Des / sewing Peru

Carlos Maza

The exhibition Des / cosiendo Perú by Carolina Estrada represents the culmination of a profound process of reflection and analysis developed by the artist around the discomfort – to call it somehow – that generates in many of us the neoliberal order that has been established in Peru as an unquestionable development model, identified in a general way by the irruption in the cultural space of the so-called “Peru Brand”.

The ubiquitous spiral logo, stamped on products of all kinds, embroidered “ sewn ” in the spirit of consensus imposed by the State, economic elites and the mass media, has come to take the place of identity, replacing it as a process. conflict over a marketing decision that is not questionable: in this spiral the efforts of a whole “people” to achieve development converge or should converge: only one, one way. The incorporation of this spelling in the monetary wedge represents institutionalization at the highest level, at the level of absolute authenticity, which is what the metal coin represents. It is even in the money; If you are not in favor of the Peru Brand, you are against the nation, against identity, against yourself. However, the spiral, like a whirlpool that it is, carries within itself the conflicts and contradictions that it hides: multiple identities, permanent inequalities, injustices, development decisions that go beyond local and ethnic interests, conflicts represented by the waves of Andean migration to the cities, especially to Lima, and the precarious and irregular settlement in the sandbanks of the surrounding desert. This is what Carolina Estrada discovers for us when she establishes the paragon of this mechanism of identity imposition with the process of cultural illustration represented by the Cusco colonial painting of arquebusier angels, in which indigenous resistance is represented by elements that are surreptitiously incorporated into the hegemonic catholic discourse. In Carolina Estrada’s costumes, built with a combination of material hardness and aesthetic delicacy, using materials from uneven development, art once again becomes cultural resistance to the imposition of the ideological consensus of the Peru Brand and against the establishment of a placebo identity that does not represent us.