Viewing Room: Gilda Mantilla & Raimond Chaves

November 16, 2015

Video of the presentation is now available!

Monday, November 16, 2015
Vera List Center for Art and Politics
Malcolm Klein Room
The New School
66 West 12th Street, 5th Floor
New York, NY 100111

On View: 
4:00–6:30 pm
Gilda Mantilla and Raimond Chaves
Secrets of the Amazon—Tomo River (2011)

6:30—8:30 pm
The "Disappeared Cities" of Amazonia: the Forest as Architecture
A lecture by Paulo Tavares

Viewing Room is an itinerant initiative of the Colección Patricia Phelps de Cisneros (CPPC), highlighting a single artwork through a short-term presentation and a discursive program around it hosted by different organizations. The Vera List Center is pleased to partner with the CPPC on Secrets of the Amazon – Tomo River.

Artists Gilda Mantilla and Raimond Chaves have spent several years investigating the role images have played in the imaginary and comprehension of the Peruvian Amazon, specifically, working with the unique holdings of the Peruvian Research Institute and the Center for Theological Studies of the Amazon, the latter founded by Father Joaquín García Sánchez and located in Iquitos, Peru. A 35mm-slide double-projection, Secrets of the Amazons – Tomo River is one of several artworks created from such experience. This work draws from a quasi travel-book of the Peruvian Amazons authored by a member of the military who was stationed in the region in the late twentieth century.

In this forthcoming episode of Viewing Room, Secrets of the Amazon – Tomo River is on public display for an afternoon. Then, in the evening, at the same space, architect Paulo Tavares shares his ongoing work on Amazonia, exploring the contested history of its representation and appropriation by the colonial-modern imaginary evident in cartographies, images and spatial designs. Through a forensic archaeology of the landscapes of Amazonia, Tavares approaches the forest as architecture, excavating the history of a territory whose nature is deeply cultural, shaped and re-shaped by political conflicts. This public program intends to elucidate the different kinds of work being done in and about Amazonia to offer a broader context for better comprehending such a region, as well as the artwork on view.

Gilda Mantilla (Peru) and Raimond Chaves (Colombia) live in Lima, Peru; they have often developed work in collaboration while also keeping independent practices. Together, they represent Peru in the country’s inaugural pavilion at this year’s 56th Venice Biennale in Italy.

Originally from Campinas, Brazil, and working mainly from Quito, Ecuador, Paulo Tavares has been conducting an ongoing forensic study of the Amazon in Peru, Ecuador and Brazil. He has joined Princeton University as a research fellow for fall 2015.

This episode of Viewing Room is organized in collaboration with the Vera List Center for Art and Politics at The New School in New York, as part of the center’s 2015-2017 curatorial programs on Post Democracy. It is open to the general public free of charge. RSVP is encouraged:

A forthcoming episode of Viewing Room includes the presentation of The Catherwood Project, 1985–1993, by Leandro Katz (Argentina). Earlier episodes featured The Fountain of Prosperity, 2006, by Michael Stevenson (New Zealand), with a panel discussion including Lauren Cornell, Jason Farago and Michael Taussig; Looting, 2010, by Regina José Galindo (Guatemala), with a lecture performed by Mark Beasley and Arto Lindsay; and, A Voyage or ‘With the MS Remscheid on the Amazon’ or the Account of a Voyage Under the Stars of the Refrigerator, 1968–1972, by Lothar Baumgarten (Germany), with an artist’s talk moderated by Thomas Bartscherer.

Viewing Room is organized by Sofía Hernández Chong Cuy, curator of contemporary art at the CPPC, and artist Alejandro Cesarco. On the occasion of this episode of Viewing Room, they worked with Carin Kuoni, director/curator of the Vera List Center for Art and Politics.