The Splendor of Ancient Colombia on view at LACMA

The Splendor of Ancient Colombia on view at LACMA

From 29 May to 2 October 2022, LACMA Los Angeles presents “The Portable Universe: Thought and Splendor of Indigenous Colombia”, an exhibition showcasing the cultural richness of ancient Colombia.

Source: LACMA (Los Angeles County Museum of Art) Los Angeles · Image: House Model of Circular Dwelling, 200 BC–1300 AD, Calima, Gold, 4 1/4 × 4 in. diameter (10.8 × 10.2 cm), Museum Of Fine Arts, Houston, Gift of Alfred C. Glassell, Jr. (2001.1366), photograph © The Museum of Fine Arts, Houston

“The Portable Universe” features some 400 works that, according to the museum, “invite visitors into a cultural dialogue that spans both space and time.” “The works are considered to have a spirit,” explained Diana Magaloni, LACMA’s deputy director, “they are ‘messengers’, as the Arhuaco have said, and as such they are not of the past but continue to be relevant in the present”.

The exhibition is organised into seven sections. “Conceiving the world”, the section that opens the exhibition, “invites visitors to appreciate indigenous traditions of thinking and storytelling as ways of creating and re-creating our world”. “Rethinking History” focuses on the loss of knowledge and information after the arrival of the colonists. “People of Ancient Colombia” presents the diverse societies that existed at the time, including representations in masks and figures. The section “Our home, our World, our Cosmos” presents the house as a “metaphor for humanity’s place in the world”, while “The extended family” focuses on the indigenous concept of “nature” and the role humans play in it. “Materials: technology & Concepts of value” looks not only at indigenous technology, but also at the different value that materials such as gold had in ancient Colombia. The roles of leaders and shamans are explored in “Caring for the World”, the final section of the exhibition.

“The narrative of the show is designed to be compatible with indigenous concepts rather than Western cultural-historical narrative,” said Julia Burtenshaw, assistant curator of ancient American art at LACMA. “Indigenous people and knowledge have things to teach us today, about how we view ourselves in relation to each other and to ‘nature’, and how we consider and categorize the world around us. It can enrich our worldview and understanding of ancient artworks immensenly.” #2022 #LACMA #theartwolf

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ART & the Art World (theartwolf)

ART & the Art World (theartwolf)

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