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Announcement
June 5, 2014

Waterweavers: The River in Contemporary Colombian Visual and Material Culture Summer 2014 programs

Bard Graduate Center
Waterweavers, 2014. Exhibition view, Bard Graduate Center Gallery, 2014. Work by Alberto Baraya (foreground), and Abel Rodríguez (above and background). Photo: Bruce White.

Curated by José Roca, the Estrellita B. Brodsky Adjunct Curator of Latin American Art at Tate Modern and Artistic Director of FLORA ars+natura in Bogotá, with the assistance of independent writer and editor Alejandro Martín

 

Waterweavers: The River in Contemporary Colombian Visual and Material Culture uses the trope of the river as a conceptual device to explore the intricate ways in which culture and nature intertwine across disciplines. Today, when a majority of the population lives in cities, rivers continue to serve as the sole access to remote areas and to play a new role as the axis for a different type of economics: the black market that fuels the armed conflict that has plagued Colombia for decades.

Artists, designers and craftspeople included: Ceci Arango, Alberto Baraya, Monika Bravo, Alvaro Catalán de Ocón, David Consuegra, Nicolás Consuegra, Olga de Amaral, Clemencia Echeverri, Juan Fernando Herrán, Jorge Lizarazo, Susana Mejía, Abel Rodríguez, María Isabel Rueda, Lucy Salamanca, Tangrama, Marcelo Villegas, and Carol Young

On view in the Focus Gallery
Carrying Coca: 1,500 Years of Andean Chuspas
curated by Nicola Sharratt examines one of the most enduring and resilient forms in the rich history of Andean weaving traditions—the coca bags or chuspas. The exhibition reveals how the history of the chuspa is a consequence not only of variations in Andean textile traditions but also of the story of the sacred and contested substance they carry.
Nicola Sharratt is a BGC–AMNH Post-Doctoral Fellow in Museum Anthropology and a Research Associate at the Field Museum in Chicago.

 

Gallery programs 
Two Rivers: an evening with filmmaker Peter Hutton
Thursday, June 5, 6pm
As arteries of commerce, culture, and history, rivers have been central to the work of avant-garde filmmaker Peter Hutton for more than 40 years. This program will feature a screening of Two Rivers (2001–2002), a poetic, comparative portrait of the Hudson and Yangtze that speaks to the rise of China in relation to the decline of a post-industrial American region. The screening will be followed by a conversation between Peter Hutton and film curator Joshua Siegel. Read more and register.

Family Day: ¡Tejamos! Let’s Weave!
Saturday, June 7, 1–4pm
Explore the fascinating weaving traditions of South America from Colombia to Peru. Create your own treasure bag on a loom with unusual materials including recycled plastic, wool, and plant fibers. Discover the inventive textiles used for many purposes on a journey through the Waterweavers and Carrying Coca exhibitions. Read more and register.

“Restoring Troubled Water: Andrew Revkin in conversation with Mary Miss and Charles Vörösmarty”
Thursday, June 19, 6pm
Scientist Charles Vörösmarty will discuss the challenges facing Northeast waterways, followed by environmental artist Mary Miss, who will discuss her many years of work linking art with sustainability to redefine how we use water resources. Environmental writer Andrew Revkin will then provide a context for understanding the global crises of water and the ways in which artists and scientists are involved in solving these problems. Read more and register.

“Delineating Colombia: Contemporary Artists Re-tracing Nature,” with Monika Bravo, Georgia de Havenon, José Roca
Thursday, June 26, 6pm
This forum will focus on the responses of artists to the Colombian landscape and their desire to document specific aspects of the natural world in personal terms. Artist Monika Bravo evokes the places where she has lived by intertwining the contemporary and ancient technologies of video and Arhuaco weaving. José Roca and Monika Bravo will talk about the varied interpretations of landscape in the Waterweavers exhibition and the artist’s process of retrieving cultural memory and recording its loss. Art historian Georgia de Havenon, co-curator of the exhibition Unity of Nature: Alexander von Humboldt and the Americas (on view at Americas Society), will discuss the impact of Humboldt’s scientific ideas on earlier generations of landscape artists in Colombia. Read more and register.

“Chronicles of the Chuspas,” with Antonio Sánchez-Gómez
Thursday, July 17, 6pm
In 1955, a group of politically engaged Peruvian scholars embarked on a journey to a remote region of the Andes to explore the life of the Q’ero peoples, the alleged last untouched descendants of the Incas. This exploration resulted in the collection of several objects, among them textiles, looms, and musical instruments. In this collection, housed today at the American Museum of Natural History, two woven bags for carrying coca—chuspas—stand out for their stylistic features and their apparent ancient manufacture. Antonio Sánchez-Gómez, a Colombian-born researcher and lecturer on design history, will talk about how these chuspas provide a rich trove of information that ranges from the relation of the bags to the Inca culture, to the colonial and contemporary meanings embedded in their visual and material characteristics. Read more and register.

 

About the BGC
The Bard Graduate Center is a graduate research institute in New York City. Our Gallery exhibitions, MA and PhD programs, and research initiatives explore new ways of thinking about decorative arts, design history, and material culture. A member of the Association of Research Institutes in Art History (ARIAH), the BGC is a unit of Bard College.

Bard Graduate Center Gallery
18 West 86th Street
(between Central Park West and Columbus Avenue)
New York, NY 10024
Hours: Tuesday–Sunday 11am–5pm, Thursday 11am–8pm

 

 

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