artist / participant
press release only in german
August 28, 2021–February 6, 2022
Voluspa Jarpa’s Sindemia (Syndemic) is the winner of the inaugural edition of the Julius Baer Art Prize for Latin American Female Artists, a new biennial award initiated by Julius Baer and The Museum of Modern Art of Bogotá – MAMBO.
The term “syndemic” was introduced in the 1990s in medical anthropology to describe two or more sequential epidemics in a population with biological interactions, which exacerbate the prognosis and burden of disease.
Sindemia is Voluspa Jarpa’s metaphor to analyze the violent social riots that occurred from October 2019 to March 2020 in Chile. She invited collaborators—an astrophysicist, a mathematician, a Mapuche poet, a female witness, and a woman fighting in the frontline—to collect and share experiences about this phenomenon of protest, resistance, and rebellion against systematic human rights violations: torture, sexual violence, and other injustices.
Sindemia delves into sensitive issues related to one of the most intense social outbreaks of Chilean history, culminating with a new national Constitution that replaced the one written in the 1980s under the dictatorship of Augusto Pinochet (1973–1990).
The process was marked by violence and severe police abuses, as has occurred during the recent demonstrations of the Colombian national strike.
For this reason, Voluspa Jarpa decided to extend her research to the Colombian context, comparing how governments manage social unrest and human rights violations, which often remain in impunity.
Sindemia is a multimedia project that involves text, photos, archival documents, videos, maps, sculptures, objects, installation, wallpapers, and lasers that project beyond the museum’s physical space into the surrounding environment.
Jarpa’s artistic practice focuses on a detailed analysis of archives and declassified documents that emphasize hidden narratives. Working with the archives’ materiality —either textual or visual—Jarpa draws attention to the mechanisms of consensus connected to the construction of authoritarian regimes concealing brutal subjugation. She investigates notions of memory and trauma, often addressing the Chilean socio-political context and, by extension, Latin American.
Voluspa Jarpa’s work emerged in the Chilean cultural scene during the artistic renaissance of the 1990s after the military dictatorship. Today, she is one of the most internationally recognized Chilean artists. She has exhibited in museums and art centers of Latin America and Europe as well as in international biennials such as the Havana Biennale (1996), Shanghai Biennale (2003 and 2018), Istanbul Biennale (2011), Mercosur Biennale (2011), Sao Paulo Biennale (2014), and the 58th Venice Biennale (2019) where she represented Chile.
The Julius Baer Art Prize for Latin American Female Artists is the first of its kind to be held in Latin America. It is by invitation, open to every media, and without any age limit.
The jury of the inaugural edition included Cecilia Fajardo-Hill, Cuauhtémoc Medina, Agustín Pérez Rubio, Barbara Staubli, and Eugenio Viola.
The exhibition organized by the Museum of Modern Art of Bogotá – MAMBO and will travel in 2022 at the MUNTREF Contemporary Art Center for the cultural diversity, at the old Hotel of Immigrants (Buenos Aires, Argentina), and in 2023 at the Centre Gabriela Mistral - GAM, (Santiago, Chile).
Curated by Eugenio Viola, Chief Curator Museum of Modern Art of Bogotá – MAMBO
Exhibition design, production and coordination: Voluspa Jarpa Studio (Edmundo Browne, María Teresa de la Fuente)