Manuela Viera-Gallo “JAUJA”

Y Gallery (319 Grand St.)

poster for Manuela Viera-Gallo “JAUJA”

This event has ended.

Y Gallery presents “JAUJA,” the second solo exhibition of Manuela Viera-Gallo at Y Gallery. This exhibition features recent sculptures and drawings that continue the artist’s ten-year work with addressing social and political instabilities. Taking as a point of departure her experience as an immigrant, JAUJA questions the idea of border in immigration. More complex than an imagined geographical line, the border is a flexible limit that exists between reality and the dream of a better future in a utopian world. The pieces in the exhibit express a memory in constant change, lingering between a lost reality and a yearned one. It reflects the risky journey of immigrants in search of this desired future and documents the collective hope that feeds the imagination of what the future will provide.

Taking into account the tradition of mythology, the pieces connect to Jauja, a mythological country where work was unnecessary, and food was abundant. It was a utopian world of freedom and the redemption of the weak. It is a world in reverse, where everything is upside down. The established parameters are constantly altered and social norms are inverted. The exhibit questions this utopian society. After the conquest of the Inca Empire of Tahuantinsuyo, an empire known for its immense wealth, by Francisco Pizarro and his troops, the resources became ephemeral. In this instance, the myth of Jauja is recreated, leading people to search for the next utopian world and creating a cycle, where the point of arrival is that of departure. By searching for this new society, Jauja remerge from its ashes and moves immigrants in search of the unknown and hidden paradise, creating a singular global world, and at the same time commenting on the fleeting nature of utopia.

The exhibit features several drawings made from sawdust, of which one includes a site-specific, action- based installation, SISIFA. The material represents the fragility and ephemerality of a utopian country, while being transformed from a waste product into a visual image packed with powerful messages. By chasing the utopia, we stumble with reality, and like Sisyphus, everything starts over when the rock falls down. The sculpture, Catching Dream, uses fishing nets to represent the long-searched-for paradise and the catching of dreams. The net catches the dreams of immigrants, who desire a better future in the land of Jauja. To the artist and South American immigrants, Jauja is the United States, a country where dreams and desires are achievable, but the material questions whether it is attainable. In doing so, the past, present and future are confronted with real possibilities and imaginary scenarios.
Manuela Viera-Gallo is a Chilean artist born in Rome in 1977. She has participated in many residency programs including the FLACC Workshop and Studio for Visual Artists in Genk, Belgium (2007), the Centre for Contemporary Art Futura Project in Prague, Czech Republic (2009) and recently at Residency Unlimited,

in New York, NY (2013). She has exhibited at multiple biennials, museums, and cultural institutions including the Bienal de las Fronteras at the Contemporary Art Museum of Tamaulipas in Tamaulipas, Mexico (2014); the 10th Biennial of Media Arts at the Beaux Art Museum in Santiago, Chile (2012); 2011 Camden International Film Festival (CIFF) in Boston; Museo del Barrio in New York, NY (2013); the Museo de Arte de las Américas, Washington D.C. (2012); Academy of Belle Arti in Milan, Italy (2009); Cultural Foundation of Providencia in Santiago, Chile (2014); the Palacio La Moneda Cultural Center in Santiago (2012). She was a five-time recipient of DIRAC funding from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Government of Chile. She lives and works in New York.



from July 01, 2015 to July 31, 2015

Opening Reception on 2015-07-01 from 18:00 to 21:00

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