19 Dec Gilda Mantilla and Raimond Chaves
About the Project
El Gabinete de la Curiosidad (The Cabinet of Curiosities) was an invitation to audiences to ask questions. Upon visiting the exhibition at El Espacio 23, viewers were invited to write down questions that came to mind when looking at the art. This exercise, emphasizing a central concern in the artists’ practice, intended to reveal a moment of doubt, of (dis)orientation by questioning the relationship between images and the places in which they are inscribed, and by extension between the work of art and its context.
Reversing the logic of sociology that states that each survey precedes its answers, the artists chose to keep the questions, using curiosity as a tool of knowledge. The program encouraged the general public to consider and pose questions regarding artwork and its context, something which due to the very nature of contemporary art, remain latent or contained. Via this exercise, the artists generated a mechanism that would allow these questions to arise and be addressed.
About Gilda Mantilla and Raimond Chaves
Raimond Chaves, born in Bogotá in 1963 and raised in Barcelona, and Gilda Mantilla, born in Los Angeles in 1967 and raised in Lima, are life partners, and have been artistic collaborators since 2001 while also maintaining individual solo careers. Chaves received a degree in Fine Arts from the Universitat Autonoma de Barcelona in 1989; Mantilla received a BFA from Pontificia Universidad Católica del Perú with honors in painting in 1990.
Mantilla and Chaves understand their practice as an interaction with the contexts in which they work, focusing above all on the framework of what we understand as Latin America, and therefore on the processes and conflicts that shape its dynamics. They revisit the European traveler-artist tradition in the region and rearticulate the concept of “America“ in drawings of the region’s flora and fauna, and of its institutions. Chaves and Mantilla’s images offer an alternative to stereotypical, exoticizing views and official histories of Latin America by focusing on fragmentary and overlooked details of the region’s heterogeneous peoples and places.
Solo exhibitions of Chaves and Mantilla’s collaborative work have been presented at Casa de América, Madrid (2005); Centro Cultural de España, Lima (2007); ProjecteSD, Barcelona (2007 and 2010); Revolver Galería, Lima (2010 and 2012); and Alianza Francesa Lima Centro (2013). They participated in the group exhibitions the São Paulo Biennial (2006); Cut & Mix – Cultural Appropriation and Artistic Statement: Contemporary Art from Peru and Chile, Institut für Auslandsbeziehungen, Berlin and Stuttgart; and Actos de Edición, Fundación Botín, Santander, Spain (both 2011); Subjective Projections, Bielefelder Kunstverein, Germany; Cartografías contemporáneas: Dibujando el pensamiento, CaixaForum, Barcelona; Centro abierto, Museo de Arte de Lima and Fundación Telefónica, Lima; and Anywhere Better Than This Place, Museum of Latin American Art, Long Beach, California (all 2012); and A Trip from Here to There, Museum of Modern Art, New York; Un dilema: L’art contemporani i la inversió en la incertesa, Centre d’Art Santa Mònica, Barcelona; Salón (inter)Nacional de Artistas, Medellín; Mercosul Biennial, Porto Alegre, Brazil; and Gabinete colectivo, FLORA ars+natura, Bogotá (all 2013). Chaves and Mantilla live and work in Lima.