In the Andean region, the word ›pacha‹ represents a whole that forms time and space, and which is also understood as an independent, living entity. This entity constitutes the confluence, origin, and perception of everything that happens. Experience in the sense of what we perceive, feel, think, gauge, and actively influence within the framework of our lives, as well as the original Andean experience—as it is still lived in rural Andean communities today—stem from traditional mentalities and practices with close emotional and symbolic ties to ›pacha‹.
›Pallay Pampa: Andean Crossroads‹ is our attempt to draw closer to this experience. Here we assume that the original inhabitants of the Andes perceive ›pacha‹ as the creator and observer of all life—meaning with regard to their children, plants, animals, water, and climate. This understanding creates a fully integrated landscape in which the human being is more than a mere spectator.
»The understanding of ›pacha‹ creates a fully integrated landscape in which the human being is more than a mere spectator.«
In a spirit of recognition, Adela Pino, Isaac Ruíz, and Álvaro Acosta present an audiovisual panorama of the Andean experience through textile work that can also be considered a collective learning process; Daniela Zambrano Almidón acquaints us with this dialogue and learning process with the help of a shaman who lives in the city. Carolina Estrada introduces us to the ›cultivation‹ and ›harvesting‹ of water as practised by the women of a peasant community; Juan Osorio, presenting poems and texts by Andean intellectuals of the 20th century, engages with the concept of ›pacha‹ through a multidimensional spectrum of Andean thought.
Kenyi Quispe, by contrast, shares a critical take on our perception of the Andean through the lens of Western-dominated mentalities. Using poetic language as an example, he points to the possibilities and limits of modern freedom and equality—concepts used to level cultural differences while sidestepping any genuine encounter. Meanwhile Emilio Santisteban offers a charged geopolitical perspective that draws on his analysis of the potato—now a globalised, agro-industrial product—as an expression of the Andean experience in the context of alienation between various different modes of thought.
Hence the exhibition reveals the crossroads at which the Andean experience stands. It tackles cultural, political, and ecological questions in order to, as Brazilian thinker Eduardo Viveiros de Castro put it, »recover a self-image in which we recognise ourselves«.