Open today 11—17 Tensta konsthall
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Jean-Baptiste Béranger
Jean-Baptiste Béranger

Mining Life

by Oscar Lara
6.10 2023—18.2 2024
Mining Life is an exhibition with works by the artist Oscar Lara (Stockholm/Lima) in which a backdrop city, a group of street comedians and a set of culturally explosive textiles are at center stage. This fall’s exhibition at Tensta konsthall begins in Madre de Dios, a region in Peruvian Amazonas which Lara visited when going to Peru during his childhood vacations. The project Preventive Custody (2018—2023) focuses on memories and stories from the micro-societies that have developed around the illegal mining industry in the area, as they were told by a group of women who had been swept up by the toxic networks of the trafficking industry.

Pictures of the exhibition: Jean-Baptiste Béranger

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On until
18.2 2024
6.10 2023
Exhibition is open
Tuesday—Friday 11—17
Saturday and Sunday 12—17
Free entrance
The meeting between the women, Oscar Lara and his team resulted in a play which circles around topics such as pain, death and loss, but also love, hope and motherhood. The script was written by the six women on site in the Peruvian jungle in collaboration with a dramaturg. In preparing for the exhibition in Tensta, they processed the play in dialogue with Oscar Lara's team and five Swedish actors who all have backgrounds in Latin America.

At Tensta konsthall the play has been transferred from a theater context into that of art in the form of a sculptural setting activated by a suggestive sound installation. The mining industry is also the theme in the video Searching for Power on the Collective Laugh (2017—2023) made in collaboration with a group of street comedians in Lima. The comedy is built on the complex relations between the Peruvian state and the mining industry in the country, where absurd bureaucracy and escalating corruption even force the legal miners to become illegal.

A couple of colorful textiles play the main role in the work Within Heritage Movements (2013—pågående). The starting point is a diplomatic dispute caused by some Pre-Columbian textiles from Paracas in Peru that were once in the collection of The Museum of World Culture in Gothenburg. The textiles were looted from a 2000 year old tomb in the desert in the 1930s. After the Peruvian ambassador, in connection to the exhibition A Stolen World (2008) demanded the textiles should be returned to Peru, Lara initiated an artistic research that lasted several years. As a part of this, Swedish experts were appointed to recreate the textiles with the same material and methods as the originals. The copies will be shown together with documentation about the story and origin.

The works in Mining Life have been developed by Oscar Lara in collaboration with different partners over the past ten years. Each project is connected to various forms of displacement: from trade with looted archeological artifacts to extraction of minerals and human resources in the form of cheap labor and prostitution. At the same time, the works in the exhibition touch the potential and complexity when a history is translated from one context into another and we are forced to realize how new perspectives can offer keys to healing as well as rereadings. This is presented by Lara in a way where the stories move between many places and media such as comics, sound, textile, scenography and video.

Preventive Custody was created as a play for the theater by Erika Lima Mamani, Fortunata Panihuara Cordova, Karla Toscano Requena, Corina Lozano Tuanama, Mayra Basos Garcia, Catalina Pinedo Valles in collaboration with Oscar Lara, the writer and scholar Gabriel Arriarán, Ricardo Galvez from Theatre of the Oppressed, the scriptwriter and dramaturg Eva-Maria Dahlin and set designer Johanna Mårtensson.

About Oscar
Oscar Lara (b. 1977, Peru) is an artist based in Stockholm and Lima. He holds a Master of Creative Arts from the University of Wollongong, Australia and is currently a PhD candidate at the Royal Institute of Art, Stockholm. His work researches social practices for substantial structural change and recontextualization of ethnographic material for the activation of decolonial power. Lara has exhibited at MALI — Museo de Arte de Lima (2017), Espacio Fundación Telefónica (Madrid, 2012), Tetem Kunstruimte (Enschede, Netherlands, 2011), Museum of World Culture (Gothenburg, 2008). He was also one of the participating artists at the Autostrada biennale in Kosovo in 2023.

About the curator
Lisa Rosendahl is Associate Professor of Exhibition Studies at KHIO/The Art Academy. She is the Curator of the 2019 and 2021 editions of the Göteborg International Biennial for Contemporary Art. Previous positions include Curator at Public Art Agency Sweden, Artistic Director of the Iaspis programme at the Swedish Arts Grants Committee and Director of Baltic Art Centre, Sweden. Recent curatorial projects include Rivers of Emotion, Bodies of Ore (Trondheim Kunsthall, 2018), Extracts From a Future History (Public Art Ageny Sweden, 2017) The Society Machine (Malmö Konstmuseum, 2016).
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