Abolengo: An Illustrious History of Looting in Mapuche Lands
Palmer Gallery, College Center
An exhibition by Kütral Vargas Huaiquimilla
Thursday, February 22 to Thursday, February 29, 2024.
Performance and opening reception: Thursday, February 22, at 5:30 p.m. Includes a post-performance Q&A with the artist.
The word “abolengo” refers to an illustrious ancestry. It is also a napkin brand in Chile produced by CMPC, a forestry company owned by a Chilean settler-colonist family of high pedigree. This corporation plants and harvests monoculture eucalyptus and radiata pine trees, which are used as raw materials to produce paper. This company’s extractive activity has waged consistent and ongoing destruction on Mapuche lands for over fifty years. Deploying various media, Kütral juxtaposes paperboat sculptures representing Columbus’s 1542 caravels with looped recordings of ads for “Abolengo” napkins and original footage produced for this exhibition. Kütral’s installation connects colonization, consumption, and Native territorial autonomy, redefining the word “abolengo.”
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