Sign up for our newsletters. You can change the settings or unsubscribe at any time.

I would like to receive the following newsletters (select at least one):

Previous Navigation Arrow

exp. 1

exp. 2

exp. 3


Paula Baeza Pailamilla

Venue: KW Institute for Contemporary Art

Paula Baeza Pailamilla

Born 1988 in Santiago, CL – lives and works in Santiago

In the work of Mapuche artist Paula Baeza Pailamilla, urban public spaces are occupied by the bodies of Indigenous women in actions that address a condition of invisibility in the context where they live today, displaced from their originary territories. For Kurü Mapu [Black Land, 2018], the artist invited other Mapuche women to collectively weave an imaginary map of Ngulu Mapu, their ancestral territory violated by Spanish colonization. The map was made with different types of dark-colored yarn over a two-month period at the Museo de la Memoria y los Derechos Humanos (Museum of Memory and Human Rights) and the Huelen Hill in Santiago de Chile. Present in the map, the women’s outfits, and the work’s title, black is a sacred color for the Mapuche that signifies purity and fertility and is used ceremonially by women.

The work encompasses the process of collective weaving, the gatherings of the women in the public spaces, and the exchanges that took place among them. In the exhibition, the piece is presented through the woven map and a video that documents their meetings. The film shows the women taking the map to the Plaza de Armas, in the heart of Santiago, and standing on it with their bare feet, a symbolic act of confronting a state that has systematically worked towards the annihilation of the Mapuche people. Towards the end of the video, we hear the voices of the women referring to another Mapuche woman, Macarena Valdés, to whom the work is dedicated. Valdés, also known as “La Negra,” was murdered in 2016 while fighting the construction of a cross-border hydroelectric power plant on Indigenous lands. The case remains unsolved by Chilean authorities.

Beatriz Lemos

By using this website you agree to the use of cookies in accordance with our data privacy policy.

By using this website you agree to the use of cookies in accordance with our data privacy policy.