Berlin, 15 October 2020 – The new exhibition of ifa Gallery Berlin originates from a northern Argentinian border region which is part of the so-called Gran Chaco. 'The Listening and the Winds' brings together craftswomen’s collectives, activists and communicators from the pueblos originarios with artists and researchers who live in the region to reflect on the political significance of their creative output. It shows fragments of these activities and the artefacts that result from them: textiles, ceramics, drawings, soundscapes and audiovisual landscapes.
Gran Chaco – A cultural, resistant space transgresses borders
The Gran Chaco covers more than a million square kilometers, encompassing parts of northern Argentina, southeastern Bolivia, western Paraguay and southwestern Brazil. It is a region that resists being divided by national borders; it is a silent but untamed territory. In the Argentinean Chaqueña region, small cities constructed as part of the oil and gas industries displaced indigenous communities, negating their presence and undermining their human rights for many years. The native woodland was devastated in this process, but the pueblos originarios managed to defend their forms of understanding life and nature successfully until today. The whisper of that memory, which many people are able to hear, listen to and translate, continues to be sustained by the wind.
Andrea Fernández resides in a city near the border between Argentina, Bolivia and Paraguay, where, five years ago, she began working with indigenous women. Fernández has also been part of organisa-tional processes of territorial and cultural management, thus articulating artistic investigations with projects of social economy.
Collectives defending living space, identity and heritage
The community radio station 'La Voz Indígena' (The Indigenous Voice), located in the city of Tarta-gal, is a collective that fights for the defense of the territory and its ancestral cosmogonies using the spoken word—sometimes in the form of songs. A section of the collective’s archive is presented at the exhibition, its starting point is a selection realized with the activist and researcher Mariana Ortega, a native of Tartagal, who has worked alongside the organisation for many years. This project also features a collaboration between the filmmaker Daniela Seggiaro and the composer Cecilia Castro.
The collective 'Orembiapo Maipora', made up of several Chané female ceramic artists, has been ac-companied by the artist and professor Florencia Califano. The group designed clay pieces that repre-sent the animals they have lived with side-by-side: animals they remember, ones that disappeared along with the devastated land, and those they imagine—thus manifesting their right to create.
The 'Taller de Memoria Étnica' (Ethnic Memory Workshop), created by the female organisation ARTEDE, investigates the oral history of Taikolic, a warrior from the Toba community who led battles resisting the occupation of this region. Mestizo students of a faculty in Tartagal are engaged in representing this story, something that has been excluded from the official historical narrative, with the aim of generating more complex memories of the place they are a part of and understanding their own identity. Producer Brayan Sticks accompanied them to make a documentary about their investigation and rehearse the representation of 'others'.
Members of the collective 'Thañí', female weavers from the Wichí community, produced textile pieces based on exchanges with the artist Guido Yannitto. Together they explore a new scale and combine images, abstractions and caricatures of the natural forms that the female weavers relate to as daugh-ters of the land and the river.
'The Listening and the Winds' features a textile work by the artist Carlos ‘Pajita’ García Bes, who carried out research on indigenous, ancestral knowledge in the 20th century, focusing on the listening in regard to the narratives, legends and rituals of the pueblos originarios.
Transdisciplinary exhibition project 'Untie to Tie': Focus Environment
With the transdisciplinary project 'Untie to Tie', ifa Gallery Berlin invites visitors to take part in a dis-course on colonial legacies, movement, migration and environment. The programme’s final chapter Environment explores the consequences colonisation and globalisation have had for the environment and encounters local forms of resistance. It introduces works by international artists who deal with questions of how we can learn from communities worldwide to foster a new, more responsible relationship with the environment. www.untietotie.org
Thursday 22 October 2020, 14.00–22.00
Address and Opening Hours
Opening hours: Tuesday to Sunday 14.00–18.00
Closed on Mondays and bank holidays as well as from 22 December 2020 to 4 January 2021
Information on the exhibition:
Ev Fischer, +49 (0)30 284491 57, ifa-galerie-berlin(at)ifa.de
Guido Jansen-Recken, +49 (0)30 284491 19, presse(at)ifa.de
ifa (Institut für Auslandsbeziehungen) is Germany’s oldest intermediary organisation for interna-tional cultural relations, having celebrated its centenary in 2017. It promotes a peaceful and enrich-ing coexistence between people and cultures worldwide. ifa supports artistic and cultural exchange in exhibition, dialogue and conference programmes, and it acts as a centre of excellence for interna-tional cultural relations. It is part of a global network and relies on sustainable, long-term partner-ships.
It is supported by the Federal Foreign Office of the Federal Republic of Germany, the state of Ba-den-Württemberg and its capital Stuttgart. www.ifa.de/en