artist / participant

press release

Thursday November 16th 2006, 6:00 to 8:30 PM

Everybody's doin' a brand new dance now (C'mon baby do the locomotion) I know you'll get to like it If you give it a chance now (C'mon baby do the locomotion)

Blow de la Barra is honoured to present the first solo show in London of Carolina Caycedo, Locomotion.

Born in England in 1978 to Colombian parents, the ideas of place and motion have been central to Carolina Caycedo’s practice. In the past 6 years she has been based in London, New York, Bogota and Puerto Rico. One of the central pieces of the exhibition is a jukebox containing 60 CDs, a compilation of songs collected through the different cities where she’s lived or worked since 1995. The compilation also includes music projects developed by Caycedo including hiphop recordings from the shanty towns of Bogota and public recordings in Spain and Brasil. The songs from the jukebox, are not only the soundtrack of her life, but also the soundtrack of the exhibition, an exhibition that presents Caycedo’s past and recent work dealing with issues of identity, conflict, movement, location, nationality and immigration. As such, music becomes a universal language, one that trespasses barriers and frontiers.

The failed promises of globalisation have only re-enforced differences and nationalisms, producing further borders and distances between people and territories. As Arjun Appadurai affirms in his seminal text Modernity at Large: “We need to think ourselves beyond the nation… the role of intellectual practices is to identify the current crisis of the nation and in identifying it to provide part of the apparatus of recognition for postnational forms.” In this way, and through her work Caycedo suggests new forms of dealing with identity and location.

By mixing flags of the places where she originates and where she lives (Colombia/UK, Puerto Rico/Colombia), she creates banners that wave her multiple identities. Using the same method she combines flags of cultures in tension, creating new flags to represent them: USA-Iraq, Ireland-UK, UK/Mix, and Lebanon/Israel. In doing so Caycedo adapts a previous work from 2002 where she sold many of her possessions at a selling point at London’s Brick Lane Market, and then used the money from the sale to pay for the cloth to sew a giant flag made from a combination of the British and Colombian flags that was then hung on the street. Also on show is another banner: Immigrants Influence Home Cultures created for a symbolic public march in London in 2004 in which Caycedo celebrated immigration as a form of cultural diversity and social exchange. This critique of current immigration policies, procedures and discrimination form part of her film How to get a British Passport from 2003, in which she uses footage from her own marriage to create a fiction which exposes the realities experienced by migrants in order to be legal in the place they chose to live. By not differentiating her life from her art, Caycedo demonstrates that the possibility of art to affect society and visa versa can be set in motion through small individual acts: this is the Locomotion Revolution.

So come on, come on, do the loco-motion with me…

Caycedo’s work has been exhibited internationally in important exhibitions including Da Adversidade Vivemos, Musee d’Art Moderne de la Ville de Paris, 2001; the 50th Venice Biennale, 2003; J’en Reve, Cartier Foundation for Contemporary Art, Paris, 2005; the Whitney Biennial, New York, 2006. She’s also had solo shows at Secession, Vienna, Austria, 2002 and Galeria Comercial, Puerto Rico, 2005 among other places.

only in german

Carolina Caycedo