Carolina Caycedo: Land of Friends at BALTIC Gateshead

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 28 May — 20 November 2022 Entrance is free

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 28 May — 20 November 2022 Entrance is free

Where to go near Carolina Caycedo: Land of Friends at BALTIC Gateshead

Trakol
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Trakol

On the Gateshead quayside, underneath the Tyne bridge is one of the best locations to go for a meal in Newcastle and Gateshead. In what was once derelict land on the quayside, now exists a fantastic shipping container village of purposely rusted shipping containers.

Shipley Art Gallery
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Shipley Art Gallery

The Shipley Art Gallery can be found on Prince Consort Road (named after Queen Victoria’s Husband – Prince Albert) and was created in 1917 after Joseph Shipley, a local solicitor, bestowed his collection of 504 paintings to create a gallery for local people.

CBK Adventures
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CBK Adventures

CBK Adventures deliver award-winning coastal activities including guided tours and lessons in kayaking and paddle boarding.

Quayside
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Quayside

The Quayside of Newcastle (and its sister town of Gateshead) is a hugely popular location in the city, featuring seven bridges spanning the impressive river, linking Newcastle to Gateshead and providing scope for many walks and tourist attraction.

Live Theatre
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Live Theatre

The Live Theatre has a fantastic reputation for developing, writing and producing new plays and shows every year. The Live Theatre started in 1973. It was at first a traveling theatre company, which started by telling stories that were relatable to daily life in the North East of England and presented these plays to local people – which it has continued to do to this day.

The Side Gallery
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The Side Gallery

The Side Gallery can be found on a small medieval street down by Newcastle’s Quayside. The Gallery itself is inside of an old warehouse, which by itself is a fantastic building to explore. Once you have entered the gallery, you are walking into one of the most important collections of film and photography in the British Isles.

Newcastle Castle
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Newcastle Castle

Discover the castle that gave Newcastle its name, taking in a 12th-century fortress that has been added to over the centuries.

Boiler Shop
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Boiler Shop

A Grade II* Listed former locomotive works from the 1820’s, now and events space hosting some of Newcastle’s most exciting event; from live performances, club nights and exhibitions, to food and drink festivals.

The Literary and Philosophical Society
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The Literary and Philosophical Society

A stone’s throw from Newcastle’s Central Station, and around the corner from Newcastle’s Castle, is The Lit and Phil. Only a few years younger than Manchester’s, The Lit and Phil is the second oldest literary and philosophical society in the United Kingdom.

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Saltwell Park

Nestled in the heart of Gateshead, the beautiful, historical grounds of Saltwell Park are a perfect place to spend the day.

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