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Karen Navarro: El Lado Oculto de la Luna

El Lado Oculto de la Luna presents a nuanced reflection on Indigenous identity in Argentina. It is an exploration through installation and portraiture that makes use of modern technologies to weave, with a historical tinge, the concept of beauty and representation. Simultaneously, this work considers the process of reclaiming one's own indigenous heritage, the liminal space we inhabit, and the fluidity of cultural change that creates a transformation towards the future.

The artist writes:

"My art proposes a threshold that aims to function as a bridge where the ancient and the contemporary intertwine. I create intervened portraits of urban Indigenous peoples and a wallpaper that departs from an image of ancestral land in northern Argentina. By using as a starting point the characteristic square of the wiphala (emblem used by the indigenous peoples of South America as a flag) and the pixel, I challenge the notion that indigenous identity is confined to the past.

Likewise, I use historical research to contextualize today and propose a future that rethinks the spaces we occupy. I use the fragmented portrait with tones inspired by El Cerro de los Siete Colores and the pixelated image of Argentine banknotes to express the complex relationship between class and race. Questioning the intricate process of collective decolonization and the work it implies.

The fragmented portraits exist first digitally, then are archived in the metaverse to conclude in their final physical creation. Thus alluding to the tension between tradition and modernity. It is important for me to create a digital archive because these portraits look from another perspective and celebrate our Indigenous identities. Something that, throughout history, has not happened. 

It is important to reflect on how the manipulation of representation functions as a channel to exercise power and, in this case, I use it as a means to redirect the response to that power."