VIGIL GONZALES is pleased to present MICAELA, a solo exhibition by artist C.J. Chueca (Lima, 1977), in our rooms in the Sacred Valley of the Incas. MICAELA: The blood of all, is an exhibition conceived within the framework of the artist's interest in the character of Micaela Bastidas (Tamburco, 1744 - Cuzco, 1781) in pre-republican history, the construction of her role as a leader in the struggle for independence, particularly in the rebellion of Tinta, and above all the significance of her participation as a synonym of legend in the American struggle against colonial oppression and exploitation. It is worth mentioning that Bastidas was tortured and brutally murdered in the Plaza de Armas in Cusco.
This exhibition project seeks to connect with the figure of Micaela Bastidas, of Amerindian roots, offering a reflective experience from a theory of feminism supported by historical facts. The artist, through what Micaela embodies, wishes to capture feminine struggles of both emancipation and the transformation of wounds. These struggles, like those of other women, have sought change. On the one hand, colonial defeat, but on the other, to change a history written by men.
For the artist, the figure of Micaela Bastidas can come to embody new old issues that concern women of different historical times. Among them we can find oppression, harassment, violations and systemic violence, discrimination, among others. From an intersectional perspective, these problems are not isolated from each other, but also intertwine to form a complex social tangle in which women are victims (De la Cadena 1992). In the absence of a verbal way to communicate this incarnation of new problems, Chueca proposes to communicate it through the exhibition and a careful elaboration and selection of works.
The exhibition consists of three rooms. The first is surrounded by a massive red colored through the works and the coloration of natural light. Upon entering, one sees Micaela washing in a river of blood, looking at the viewer with an intrusive gaze. To the side, a deep red broken wall is shown and near Micaela, on the floor, a mestizo snake. Reference is made to the mestizo, because of Micaela's mestizo character. The figure of the snake also makes a nod to a possible mobility within different social groups by not only belonging to one, but being a mixture of several. However, to what extent is this mobility possible? In the second room, it is presented as a transitional space, pale and naked. It shows 3 skins stretched on aluminum frames. These are arranged in such a way that they allude to mountains, or apus. On the floor are other snakeskin molts, which refer to leaving something behind, entering a new period of life, to a renewal. It seems that the spirit of Micaela has inhabited everything around us, the ground, the air, the earth, but her possession is like a murmur this time, we cannot see her but we know she is here. In the third room, the water rises. We see her again, entering a whirlpool of water. But is she entering or is she leaving? Is she leaving for good or coming back? She has become water and the water is unstoppable.