The constant shift in a sense of identity set against the endless fluctuation of people and narratives are the conditions in which artist Andrés Pereira Paz likes to operate. His works examine the role that pre-Hispanic and postcolonial arts and crafts play in the construction of cultural identity. Appropriating Andean imagery he explores how the collective and individual can both support and undermine one another in this process.
When entering the exhibition space, visitors will encounter an amorphous unanimated blue-eyed creature standing on four trekking sticks, its head being formed by a balled-up Bolivian textile. Drawing upon an understanding of textiles as texts, Pereira Paz embroiders several blue eyes on a textile from Tarabuco, a town exposed to a dramatic increase of European tourism which in the long-term has helped to convey an exotic construction of the foreigner, here epitomised by the symbol of blue eyes.
In the 13’22” minute video ‘Tour,’ the artist combines the visual language of a 90s video game named Inca with a soundtrack that uses travel experiences from online blogs of anonymous tourists. This overlap of contemporary narratives and identity politics is a recurring theme in the artist’s work, highlighting here just how these very different spaces of experience and interpretation can be conflated in a single work, regardless of how different these perspectives might be.
The effects of the outsiders view and its internalisation are examined in ‘Manners and Accessions’: Izcue pointing to the desire from some areas of the indigenismo to recover and honour ancient traditions with the aim of promoting the national identity and bring Peruvians closer to their roots.
A fragmented iconography is present in ‘Guamán V’, assembling a series of drawings extracted from “Nueva Crónica y Buen Gobierno” (“New Chronicle and Good Government” c.a.1615), where indigenous chronicler Felipe Guamán Poma de Ayala sought to condemn the abusive treatment suffered by Andean and Incas during the Spanish conquest. Through selecting and isolating the drawings, the artist identifies key gestures and religious symbols both pre-Columbian and catholic as a cartoon-like wall installation that seeks to emphasise the reminiscence of this colonial period.
While postcolonial theories inform the conceptual background of Andrés Pereira Paz’s practice, a multi-layered understanding of history, culture and national identity is visible in the formal aspect of his works, revealing a sense of detachment from linear narratives.
Curated by Aina Pomar
Cover image © Andrés Pereira Paz, ‘Manners and Accessions: Izcue’, 2017. Hand embroidered vintage Recuay textile. 165 x 176 cm
ABOUT THE ARTIST
Andrés Pereira Paz (La Paz, 1986) lives and works between Lima and La Paz. He studied at the Hernando Siles Arts Academy in La Paz and at the Tres de Febrero University in Buenos Aires. Recent exhibitions include: Open Studios, Gasworks, London; Rayo Purita at Crisis Galería, Lima; Adam, Dot Fifty One Gallery, Miami; I am he as you are she as you are me, House of Egorn, Berlin; HAWAPI- the Terrestrian Triangle, Cerrillos Cultural Centre, Santiago de Chile; Contextos Biennale National Museum of Art, La Paz, among others. He is also part of the Bisagra project in Lima along with Eliana Otta, Juan Diego Tobalina, Florencia Portocarrero, Iosu Aramburu and Miguel Lopez.
Andrés Pereira Paz: ‘BLUE EYES’
At The RYDER, 19a Herald Street, London E2 6JT
11 May – 16 June 2018
Opening times: Wednesday – Saturday, 12 – 6 pm
Private view: Thursday 10 May, 6 – 9pm