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 corpse 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 find his cattle, and as promised buried the man. The story spread that the resting soul of José Zambrano – now known as the spirit of Pica Pica – granted miracles. He became a sanctified figure and small chapels and altars devoted to him started proliferating, where people would offer milagritos (small miracles) as the promised tokens of their fulfilled 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.