Journey of the anonymous

With Journey of the Anonymous Andrés Pereira Paz tributes ‘The Calamarca Angels’, ten paintings preserved in the Church of Calamarca, a town close to his home city La Paz (Bolivia). Dating back into the 17. and 18. Century ’The Calamarca Angels’ can become androgynous, celestial, aristocratic, and military beings all at once. Their unknown origin adds to the opacity of what they present, and the artist kept wondering who these angels were. The lack of authorship, obviously raises the question: Who was behind these, back in the day, successful set of paintings? In the eyes of the artist, these paintings are done evidently by two parts of the colonial regime population in the Andes: Indigenous people, woman or even both. They can be seen as either armed woman, or even bird-woman figures that hold contradiction in their own presence. Human-bird figures were a popular subject when it comes to pre columbian representations, connecting the celestial with the terrestrian world and this syncretic series of paintings could become a living proof of it. ‘Journey of the Anonymous’ shows the effort, to think from a localized geopolitical viewpoint, in order to reconsider syncretic forms and moments.

Any decolonisation process in the Latin American region should not be reduced exclusively to the quotes of participation. It also implies undertaking an exercise of re-balancing, in order to redefine the strategies that art – as a colonial tool – has been used to operate in the Andean latitudes.