GRIMM presents ¡Kachkaniraqkun! / ¡Somos aún! / ¡We are, still!, a solo presentation for this year’s edition of Art Basel Miami with new works by Claudia Martínez Garay. Martínez Garay’s work combines standing murals, geometric forms, and ceramic works to reflect on the idea of sacrifice, invoking a strong identification with indigenous cultures. The artist has created this installation as part of an ongoing process of inquiry into the life of cultural artifacts, how they are created, preserved and circulated.
Martínez Garay looks to the pre-Columbian cultures of South America, with a focus on representing and interpreting the visual language of Incan ceremonial traditions. Geometric forms are pulled from the Incanato, or Incan elite, which are postulated to be symbols ranging from markers of social class to glyphs from unknown writing systems. In one section of the installation the artist has created a ceramic tableau based on a drawing by the Incan nobleman Guaman Poma de Ayala in which a hand, hanging on the wall, reprimands little ceramic spirits below for failing to bring rain.
Claudia Martínez Garay’s work is in dialogue with the impact of colonialism on cultural artifacts, questioning how cultural artifacts are created, preserved, transformed and circulated. Investigating objects' journeys between their origin and destination, she suggests that the information accrued in these transitory spaces holds value and power.
by Benoît Loiseau
by Henri Neuendorf