Opening: July 27th
Maps often show features such as orographic variations, political borders, cities, and roads. There are also maps of population, migratory flows, and many others that illustrate standardized aspects of the way the planet works. Among them, historical cartography addresses the variations of these and other parameters throughout time. However, there are unmapped aspects that could reveal hitherto ignored stories when plotted on a map.
In this research project Chilean artist Voluspa Jarpa has decided to pinpoint on a planisphere the cities that hosted a peculiar kind of exhibition: human zoos. This practice of colonial assertion and racial profiling was used in Europe from 1815 to 1958.
By identifying cities hosting human zoos, she also reveals the background of the individuals on display, pointing out the flows of forced circulation of these populations from Patagonia and elsewhere to the diverse European cities that “took them in”. Her work highlights the persistent pursuit of a colonial policy intended to become part of the “common sense” of Western-European society through the construction of notions of the “exotic”, the “savage” and, ultimately, of a different “other” that could be legitimately subjugated.
By engaging active spectators, Jarpa's proposal invites them to explore, analyze, and investigate the information offered, as well as to arrange and interconnect the sequence of images. Above all, it deactivates the acquired knowledge and institutionalized rationale, and dismantles the colonial perspective to pave the way for new critical approaches that shed light on the present.
Diana B. Wechsler
The exhibition To the South of the South includes the projects , Dissident Cartographies with works by Voluspa Jarpa (CHL), Paola Monzillo (URY), Graciela Sacco (ARG) and Agustina Woodgate (ARG) and Zoo, by Voluspa Jarpa (CHL).
Photograph: Voluspa Jarpa (CHL). Polyptych atlas of human zoos (detail), 2013. Pencil, ink and watercolour on paper. Ink and print on polyester paper 400 x 210 cm.