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Gonzalo Morales Leiva


Exhibition from September 1st to September 22th, 2023


Curator: Raúl Arellano

In the ancient Inca Empire, Andean quipus stood out as efficient memory tools, carefully crafted by experts known as Khipukamayuq. These sophisticated mnemonic systems, made of cotton and wool strings intertwined with strategic knots, transcended their function of recording administrative data, playing a crucial role in the transmission of the rich ancestral heritage through solemn ceremonies, encompassing knowledge, historical memories, genealogies and poetry, all encompassed in a visual and holistic expression. Due to adversities during the colonisation of Peru, the authorities of the viceroyalty distrusted and promoted the oblivion and destruction of the quipus; however, their legacy endured as a valuable witness of the culture and identity of the ancient Andeans. Today, these enigmatic objects continue to captivate scholars and inspire those who appreciate ancestral cultures, as they add a multisensory dimension that enriches the understanding of the wisdom of that time, transcending the merely visual. 


The exhibition Khipukamayuq is composed of three cores: in the first, in the basement of Vorfluter, a workshop for the creation of quipus with metal bars and folded paper in a performance that incorporates sounds and drawings executed with the feet, using powdered charcoal and coloured earth pigments is set out. The second core, located on the main level, presents the quipu installed on a wall in a diagonal arrangement that connects it to the wall and floor and features prints of a historical Khipukamayuq along with a video of the artist creating a quipu, and the third core, located in the basement, involves a performance in the Khipukamayuq atelier. Thus, the artist, through the quipu and the khipukamayuq, creates a bridge with history, encouraging a deep connection with our roots, promoting harmony between the cultural expressions of Latin America and the West. These authentic treasures of the past reflect the intellectual and creative brilliance of humanity, and continue to be a living testimony of the wisdom and cultural richness of our ancestors.

Gonzalo Morales Leiva (1985), Chilean artist, studied Film (Argentina), Photography (Mexico and Chile) and Visual Arts (Chile). His practice encompasses drawing, sculpture, photography, video and performance to archive ritual experiences that he carries out, both in his studio and in urban and natural environments. His work originates from a personal approach, entitled “Methodology to transit from the surface to the body through the materiality of drawing”, where the texture and sound of materials generate states of trance that embody two and three-dimensional images.His creations blur disciplinary boundaries, giving way to installations that project his multi-sensory perspective of the world. His work has been presented in several countries, notably Germany, Mexico and Chile. He has taken part in artistic residencies, with a highlight being his recent stay at GlogauAir, Berlin, Germany.

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