Carolina Caycedo: Land of Friends at BALTIC Gateshead

Part of our Exhibitions guide

Maja Lorkowska, Exhibitions Editor
Patron Mono by Carolina Caycedo, image depicts a figure standing in a room with a three channel video emitting a yellow light
Patron Mono, Carolina Caycedo, Land of Friends, Photo: Tom Nolan. © 2022, BALTIC Centre for Contemporary Art

Carolina Caycedo at BALTIC Centre for Contemporary Art, Newcastle, Until 20 November 2022, free entry

Carolina Caycedo’s first major survey in Europe: Land of Friends, is taking place at the BALTIC Centre for Contemporary Art this summer. Caycedo focuses on environmental historical memory which her work feeds into, and is an attempt to stop future generations from making the same mistakes.

The LA-based, London-born Colombian artist’s work is concerned with environmental justice; resistance and solidarity; just energy transition and biodiversity in environmental and cultural realms; and challenging colonial perspectives.

Carolina Caycedo, Land of Friends, installation view
Carolina Caycedo, Land of Friends, installation view. Photo: Tom Nolan. © 2022 BALTIC Centre for Contemporary Art

 

Favouring participation, the artist often works with communities impacted by large scale infrastructure, and her pieces invite audiences to consider the effect of unsustainable growth and the never-ending capitalist pursuit. Caycedo herself describes her work as supporting voices of people who are “displaced and dispossessed by extractivist processes”.

The newly commissioned Tyne Catchment (2022) is inspired by the River Tyne and slots into the ongoing River Book series. The piece is an accordion fold artist-book, containing satellite and archival images of the Tyne which can be placed down in the shape of the river itself, and seems to flow out of the traditional book format. When folded back up into a bound book, the piece could be seen as referring to the idea of being cut off and barricaded, and therefore exerting power over bodies of water. This brings us to one of Caycedo’s primary artistic preoccupations – dams.

Tyne Catchment, Carolina Caycedo, Land of Friends, Photo: Tom Nolan. © 2022 BALTIC Centre for Contemporary Art

 

The series Be Dammed (2012–ongoing) is a multimedia project that encompasses drawing, performance, films, and sculptures and examines the impact of hydroelectric dams and other major infrastructure projects on communities and the environment. As part of the project, in 2016, the artist held a six-hour vigil in honour of the 185 environmental activists who were killed that year for opposing the system. Be Damned came to life as a result of the artist spending time with communities in South America affected by the building of dams, as well as anti-dam activists.

Land of Friends addresses the crucial issues of unsustainable growth under the rule of capitalism and the need to see nature as a living entity, rather than an inexhaustible provider to be exploited. Solidarity with both nature itself and the communities that live in close affinity with it is a key aspect of the show.

Carolina Caycedo at BALTIC Centre for Contemporary Art, Newcastle

Until 20 November 2022
Free entry