September 17 – December 13, 2020
Curated by Sally Frater
Carolina Caycedo’s multimedia practice explores the interconnectedness of nature and social systems. Through media such as video, sculpture, performance, and installation the artist has created a continually expanding oeuvre that details how the classification of the environment as “other” has allowed for myriad harmful alterations to be made to the natural landscape. The pieces that comprise A Landscape Is Never Natural focus on water, highlighting the ways in which human interventions in the form of dams and mines are posited as necessary activities that further “progress” – extreme modifications to the landscape that are normalized in the pursuit of capital in ways that minimize their impact on communities, pollution levels, the suppression of traditional forms of labour, and displacement.
Deftly illustrating how curbing water is a form of neo-colonial violence that extends throughout the Americas, frequently affecting Indigenous, Black, and riverine communities, the artist draws a through line that connects the exploitation and erosion of resources with cultural erasure. Caycedo’s work, however, also captures gestures of resistance that counter ecological devastation: efforts to position the body as a site of protest and collective action, acts of decolonization and assertions of Indigenous stewardship, and recognition of the right of the environment to exist as a self-governing entity.
Carolina Caycedo has held residencies at The Huntington Gardens, Libraries and Art Collections in San Marino, California DAAD artists-in-Berlin program, amongst others and has received funding from Creative Capital, California Community Foundation, Los Angeles Department of Cultural Affairs, Harpo Foundation, Art Matters, Colombian Culture Ministry, Arts Council UK, and Prince Claus Fund. Recent solo exhibitions include Care Report at Muzeum Sztuki in Łódź; Wanaawna, Rio Hondo and Other Spirits in Orange County Museum of Art, and upcoming projects at ICA Boston and MCA Chicago. In 2019, her work was part of the 45 Salón Nacional de Artistas Colombia, Chicago Architecture Biennial, and Art Basel in Basel. A participant in movements of territorial resistance, solidarity economies, and housing as a human right, Caycedo is a member of the Los Angeles Tenants Union and the Rios Vivos Colombia Social Movement.
A Landscape Is Never Natural is organized by the Art Gallery of Guelph with the support of the Ontario Arts Council and Canada Council for the Arts.
- Durón, Maximilíano. “Best Practices: Each One of the Carolina Caycedo’s ‘Cosmotarrayas’ Is a Universe Unto Itself.” ARTnews, 27 February 2020.
- Reyes, Jennifer and Dimas Efren Donis, Hilda Dueñas, and Carolina Caycedo. “PODCAST 1: Oral Histories of Environmental Resistance.” Los Angeles Contemporary Exhibitions, 2020.
- Miranda, Carolina A. “Ghosts in the water: Carolina Caycedo’s river portraits and video apparitions tell difficult stories.” Los Angeles Times, 7 January 2020.
- Hanna, Maeve. “Citizenship Through Art: A Conversation with Carolina Caycedo.” Sculpture Magazine, 17 February 2020.
- Excerpt from “To Stop Being a Threat and To Become a Promise” (2017) by Carolina Caycedo
- “Serpent River Book by Carolina Caycedo / Artist Interivew.” Los Angeles County Museum of Art, February 2018.
Image detail: Carolina Caycedo, Serpent River Book / Libro Río Serpiente, 2017. Courtesy of the artist