Exhibition views of ' MACBA Collection: Prelude. Poetic Intention'

Exhibition views of MACBA Collection: Prelude. Poetic Intention, 2022. Photo: Miquel Coll

All of Sandra Gamarra's figures carry semantic indicators, such as indigenous, Amerindian, Andean, inferior, savage, archaic, tribal, barbarian, coloured, commoner, peasant, communist, leftist, foreigner.... In making her pieces, the artist pictorially replicates works from pre-Columbian collections in various Spanish museums. For the qualifying terms she assigns to each object, she plunders the descriptions by which the figure of the ‘other’ has been historically defined. An ‘other’ constructed by European ethnocentrism, which sees every inhabitant of non-Western geographies as a savage and, therefore, susceptible to being organized, developed, made to progress, taken advantage of and exploited. An ‘other’ with reddish skin that the European imaginary often associates, totally fallaciously, with the Marxist tradition and the thinking of the Western left. Reproducing the supposedly neutral sterility of the museum showcase, Gamarra critiques a conception of the world that has been imposed as being unique and superior, and which still underpins migration policies, the organization of work, the use of natural resources and some art exhibitions criteria.

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