Virtual Visual Art Exhibition
Flora Alvarado and Abril Baby Carissimo, ed. Ana Vivaldi
SONS/SEED Marrón Visual Arts Exhibition
Curated by Flora Alvarado, América Canela and Abril Caríssimo
The seed keeps the latent life; the seeds are the bodies that are part of the fruit and will give rise to a new plant. This plant keeps growing until it is in favourable conditions to develop and create the structure to carry out new forms of propagation and thus continue its survival. The children of Indigenous people exist today. The attempt to erase our records, our history, has resulted in identity recognition becoming more complex. In Argentina, racialised people have been invisibilised and reduced to archetypes in culture and history. Racialized faces and skin generate different ways of being treated and different experiences. At the same time, the process of identity recognition as part of an Indigenous nation is a choice, but it should not be an imposition.
Far from resorting to solemnity, these selected works seek to show contemporary Marrón realities, in which access to fundamental rights such as education, culture and decent housing are violated. This is where the work of families plays a part. We are the children of the campesinos and migrants, the working class and the cabecitas negras from whom history has taken away their individuality. And we come in hundreds, thousands, and millions. We are not the beginning: we are the offspring of racialised people who have struggled to make a place for themselves in the artistic, academic, political and legal worlds.
Art is a possible way to explore and revalue our realities beyond reconstructing an Indigenous, campesino or migrant genealogy. The art of racialised creators takes many forms, themes and aesthetics. There are two main axes in this virtual exhibition: self-recognition and fantasy.
For any creator, the issue about one own’s identity and intimacy is central. As racialised artists, art allows us to be protagonists of our artistic process and productions. It is here where our daily lives, families, neighbourhoods, affections, and aesthetics appear. Part of these works are done by Marrón corporalities in their different perspectives and forms: they make visible the multiple possibilities of existence and challenge the archetypes in which others place us. Art is a possible way to trigger forms of resignification, action, and self-recognition.
The other axis that unites the works is the possibility of imagining different worlds: what happens when we can take off the weight of solemnity for a while? As artists of colour, working within and outside cultural institutions, we deal with the pressure of these archetypes, with the internalisation of the struggle we inherited from our parents and the pressure to represent something bigger than just ourselves. This is something that the racialised person will experience in many spaces, both in and outside the artistic field. But art here is not only a trigger: it is an escape route from these pressures, an exploration of formats, processes, and techniques; it is to inhabit the process, to challenge the limits imposed upon us, and to stop thinking under the constraints of the external gaze. It is being able to inhabit the fantasy of creating new worlds for a while. This is thus a way in which these works can also be understood: art as an escape route, a hack into reality.
Institutions are slowly and reluctantly including virtual formats, but we believe that virtuality is one of the best ways for circulating images. From the Global South, we call on the Marrón, Indigenous, coppery, cinnamon, earth-coloured people born on this continent to embrace their origins, to revalue their roots and our cultures. Our proposal is anti-racist. We are aware that we might make mistakes and be severely punished, but we are militant that many artists can inhabit the spaces that have historically been denied us.
We want to use all possible tools; we want to occupy all spaces; we want to see Marronxs everywhere. Like the weed, we grow despite everything and everywhere.