Carolina CayCedo: Words Don't Come Easy

Image: Carolina Caycedo, Live Local Love, flags & banners series, 2007 / ©Carolina Caycedo

Image: Carolina Caycedo, Live Local Love, flags & banners series, 2007 / ©Carolina Caycedo

Press Release / March 23 - April 21, 2007

Black & White Gallery // Chelsea is delighted to announce Carolina Caycedo’s solo exhibition “Words Don’t Come Easy." This exhibition comprises several projects that weave a fabric of independent but complementary experiences – all questioning the notion of “territories” in terms of their geographic reality and the imaginary and utopian dimension they generate, the relationship the individual constructs with her environment, a nation, an identity, a private or shared space, the connections created between ideas, individuals, artworks and structures.

PERIFONEO v.2 uses pre-recorded street sound mixed with random life voice as raw materials and main subject. Through techniques of edition and reproduction of binaural sound and the use of a microphone and loudspeaker systems this work can be characterized as an authentic sound sculpture.

PERIFONEO (initially installed at the Venice Biennale in 2003) was inspired by the Perifoneo - a communal sound system used in shanty towns of Bogota where the speakers are installed strategically around the neighbourhood. It is used to send all kind of social messages. The amplifier and mic are usually installed in a house with a telephone line, in order to notify any neighbour who receives a call.

The microphone is installed inside the gallery and is open to anyone for singing, shouting or sending a message which is heard in the gallery lobby through a loudspeaker mixing with AUDIO MEX sound.

AUDIO MEX can be characterized as a singular form of auditory contemplation. The site of action is the Historic Center of Mexico City, recorded in May 2004. Caycedo creates a temporary, freed, epic zone where the big story and many little stories come together.

GRAN PERRETON video shows scenes of human crowds that at first seem easily identifiable but little by little uncertainty sets in. The contact that takes place between individuals – exchanges, frictions, encounters, avoidance – may influence our perception of their environment, unless it is the environment that gives new meaning to their behavior. 

Perretón is a combination of words: Reggaeton, perreo and marathon. Reggaeton is a popular genre that comes from Puerto Rico, and combines Rap, reggae and dance hall. Perreo is how you dance reggaeton, doggy style, very sexy. A Perreo marathon was open on a Saturday night at Don Raul ́s Bar, a reggaeton joint in Rincón, Puerto Rico.

BANNER & FLAG SERIES highlights political awareness, autobiography, permanent displacement, design interventions and potential counter-imagery. These large scale hand sewn objects present aesthetic models for disarming configurations of power.

Mixing flags of the places where Caycedo originates and where she lives - Puerto Rico/Colombia and flags of cultures in tension – USA/Iraq, Palestine/Israel and Lebanon/Israel creates a dialogue between those cultures by pointing to many shared formal elements (motifs, patterns and colors). Included in the show are several banners that wave Caycedo’s multiple cultural identities – the anchor theme for this exhibition.

PLANTE BANDERA (I Planted the Flag) video - the most recent work by Carolina Caycedo reconstructs the act of swimming from shore to shore. It refers to a hypothetical experience of crossing borders and claiming a territory by planting a flag on a pole. The sound track is the song Plante Bandera by Tite Curet Alonso, famous for his unique style which is known as "salsa with a conscience". Tite Curet Alonso died in 2005. He was given a hero's funeral in Puerto Rico

Carolina Caycedo’s work has been exhibited internationally in important exhibitions including Da Adversidade Vivemos, Musee d’Art Moderne de la Ville de Paris, 2001; the 50th Venice Biennale, 2003; J’en Reve, Cartier Foundation for Contemporary Art, Paris, 2005; the Whitney Biennial, New York, 2006. Caycedo was born in 1978 to Colombian parents in London. She holds a BFA degree from Los Andes University, Bogotá, Colombia.