In ‘Tente en el aire’ (hold yourself in midair), Berlin-based Venezuelan artist Sol Calero references the Peruvian Cusco School of painting in using handmade wood-carved frames that she acquired on a recent research trip to the country. Painting the frames, Calero has assembled them on the gallery wall against different gradient of browns, as if classifying them or recreating hierarchies. Referencing issues of identity, specifically mediated via skin colour, and castes, this exhibition marks a new departure for the artist where she reconsiders the use of colour and of abstraction. The title references the taxonomy established during the colonial period in Latin America, that still has a multitude of subtle but obvious repercussions in today’s society. The process also underlines the muddy understanding about the roots of those who are of in-between identities and races. Calero explores new avenues in her pictorial language, while continuing to draw from her research on how clichés affect her and our perception of Latin America. The site-specific installation she created in Kunsthalle Lissabon allows her a certain degree of experimentation via blurry perceptions, and reflections on her own affections: the weight of memory; exotic souvenirs; colour as identity, and the idea of portraiture as a vehicle of one’s individuality.
- Cristina Sanchez-Kozyreva