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The Potosí Principle

The Potosí Principle: How Can We Sing the Song of the Lord in an Alien Land?an exhibition currently in Berlin (previously in Madrid and next in La Paz), concerns art, capitalism, and colonialism. A photo set is on Flickr.

The catalog, from Walther Koenig, includes texts from John Barker, Matthijs de Brujine, Thomas Campbell, Anthony Davis, Maria Galindo, David Riff, Dmitry Vorobyev, and the curators.

Per the description on e-flux:

“The images of Potosí are a shimmering reflection of an extremely violent settlement policy, whose primary purpose was the reproduction and monopolization of labor. We make the claim that there are parallels between the ideological function of colonial-era painting and the modern-day function assumed by art—that of legitimizing the elite of globalization.”
–curators Alice Creischer, Max Jorge Hinderer and Andreas Siekmann

Potosí, the famous silver-mining city, synonymous with immense wealth and unbridled exploitation, was the capital of the mining industry in Latin America from the 16th to the 18th century and played a crucial role in the development of European capitalism and the migrations associated with it… The exhibition uses [the “Andean Baroque”] form of painting to investigate structural similarities between the colonialism that brought forth Modernism and the current global regime of Neoliberalism.

There is a blog: Potosí Principle Process, where many reviews and commentaries are collected under the “Press” section, including by Cuauhtémoc Medina, Brigitte Kramer, and Estrella de Diego.  Also Alexander Alberro for Texte zur Kunst, and “1000 words” for Artforum, introduced by André Rottmann.


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