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Five Shows to See in New York During Armory Week

Carlos Motta with Elio Miraña, ELO, Gil Farekatde Maribba, Higinio Bautista, Kiyedekago, Rosita and Yoí nanegü


8 September – 7 October

A dialogue of sculpture, video installation and mixed-media work, ‘Jjagɨyɨ: Air of Life’ is the result of years of collaboration between Carlos Motta and indigenous artists and cultural leaders in the Colombian Amazon. Taking its name from a Murui word referring to the collective heritage of indigenous groups from the region (loosely translated as ‘the people at the centre of the world’ or ‘the children of the creator’), ‘Jjagɨyɨ’ seeks to recover and reclaim histories that have been obscured by colonialism and its attendant epistemic displacements.

Jjagɨyɨ’ is centred around a titular, three-channel video installation narrating the impact of colonial religious missions on the creative and cultural practices of indigenous Amazonians. The film is split into several chapters, each of which homes in on an oral history delivered by one of the exhibition’s collaborators. These moments of storytelling are woven together by scenes of song and dance, as well as by recordings of the Amazon and its sonic atmosphere. For most of the film, each video monitor plays a different scene, resulting in an overlapping chorus of voices and sounds bound together in a resplendent tumult of knowledge production.