The "Disappeared Cities" of Amazonia: The Forest as Architecture

Monday 16 November, 2015
6:30 - 8:30pm, $0

New School, Kaplan Hall
66 West 12 Street, Klein Room (Floor 5)

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Artists Gilda Mantilla and Raimond Chaves have spent several years investigating the role images have played in the imaginary and comprehension 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. 

Secrets of the Amazon – Tomo River is on public display for the afternoon, starting at 4pm. At 6:30 pm, in 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. 

Viewing Room is a charted journey through some recent acquisitions of the contemporary art collection of the non-for-profit Colección Patricia Phelps de Cisneros, organized by Sofía Hernández Chong Cuy, curator of contemporary art at the CPPC, and artist Alejandro Cesarco. It consists of a series of events in New York City in which a single artwork from the collection is put on display with an accompanying public program. Audiences are invited to experience seminal yet rarely seen artworks—in most cases, never before exhibited in the city—and to participate in programs designed to help articulate the working processes and contexts in which these works were created.

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