Afterglow / Korebaju
César Cuspoca

César Cuspoca / Afterglow

Afterglow is the glow that remains after the light is gone. The starting point of the installation is a re-interpretation of ‘Diorama,’ a device which was invented by Louis Daguerre in 1803, and uses light to create animated scenes.

Afterglow is based on a series of video portraits, Korebaju Portraits of Resistance, taken of members of the Korebaju community. Each participant remains silent and motionless in front of the camera for several minutes, while the forest environment carries on in the background. At times we can hear a dog barking, children’s voices, birds or even sound of a boat drifting by.

 

César Cuspoca / Afterglow

César Cuspoca / Afterglow

César Cuspoca / Afterglow

César Cuspoca / Afterglow

César Cuspoca / Afterglow

.01 Afterglow

Installation, Saint-Loup, France, 2020

In this immersive installation, Cuspoca creates a ritual space using elements of the local environment: the sand, stakes and ropes are arranged and balanced precariously to evoke life’s simplicity in the Amazon Rainforest. Acrylic glass hangs from the roof in the centre of the space, appearing as a totem. The video portraits are projected through the glass and reflected onto the wall. Cuspoca then pours liquid latex onto the glass, thus activating the installation and the images of the Korebaju appear in the center of the space.

The use of latex makes reference to The Amazon Rubber Boom, a critical period in the exploitation of rubber in the Amazon Rainforest which forced mass human displacements, triggered massacres, and caused the deaths of thousands of people, including the Korebaju’s ancestors.

 

César Cuspoca / Afterglow

César Cuspoca / Afterglow

César Cuspoca / Afterglow

César Cuspoca / Afterglow

Korebaju, While the Earth Remains

In November 2020, the local community of Saint-Loup in France provided Mina Raven and artist César Cuspoca with an abandoned horse stable to create an event that the local people could visit. Together, they decided to show four in situ installations of César Cuspoca created from recorded materials while he was spending time with the Korebaju, an indigenous community located in the Caqueta region of Colombia.

Bring the Korebaju presence in this small french village is like a poetic journey to introduce worlds that would never meet in real life. More than an exhibition, Korebaju, While The Earth Remains is the starting point of a story, a myth around an event that one day happened in Saint-Loup.

The Korebaju project was initiated by my meeting with the linguist Jenifer Vega, who for several years, has been working on the phonetic description of the Korebaju language. She was the one who first told me about the Korebaju, introduced me and the production team to the land, and presenting us to the community. They hosted us for a month and gave us permission to make sound and video recordings. It was a very rich and rewarding human experience. –César Cuspoca

 

César Cuspoca / Firewords

02. Firewords

Video Installation, Saint-Loup, France, 2020

Gathering around the fire to tell stories and myths is an integral part of oral transmission in indigenous communities. This immersive installation seeks to confront the viewer with the presence of Saulo, a member of the Korebaju community. As the video progresses, the image disappears and the sound continues. The viewer remains in dark, listening to only the voice of Saulo.

 

César Cuspoca / Echoes of the Soul

César Cuspoca / Echoes of the Soul

03. Echoes of the Soul

Sound Installation, Saint-Loup, France, 2020

A traditional beverage made from plants, Ayahuasca has been a indigenous remedy for thousands of years. It is used during the ‘yage ritual’ which purifies one’s body and soul. The ceremony is guided by a shaman and other members of the community, who accompany the person on their spiritual journey with music and songs. In this installation, the visitor can hear the sounds of the ritual inside the tent which is used to create an intimate and enclosed space, cocooning the observer. The tent evokes also evokes the idea of modernisation and globalisation.

 

César Cuspoca / Doorway

César Cuspoca / Doorway

04. Doorway

Installation, Saint-Loup, France, 2020

Spirituality and rituals are an essential part of the life among the Korebaju; one must purify oneself to connect with the spirits of the forest. The three mirrors at the entrance symbolise the passage between these two worlds. Standing before the three doors, the visitor is confronted with the reflection of his soul.

 

The visitors were mainly residents of the village of Saint-Loup. From the start, they witnessed the process of intervening in the arena. They saw me walk by everyday with my 50 meter extension cords that I used to conduct electricity to the area. We exchanged words from time to time but they didn’t inquire too much and I didn’t want to seem too forward. We did a small event when the installation opened. They came to discover the exhibition and share a moment with each other as they used to do a few years ago. We exchanged, and discussed. Sandrine Servent, the curator and organizer of the exhibition, told them the story of the project. The place was alive again for an evening, and made this encounter possible between these two worlds that did not know each other.

–César Cuspoca

 

Afterglow / Korebaju, While the Earth Remains
César Cuspoca
Curated by Sandrine Servent at Mina Raven
June 10 – July 24, 2021 / Artpil, Online Viewing Room
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