PICA PICA Kunstverein für die Rheinlande und Westfalen, Düsseldorf September 1 – Oktober 28, 2018
Pica Pica, the title of the exhibition, comes from the legend of José Zambrano, a shepherd who fell ill and lied down under the shadow of a Pica Pica tree to die, accompanied by his mule. Another shepherd, who had lost his cattle, found him under the tree and surrounded his corps with branches, making a promise that if he found his cattle, he would go back to give him a proper burial. He went off to successfully nd his cattle, and as promised buried the man. The story spread that the resting soul of José Zambrano – turned into Pica Pica – granted miracles. He became a sancti ed gure and small chapels and altars devoted to him started proliferating, where people would offer milagritos (small miracles) as the promised tokens of their ful lled wishes: handmade objects representing their wishes in the form of a body part, a house or a car.
In Dusseldorf, the artist’s personal recollections of a chapel dedicated to José Zambrano – El Ánima de Pica Pica – provided the starting point for the production of a new group of works. The chapel, decorated with handmade milagritos, used to be on the way to her grandmother’s house in rural Venezuela. To ensure a safe journey and avoid calamites, it was mandatory to make a stop at the chapel and pay respects to Pica Pica.
Inspired by these personal memories, Sol Calero transforms the Kunstverein into a utopian, interactive pica-pica house, inviting visitors to complement the exhibition with representations of their own wishes.
In times of such a severe socio-economic crisis as Venezuela is currently undergoing, the transformative potential of such spaces for the social negotiation of the current political reality is not to be underestimated.
The exhibition is accompanied by an extensive program of lectures, guided tours and an artist talk. The dates will be announced separately in a timely manner.