CENTRO SELVA ARTISTS IN RESIDENCY PROGRAM July - August 2012

En la Residencia

Photo: Mwamba Mulangala


Exhibitions: Cuerpo y Tierra (previous to the residency)  and  RESIDENCIA PARA ARTISTAS 2012 (final residency exhibition)
 

Workshop on Shipibo-Conibo Art ( at the farm)







Artist Talk (Centro Cultural,  Pucallpa)
















Visit to the Shipibo - Conibo community of Panaillo

















Working at the residency

Artists Experience

Alexander Mackenzie
Before Centro Selva I never had been involved with an artist residency program. My impressions of what these sorts of programs should contain and consist of was based entirely on an outsiders perspective and hearsay. Having just graduated from university, all my previous experience came from a strong studio background and I suppose I somehow thought that that setting would be replicated in the amazon as some sort of microcosm of the "art world" that I was already accustomed to. My expectations, though vague to begin with, were not met in the way that I had imagined but on the contrary were exceeded through activities and experiences that I never thought I would experience in an art residency (or in my life in general). Moments like the trip to the Shipibo Conibo community and the events that preluded the opening of our final exhibit really struck me. The cultural offerings and the people (both local and the artist in residence) are the strongest assets of the Centro Selva program in my mind. It was in these areas that I will have the fondest memories.

In terms of my work, I pursued two projects while being involve with the residency. One that was based around my interest in this sort of playful proliferation of imagery and form. I felt it had something to do with the relationship between architecture and landscape and justly I made an installation of the small and quirky objects/images that I constructed over the 2 week work period.

The second project I created while at Centro Selva was a process piece based on ideas of labor, intention, negation, and finality. Building a Wall on the Only Flat Space I Could Find, is to some extend a self explanatory title. To elaborate, the project consisted of a four hour performance in which I attempted to enclose a space (with a wall) using only 150 bricks that I found on the farm. In order for the wall to progress I had to take bricks from the rear and transport them to the front thus that as the wall advanced and grew it was constantly negating itself. While I have done performative pieces in the past I have never worked with video. Fortunately for me nearly have the residents were video artist (or something of the like), so I decided to document the performance in this way and present it as a video installation during the final exhibit.
Images of the work can be found in the links below


Ofri Lapid

My project is a reflection of the process in which Shipibo-conibo design is undergoing a change, from its traditional ritualistic pictorial language to being used as a contemporary commercial product, relying on pattern as a decorative element rather than a narrative tool. 


Traditionally, each pattern of the Shipibo-Conibo is completely unique and in that sense it can be called art, yet this art is not based only on the imagination of an individual but rather rooted in the collective consciousness of the whole Shipibo-Conibo tribe. 
In my work I follow this approach and wish to create a work of art that is not individual but utilizes multiple perspectives. 


For this installation I have invited different members from the Shipibo-Conibo community to apply their own unique design on top of mass produced commercial merchandise, and intervene in the printed or duplicated patterns. In this way a layered image is created, one that will attest to the historical and visual evolution of the Shipibo-Conibo art. 
The term Thick description in the terminology of anthropology stands for the contextualization of cultural phenomena, placing the action or gesture in a broader spectrum of understanding so that it is read alongside its cultural implications.

The highlight of the residency was the moment when we were swimming in the river, alongside Panaillo- the shipibo village in the jungle. Never before have I felt so welcomed, so exhilarated and yet so foreign, this really concludes my experience in Centro Selva. The most unfamiliar feeling of being at home. 


Mwamba Mulangala

My project at Centro Selva is accomplished using the knowledge I acquired through intimate investigations with my immediate residency environment.
Through walks and looking around the residency areas, I allowed the environment to inspire and
dictate to me what direction my creations would take. This journey was finally realized through experimentation using an assortment of organic forms of specific found materials that I assembled together with the aim of creating three--‐dimensional assemblages. In this quest, multiple fragments evoking different forms are combined together to establish holistic works whose themes are both whimsical and pensive.







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