Karlo Andrei Ibarra – “El Cóndor Pesa”

August 31st - November 13th, 2023

Reception: September 6th, 2023, 6 - 9 pm
_VIGILGONZALES Buenos Aires - Presidente Porque Saenz Peña 628 - P4. Buenos Aires

The condor, Kuntur in Quechua, is the bird that reaches the highest heights and is endowed with a distant vision of knowledge and distance. If culturally the condor is an omen of power and wisdom, what is the weight it carries in its flight? 

"El Condor Pesa" refers to the Peruvian zarzuela "El Condor pasa", which elaborates the story of a group of miners and the respective owners of the site where they work. In a play on words, "pasa" is replaced by "pesa" and the icon of the condor is reworked, which in the South American landscape and in the patriotic symbols of these latitudes awakens reflections. Through the referent, the exhibition reinterprets the historical processes that have marked this territory over time, resonating with convulsions whose motifs transcend the Latin American context: the exploitation of resources, colonization and the evolution of a system that submerges us in a regional metastasis.

The exhibition subverts the distorted appropriation of the term in Latin America, as evidenced in "Operation Condor," a plan of systematic dictatorships at the end of the 20th century. The piece seeks to subvert this appropriation and misrepresentation of the symbol: by situating itself in the historic center of Buenos Aires, it explores the multiple symbologies attributed to this bird, highlighting its original connotation as opposed to the distorted interpretations that have been imposed on it over time.

Symptomatology evokes the notion of the Afro-American legend that holds that during the time of the viceroyalties, the Spanish exchanged mirrors for gold, among other trivial objects, with inhabitants of the original civilizations. The emergence of potatoes, an ancestral food, adopts a double nuance: as a millenary source of sustenance and as an element of exchange. Their incrustation in the mirror allegorizes the current state of the region: that social metastasis in which deep-rooted tumorous symptoms are juxtaposed to the body. In his visual metaphor he distills augmented reality. 

Marullo configures the sea through the simulation of its geometry, through the use of seven blue-painted mining peaks. The partial inclusion of the tool, which lacks its wooden support, is a reminder of the lack of historical recognition of the vital work performed in the extraction of raw materials. It refers to the sea as a collective space of unconscious communication between the American and European continents and suggests a reflection on where we are sailing towards in our social shipwreck. 

Serie de nudos (MERCOSUR) presents the signatures of the presidents belonging to MERCOSUR. Ibarra criticizes controversial public policies by compiling the signatures of the presidents of the nations and manipulating their aesthetics to create an apparently incoherent composition, evidencing the empty policies and confusion in certain social processes, blocked by excessive bureaucratization and lack of complementarity. The chaotic arrangement of the signatures alludes to the disconnection between enacted discourses and their materialization, underscoring the challenge of implementing concrete actions in the midst of structural political dynamics.

The arrangement of the works invites a perceptual experience in which the viewer can feel part of the geopolitical landscape. The view that prevails is the one from the heights that only the condor can fly over. We invite you to open the interpretative path to the political, the landscape and the Latin American identity from a capital perspective, to outline a plausible integration of our intervened reflection.

Installation Views

Karlo Andrei Ibarra