Carolina Caycedo: Spiral for Shared Dreams
Until: 19.05.2024

Carolina Caycedo: Spiral for Shared Dreams MoMA, NYC, US Until: 19.05.2024

Carolina Caycedo, Spiral for Shared Dreams, from the series Cosmoatarrayas, 2022

How can art draw our attention to models of resistance to environmental threats? For more than a decade, Carolina Caycedo has posed this question through video, performance, and sculpture, investigating the impact of hydroelectric dams and other infrastructure on rivers, lakes, and oceans throughout the Americas—and on the communities that depend on those waters.

Spiral for Shared Dreams is made from 11 handmade atarrayas, or fishing nets, created by four fishing communities in Mexico—the Mujeres Pescadoras del Manglar in Oaxaca, Salvemos Temacapulín in Jalisco, Cooperativa Norte in Nayarit, and Sociedad Cooperativa Mujeres del Golfo in Baja California Sur—that face different environmental challenges.

Natural and mythological figures appear on some of the nets: a shrimp; an eye representing Chalchiuhtlicue, an Aztec goddess associated with fresh water, childbirth, and sensuality; and the Aztec glyph atl, which, for Caycedo, “stands for a dignified rage, which inspires a lot of us who share dreams for change.” Histories of craft, resistance, and environmental activism converge in these delicate monuments to modes of living that exist in close relation to nature.

Organized by Inés Katzenstein, Curator of Latin American Art and Director of the Patricia Phelps de Cisneros Research Institute for the Study of Art from Latin America, with Julia Detchon, Curatorial Assistant, Department of Drawings and Prints.

Carolina Caycedo: Spiral for Shared Dreams is part of a series titled Cosmoatarrayas, which itself is part of a larger body of work called Be Dammed, or Represa Represión in Spanish. Cosmoatarrayas combines the word “cosmos” and atarrayas, which is the Colombian Spanish name we give to round, artisanal fishing nets. They are used by various cooperatives and collectives that I’ve been in conversation with as part of my fieldwork. I look at how rivers, communities and ecosystems are affected after an extractive infrastructure, like a hydroelectric dam, is constructed in their land.

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