Fatima Rodrigo (Lima, Peru - 1987)
Curated by Ursula Cox as part of The Heart of the City? For Glasgow International 2016.
Thu 7th Apr– Fri 20th May Preview: Sat 9 April, 6pm – 9pm
Fatima Rodrigo a Peruvian artist living and working in Lima. Her works orbits around LatinAmerican gender roles and the idea of western modernity in postcolonial Latin America, specifically through the imported and reinterpreted aesthetic manifestations of pop culture. In the recent years, her work has evolved towards mixed media and interactive installations that mainly explore popular culture through aesthetic patterns and objects that act as integrative elements of this part of the world. UNAP combines video and sculpture to examine the problematic socio-political relationship between higher education and the Peruvian government.
In search of a fittingly critical medium, Rodrigo utilises video for the first time in her work as a means to explore reoccurring problems in Latina America. The video dissects part of the physical make up of the Universidad Nacional de la Amazonia Peruana, a brutalist structure built in the Peruvian Amazonian rainforest that embodies a number of contradictions. The University was created as a response to the demand of a higher education institution in the area, voiced for decades by the local communities. Within this work, Rodrigo shines light on the reality of the socio-political negligence – the tendency for governmental bodies to spend large amounts of money on building structures that portray power instead of building sustainable, educational infrastructures required to create a decent educational system in the area.
The Soviet architectural style of the building is not just impressive in its brutalism and for the power in its scale and opulence, but also for the way in which it imposes itself over nature interfering with its order without responding to the community necessities, making an ironic parallel between the Peruvian government and the people. The video contemplates the reality of the situation: a precarious space in which learning is not fostered and where the lack thereof, is concealed.
These issues are further emphasised by the materiality and production of a large sculptural object that pushes itself into the space as a reminder of how, in modern society, such a hollow object will create the illusion of well being and prosperity. However, despite its assertiveness, it lacks humanity, often becoming a symbol of false promise and corruption in many Latin American countries.
Universidad Nacional de la Amazonia Peruana
Location: MANY Studios
Date: April - May 2016
Festival: Glasgow Internationall
Artist: Fatima Rodrigo
Curator: Urusla Cox