Screens Series: Seba Calfuqueo


This exhibition continues the New Museum’s Screens Series, a platform for the presentation of new video works by emerging contemporary artists.

Cover Image:

Seba Calfuqueo, NGÜRU KA WILLIÑ (Fox and Otter), 2022 (still). Courtesy the artist

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Across her work in performance, video, installation, and ceramics, Mapuche artist Seba Calfuqueo (b. 1991, Santiago de Chile, Ngulumapu/Chile) takes her heritage as a starting point to critically reflect on the social, cultural, and political status of Indigenous subjects in contemporary Chile and Latin America. Narrated in Mapudungun (with English subtitles) and rendered in 3D animation, Calfuqueo’s videos untether the complexity of Mapuche cultural history from its colonial constructions and explore the intersection of Mapuche and Western thinking and culture stereotypes and the violent colonial legacy imposed on the Indigenous world.

The videos on view are drawn from Mapuche histories that were only vaguely documented during the colonization of Chile and Argentina, and which live on mainly through inherited knowledge. NGÜRÜ KA WILLIÑ (Fox and Otter) (2022) re-interprets a fable recovered by the artist, incorporating queer sexuality into traditional Mapuche culture. CHUMAL ELKANIEGEAL (Why keep it?) (2023) examines the extraction of cultural objects and the impossibility of complete restitution. Culpa (Guilt) (2023) underscores the connection between the Indigenous body and nature, expressing territorial and environmental conflicts in the claiming of ancestral lands.

“Screens Series: Seba Calfuqueo” is curated by Laura Hakel, the Institute for Studies on Latin American Art (ISLAA) Curatorial Fellow.

About the artist

Seba Calfuqueo (b. 1991, Santiago de Chile, Ngulumapu/Chile) lives and works in Santiago de Chile. Her recent solo exhibitions include “PACIFICACIÓN” at Palacio Pereira, Santiago de Chile (2023), “Fluir como cascadas” at Nave, Santiago (2022), and “Espejo de Agua / Esporas” at Galería Patricia Ready, Santiago de Chile (2021). Calfuqueo’s works have been featured in exhibitions and screenings including the 22nd Bienal SESC Videobrasil, São Paulo, Brazil (2023); Palais de Tokyo, Paris, France (2022), and the 34th Bienal de São Paulo, São Paulo, Brazil (2021). She has been a resident at FAARA Fundación Ama Amoedo Residencia Artística (2023) and has received awards from Eyebeam (2023), Fundación FAVA (2018), and Municipalidad de Santiago (2017). In addition to her own practice, Calfuqueo is part of the Mapuche collective Rangiñtulewfü, which publishes YeneRevista, an online magazine of art, thought, and writing in Wallmapu and AbyaYala languages.

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