Sheroanawe Hakihiiwe Watori – Barcelona Gallery Weekend

15 Sep - 29 Oct 2021
Watori – Barcelona Gallery Weekend

Overview

Within the framework of the 7th edition of Barcelona Gallery Weekend, Ana Mas Projects is pleased to present ‘Watori’ by the Venezuelan indigenous artist Sheroanawe Hakihiiwe (Sheroana, Venezuela, 1971), in his first monographic exhibition in Spain, which brings together a selection of drawings on paper made between 2015 and 2020. The artist has been working since the 1990s to rescue the oral memory of Yanomami community, their imaginary, cosmogony and ancestral traditions.

Hakihiiwe’s work develops through the drawing of a synthetic, concrete and minimalist language about the vast and intense relationship of his community with the surrounding landscape and ecosystem. His works are conceived as the expression of knowledge (natural, medical, etc.) and as the basis that unites the ancestral with the contemporary in a fragmented time in which the past and the present coexist, consciously and unconsciously.

In his works, paper is not a mere support, but in fact it was the trigger for his artistic career in the early 90s, when, under the tutelage of the Mexican artist Laura Anderson Barbata, Hakihiiwe was introduced to the elaboration of handcrafted paper made of natural fibres. Since then, handcrafted paper and drawing have become indissoluble and characteristic elements of his practice. This detail is tremendously coherent and honest with the motivations and interests of the artist towards his art and his community, since it serves him to give special attention to the origin and rituality of the materials that, being typical plant fibres of that place, generate that physical and definitive link of his work with the ecosystem in which it is inscribed.

The figures represented in the drawings are created from the observation of the jungle and the environment, and result in compositions generally constructed from the repetition of an element related to motifs such as travel, fauna, land, vegetation, landscape, and to typical practices of life in the Amazon such as hunting, fishing or planting and harvesting. It is a selection of elements closely linked to the mythology and spirituality of the Yanomami people, which the artist simplifies and synthesises in a characteristic language of simple and organic lines and points, faithful to the graphic and symbolist style typical of the decoration of objects and body paintings of the Yanomami ceremonies.

Thus, through line drawing and a reduced palette of colours that contrasts with the clarity of the supports, Hakihiiwe shares with the viewer a very personal interpretation of the tradition and identity of the Yanomami people, carrying out an exercise, not only of etching the memory of a community and recording a context in a certain autobiographical way, but also of recognition and vindication of a community based on a deep respect for the ecosystem but which is currently threatened by deforestation, mining, epidemics and other natural disasters.

 

Exhibition in collaboration with Abra Caracas.

 

Logo RGB 2021 - Fons blanc

Installation views