Amauta

 

Cabinet Display for the Kunstpublikationaar, Overgaarden art centre, Copenhagen, 2012

 

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I and Publish and be Damned collaborated with myself in the Kunstpublikationer 2012 at Overgaden Kunsthal 11-13 May, a fair and exhibition related to artist publishing. My project involved a cabinet display of issues of Amauta, an art journal from the 1920s/30s from Peru, a talk about modernism in South America, indigenous culture and global publishing, and a fair stall which included a selection of publications as well as artists editions and nick-nacks from around the world related to tourism, global inequity and Latin American patterns (very much en vogue in high and street fashion in spring 2012).

 

The display was part of an exhibition with sections by Temporary Services, Forlaget*, Sideprojects and other, and featured 12 issues of Amauta, a radical leftist publication founded in 1927 by Jose Carlos Mariategui, who was also the founder of the Peruvian Communist party, who was later imprisoned for his revolutionary calls to arms. It was also informed by the indigenous movement in Peru at the time, a South American equivalent to the Primitivism in Europe, adopting the aesthetics of the Incas, as well as surrealist and radical arts from Europe.

 

 

In addition to the publications I 'annotated' the display by writing over sections of the glass with commentary and history that followed the publications reflecting on the change in how some of the articles are read in retrospect, compared to their utopian aims, particularly in relationship to the image it portrayed of Europe at that time.

 

The talk and stall contextualised this display in curatorial practice and its relationship to ethnography and colonialism and authenticity, particular in context with the history of the 'discovery' of Machu Picchu by National Geographic funded Harry Bingham - a questionable act having been shown the site by locals and now rather overly restored in my view as a tourist attraction. There was some self-criticism in this about the validity of my (and other 'international' curators') engagement with the source material as browsing tourists.