The Latin American cartography is represented with a soft map made of latex, a flexible and elastic material. The thin thickness of the latex used gives the work a disembodied and fragile character, although it retains its characteristic elasticity and lightness.
In Latex-America (after extractivism), Latin America’s geography shape appears as a skin removed from the surface as if it were a map without a basis. The cartography seems to be extracted from some unknown substrate, a drawing that appears to have had its body subtracted and displaced.
It is relevant to point out that the material (from which the work is made) is mentioned in the title due to its relevance, both for the physical presence of latex in the piece and the historical relevance of Latin America’s raw material.
Latex production inevitably refers to the history of exploiting this raw material in South America.
Latex (which, after processing, is transformed into natural rubber) is originally from South America and extracted from the Seringueira (Hevea Brasiliensis), a native plant of the Amazon. Although rubber exploitation refers to the period before the colonization of Latin America, its systematic exploitation only occurred centuries later.
The exploitation of rubber was at the core of Brazil’s development from the middle of the 19th century (first Rubber Cycle), declining after plantations in Southwest Asia were established from contraband of seeds from the Amazon to colonies in England.
LATEX-AMERICA (after extractivism) Soft-map made of latex 300 x 145 cm (installed) 2020
Image 1-2: Latex-America at the 37th Panorama da Arte Brasileira, an exhibition held at the Museum of Modern Art (São Paulo, Brazil), 2022. / Photo by Marina Camargo.
Image 3: Detail from Latex-America (second version) / Photo by Anna Mlasowsky, 2021.
Image 4: Latex-America at the exhibition A matter of deletion and other disappearances at Das Schaufenster in Seattle, 2021 / Photo by Danielle Tiffany Elliott.