Tente en el aire

Kunsthalle Lissabon, Lisbon, Portugal
15 May – 25 August 2018

For this occasion, Sol Calero looks at The Escuela Cuzqueña, or the Cusco School of painting, from Peru. The installation includes painting made with original, handmade wood-carved Peruvian frames from the region of Cusco. These literal souvenirs frame a new pictorial direction that adds to her emblematic signature patterns and designs, and moves on to explore the non-represented, the non-iconic. In the amalgam of shades we find the in-between, multiple, ambiguous, and muddy nature of reality. Tente en el aire (“hold yourself in midair”) is a direct reference taken from the racial taxonomy established in the colonial period in Latin America, meaning the descendant of Campulato and Cambujo, amply illustrated in the “Caste Paintings” of the Cusco School (Escuela Cuzqueña). This denomination, referring to someone literally floating between identities, incapable of claiming their roots, appears as a clear image of the chastising nature of the definition itself.

For this project, the new color palette is in itself an exploration of pigment as an example of classificatory narratives that define hierarchies, voices and positionalities. Here the subject appears in an abstraction of the portrait genre that shifts the notion of personal representation towards the narrative of collective identities and the layered nature of their construct.

Read more. Text by Sira Pizà

Photos by Bruno Lopes.