Carolina Caycedo: From the Bottom of the River

About this exhibition

Desde el Fondo del Río

Por medio de su práctica de estudio y de su trabajo de campo con comunidades ribereñas afectadas por los proyectos de infraestructura a gran escala, Carolina Caycedo (colombiana, n. 1978; vive y trabaja en Los Ángeles) crea obras que abordan la relación del ser humano con la naturaleza. Trabajando en primera línea de la lucha por la justicia social y medioambiental, la artista recolecta materiales, experiencias, objetos y sentimientos para crear su obra multidisciplinaria.

Carolina Caycedo: Desde el fondo del río analiza los últimos diez años de la práctica artística de Caycedo y se encuentra protagonizada por Represa/Represión (2012– ), un proyecto multimedia en curso que examina el impacto que las represas hidroeléctricas y otros grandes proyectos de infraestructura tienen sobre las comunidades y el medioambiente. Además, la exposición presenta a las poderosas Cosmotarrayas, una serie de esculturas hechas con redes de pesca producidas como resultado de su trabajo de campo en zonas de Colombia, Brasil y otros países, donde la privatización de las vías fluviales ha alterado irrevocablemente la capacidad de vivir y trabajar de las comunidades locales. La exposición incluye video, dibujo, escultura y fotografía, y reflexiona sobre la importancia del proceso y la participación en la obra de Caycedo.

Inspirándose en filosofías indígenas, la obra de Caycedo nos desafía a comprender la naturaleza no como un recurso a ser explotado, sino como una entidad viviente y espiritual que une a las personas más allá de las fronteras. Su enfoque innovador integra su práctica de creación artística en el estudio con acciones en las comunidades afectadas por la minería, la construcción de represas y otros proyectos de extracción de recursos llevados a cabo por corporaciones y gobiernos. La obra de Caycedo invita a los espectadores a considerar el ritmo de crecimiento insostenible que impone el capitalismo y la manera en que podemos reafirmar nuestra resistencia, solidaridad y biodiversidad cultural y medioambiental.

Esta exposición ha sido organizada por Carla Acevedo-Yates, curadora Marilyn y Larry Fields, con Iris Colburn, asistente de curaduría. Se presenta en la Galería Familia Bergman, ubicada en la segunda planta del museo.

From the Bottom of The River

Through her studio practice and fieldwork with riverside communities impacted by large-scale infrastructure projects, Carolina Caycedo (Colombian, b. 1978; lives and works in Los Angeles) makes work that addresses humanity’s relationship with nature. Working on the front lines of social and environmental justice, she gathers materials, experiences, objects, and feelings to make her multidisciplinary work.

Carolina Caycedo: From the Bottom of the River surveys the last ten years of Caycedo’s artistic practice and prominently features Be Dammed (2012– ), an ongoing multimedia project that examines the impact of hydroelectric dams and other major infrastructure projects on communities and the environment. It also features Caycedo’s powerful Cosmotarrayas, a series of net sculptures produced through fieldwork in rural areas of Colombia, Brazil, and other countries where the privatization of waterways has irrevocably altered the ability of local communities to live and work. The exhibition encompasses video, drawing, sculpture, and photography and reflects the importance of process and participation in Caycedo’s work.

Informed by Indigenous philosophies, Caycedo’s work challenges us to understand nature not as a resource to be exploited, but as a living and spiritual entity that unites people beyond borders. Her innovative approach integrates her art-making practice in the studio with actions in communities affected by mining, damming, and other resource extraction projects by corporations and governments. Caycedo’s work invites viewers to consider the unsustainable pace of growth under capitalism—and how we might bolster resistance, solidarity, and cultural and environmental biodiversity.

The exhibition is organized by Carla Acevedo-Yates, Marilyn and Larry Fields Curator, with Iris Colburn, Curatorial Assistant. It is presented in the Bergman Family Gallery on the museum’s second floor.

Installation Images

Installation view, Carolina Caycedo: From the Bottom of the River, MCA Chicago Dec 12, 2020–Sep 12, 2021

Photo: Nathan Keay, © MCA Chicago

Installation view, Carolina Caycedo: From the Bottom of the River, MCA Chicago Dec 12, 2020–Sep 12, 2021

Photo: Nathan Keay, © MCA Chicago

Installation view, Carolina Caycedo: From the Bottom of the River, MCA Chicago Dec 12, 2020–Sep 12, 2021
Work shown: My Feminine Lineage of Environmental Struggle, 2018. Courtesy of the artist, Commonwealth and Council, Los Angeles, and Instituto de Visión, Bogotá

Photo: Nathan Keay, © MCA Chicago

Installation view, Carolina Caycedo: From the Bottom of the River, MCA Chicago Dec 12, 2020–Sep 12, 2021

Photo: Nathan Keay, © MCA Chicago

Installation view, Carolina Caycedo: From the Bottom of the River, MCA Chicago Dec 12, 2020–Sep 12, 2021 Works from the River Books series, 2016-Ongoing and Cosmotarraya Elwha, 2016-20

Photo: Nathan Keay, © MCA Chicago

Installation view, Carolina Caycedo: From the Bottom of the River, MCA Chicago Dec 12, 2020–Sep 12, 2021

Photo: Nathan Keay, © MCA Chicago

Installation view, Carolina Caycedo: From the Bottom of the River, MCA Chicago Dec 12, 2020–Sep 12, 2021 Work shown: __ (detail), 2017. Courtesy of the artist and Instituto de Visión, Bogotá

Photo: Nathan Keay, © MCA Chicago

Installation view, Carolina Caycedo: From the Bottom of the River, MCA Chicago Dec 12, 2020–Sep 12, 2021 Work shown: Mujeres en mí / Women in Me (4) (detail) from the Mujeres en mí series, 2010–ongoing. Elisa Estrada F-S Photo: Nathan Keay, © MCA Chicago.

Photo: Nathan Keay, © MCA Chicago

Installation view, Carolina Caycedo: From the Bottom of the River, MCA Chicago Dec 12, 2020–Sep 12, 2021

Photo: Nathan Keay, © MCA Chicago.

Installation view, Carolina Caycedo: From the Bottom of the River, MCA Chicago Dec 12, 2020–Sep 12, 2021 Work shown: Apparitions, 2019. Collaboration with choreographer Marina de Magalhães and filmmaker David de Rozas, together with dancers Samad Guerra, Isis Avalos, Bianca Medina, Jose Richard Aviles, and Celeste Tavares. Courtesy of the artist, Instituto de Visión, Bogota, and Commonwealth and Council, Los Angeles

Photo: Nathan Keay, © MCA Chicago

Funding

Lead support is provided by the Harris Family Foundation in memory of Bette and Neison Harris: Caryn and King Harris, Katherine Harris, Toni and Ron Paul, Pam Szokol, Linda and Bill Friend, and Stephanie and John Harris; the Zell Family Foundation; Julie and Larry Bernstein; R.H. Defares; the Margot and W. George Greig Ascendant Artist Fund; Cari and Michael Sacks; and Anonymous.

Major support is provided by Estrellita and Daniel Brodsky, Jacques and Natasha Gelman Foundation, and Charlotte Cramer Wagner and Herbert S. Wagner III of the Wagner Foundation.

Generous support is provided by Commonwealth and Council, Marisa Murillo, David Walega, and Anonymous.

This exhibition is supported by the Women Artists Initiative, a philanthropic commitment to further equity across gender lines and promote the work and ideas of women artists.