2270 NW 23rd St.
Miami, Florida

Alberto Baraya

Photos: Alberto Baraya

About the Project
Allapattah Expedition. Herbarium of Artificial Plants

As a result of a series of botanical ‘expeditions’ throughout the Allapattah community, Alberto Baraya created an ‘Artificial Plant Herbarium,’ from artificial flowers he received from the community. A reference and a parody to XIX century botanical expeditions, Baraya collected all kinds of reproductions of nature, specifically copies of flora that he found in his path, bought or exchanged for other goods with people from the community. Using the collected “species”, Baraya worked on the elaboration of pseudo-botanical films using plant taxonomy methods to identify, describe and classify the plants creating an archive where each species is not only classified in detail but also accompanied by the photographic record of the particular situations in which they were found or acquired. The final result of these expeditions is not only carefully and meticulously crafted artworks but also a visual archive of the rich and diverse Allapattah community.

About Alberto Baraya

Alberto Baraya was born in 1968 in Bogotá, where he still lives and works. He is best known for his multimedia production, which includes installation, drawing, photography, sculpture and video. He began his career creating ironic self-portraits from appropriated iconic paintings or by forging provocative scenarios . In 2003 he initiated the on-going series Herbario de plantas artificiales, in which he delved into and critiqued the practices of 17th and 18th-century European travellers. Baraya undertakes the role of the traveller, replicating the tradition of botanical and anthropological expeditions that were carried out in Europe in the name of science and colonization. Throughout his travels, the artist collected and catalogued artificial plants, putting into question the tradition of scientific categorization, taxonomy and the Western fascination for, or perhaps mystification of its colonies.

His recent solo shows include: Expedición siciliana, at Galería Fernando Pradilla (2019), in Madrid, Spain; Alberto Baraya – Estudios comparados de paisaje, at Espacio Odeón (2017), in Bogotá, Colombia; Ornitología Bolivariana – La fábula de los pájaros, at Museo Quinta de Bolívar (2015), in Bogotá, Colombia; Expedición México, at Galería Proyecto Paralelo (2014), in Mexico City, Mexico. His works featured in recent group shows: Manifesta 12 Palermo – The European Nomadic Biennial: The Planetary Garden. Cultivating Coexistence, Palermo, Italy (2018); Flora, at Stavanger Kunstmuseum (MUST) (2019), in Stavanger, Norway; Modern Nature, at Drawing Room (2019), in London, UK; Le bruit des choses qui tombent, at Frac Provence-Alpes-Côte d’Azur (FRAC PACA) (2017), in Marselha, France; Botany Under Influence, at apexart (2016), in New York, USA; and Naturaleza nominal, at Centro de Arte Dos de Mayo (CA2M) (2015), at Madrid, Spain. His works are included in important collections, such as: Collection Pierre Huber Video and Films, Geneva, Switzerland; Essex Collection of Art from Latin America (ESCALA), University of Essex, Colchester, UK; Museo de Arte de la Universidad Nacional de Colombia, Bogotá, Colombia; Tamarind Institute, Albuquerque, USA.