Atlas 1892. Fieldnotes

This project is part of my fieldwork as an artist and anthropologist in the community of La Pila (Manabí, Ecuador) where I have researched about the practices of collecting, looting and the production of crafts based on pre-Hispanic archaeological objects. I am interested in the opaque circuits that mobilize cultural objects, which are made invisible by the state representation technologies such as the museum. The project recreates the Ecuadorian Archaeological Atlas from 1892, by Federico González Suarez, known as pioneer in the historical studies. My version of the Atlas discusses the dominant nationalist discourse that is supported by expert and authorized voices, which claim to be neutral and aseptic. I staged the creations of La Pila artisans as they go beyond the mimetic, to suggest the hermeneutic and political potential of replication as a strategy that destabilizes originality and expands the idea of authenticity.