintings by visionary artists who use ayahuasca to embark on spiritual explorations and to develop works characterised by visual effects that link them to optical, electronic or psychedelic art. Elusive Territory, the third section, brings together works that showcase different ways of looking at and conceiving the landscape: from pictorial representations in which the space is shared with other living beings whose habitat is not geometrically demarcated, to representations that present alternatives to the idea of landscape or those that address it as a disputed space where the survival of the ecosystem is under debate. Finally, the group of works that make up the sections Tropical Urban and The Memory of the Community seek to preserve the memory of the Amazon and to portray and document the ways of life that exist there, both in its urban centres and in its communities. The artists taking part in the exhibition are Natividad Achuag, Gianfranco Annichini, Celia Antuash, Julia Apikai, Juan Enrique Bedoya, Christian Bendayán, Lastenia Canayo (Pecón Quena), Enrique Casanto, Wilberto Casanto, Francisco Casas, Raimond Chaves, Harry Chávez, Victor Churay, Juanjo Fernández, Norberto Fernández, Sandra Gamarra, Sheroanawe Hakihiiwe, Eduardo Hirose, Roberto Huarcaya, Orfelinda Huite, Victorina Huite, Morfi Jiménez, Nancy La Rosa, Vera Lentz, Gilda Mantilla, Francesco Mariotti, Carlos Motta, Musuk Nolte, Dimas Paredes, Gerardo Petsaín, Harry Pinedo (Inin Metsa), Roldán Pinedo (Shöyan Shëca), Adrián Portugal, Amelia Quiaco, Julia Quiaco, José Alejandro Restrepo, Abel Rodríguez Muinane (Mogaje Guihu), Brus Rubio, Leslie Searles, Elena Valera (Bawan Jisbe), Emerita Wampash, Armando Williams, Antonio Wong Rengifo, Rember Yahuarcani and Santiago Yahuarcani.
Inauguration, Friday 22 February at 7.30pm
A co-production of the Art Museum of Lima-MALI and Matadero Madrid.
Thanks to the generous support of the Ministry of Culture and the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Peru, the Inca Garcilaso Cultural Centre and LXG Amazon Reforestry Fund.
- Gredna Landolt and Sharon Lerner