Adriana Bustos, various works, 2019

Adriana Bustos, various works, 2019
Watercolour on paper, photograph and graphite on paper, graphite, watercolour on paper, acrylic, graphite, silver leaf on canvas, 90 watercolours on paper, dimensions variable
Installation view: Sharjah Biennial 14: ‘Leaving the Echo Chamber’
Courtesy of the artist


Adriana Bustos’ practice draws on ideas taken up in areas of anthropology, history, science, popular culture, fiction, biographical writings, and academic and intuitive knowledge. Her work often juxtaposes or montages different methodological and representational systems to present multifaceted examinations of global histories, particularly as they intersect within the Latin American context.

Exploring the imposition of colonialism, racism and patriarchy on the land, Vision Machine (2019) is an installation that brings together past and recent works of drawing, watercolour, heliographs and painting to present multiple overlapping ‘panoramas of reference’. The various perspectives include the depiction of old colonial trade routes shown alongside current drug trafficking rings in Latin America, global consumption as mapped across Bolivian rainforests, histories of the colonial exploitation of human life and labour as well as the extraction of natural resources, the patriarchal European model of scientific discovery compared with local pre-colonial cosmologies, and limited accounts of the slave trade that overlook its foundational role in forging today’s planetary model of capitalism and the biologisation of inequality. In an adjacent space, Bustos presents two ‘celestial’ maps. Detailed in red, the first refers to written history, recalling the blood and violence associated with the historical violence of patriarchy. The other, rendered in black graphite, displays women’s participation in history. When a viewer looks through a red glass lens in the middle of the room, the lens makes the red lines of the patriarchal order disappear, leaving only the graphite visible.

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Adriana Bustos: Various Works (2019)

Bustos, Adriana

Reflecting her investigative and documentary nature, Adriana Bustos’ work represents social histories and their physical and psychological routes of value.