La “Chola” Poblete, the queer artist who seeks to escape from the “place of the fetish”

The multidisciplinary artist “La Chola” Poblete

The multidisciplinary artist “La Chola” Poblete marks an identity territory that transcends skin color and gender from the sample crying exerciseswhich is exhibited these days at the Modern Museum of Buenos Aires and brings together a series of drawings on states in transition where the Mendoza appears with an overwhelming, delicate, tenuous intimacy.

Faint lines, swirling dots configuring spaces, delicate strokes that exude hair and the crossings between virgins, potatoes and braids, unfold on white framed notebook sheets that these days are exhibited in the series of drawings created between 2014 and 2015 by Poblete, “an intimate diary” made available to the public. They are drawings, a watercolor and a couple of paintings as a prelude shared in the exhibition crying exercisesdedicated to him by the Museum of Modern Art in Buenos Aires.

“I am an artist, from Mendoza. I like to be called La Chola, Chola, Cholita, she affirms bluntly when asked how she wants to be named who became known as Mauricio Poblete and in her artistic search she founded an identity process that today leads her to define herself as “la Chola”. Barely a year ago at the Pasto gallery she presented her first individual exhibition in Buenos Aires, heretic’s fork (an instrument of torture of the Inquisition) cured by Leandro Martinez Depietri. So far in 2022, she has already been present at the ARCO Madrid art fair and until February some of his drawings spoke at the exhibition symphonic plot with Luis “Yuyo” Noah and other artists in the Marco de La Boca museum.

In the continuity of her work, the figure of “La Chola” is based on her own body as a performative act of cultural identity to be read, as happened in a very personal exchange with the Queen of Spain in Madrid, where without formal reverence she broke the ice with the greeting “Letizia, we meet again 530 years later”, as she narrated the meeting on her Instagram profile, @la.chola

"crying exercises" It is exhibited in the Modern Museum of Buenos Aires
“Exercises of crying” is exhibited at the Modern Museum of Buenos Aires

And with just over 30 years, this new exhibition chapter that is now taking place at the Museum of Modern Art legitimizes his projection as an artist who rescues ancestral knowledge, denounces colonial practices of discrimination based on race and gender, and settles from sexual and skin color next to the Brown Identity collective. Poblete advances against stereotypes from an exoticization that she uses, why not, from various syncretisms, “positive” as she says, and representations of non-hegemonic bodies.

Curated by Victoria Noorthoorn -director of the museum- and Marcos Kramer, the exhibition dedicated to Poblete (1989) brings together a body of work with lines that are opposed to that more usual image of the visual artist, performer and activist who became known in Buenos Aires in 2017 with the performance installation “American beauty” -alluding to the 1999 film “American Beauty”- within the framework of ArteBA. As a continuity, these drawings from Mendoza are updated in the colorful watercolors and ancestral American mythograms that the artist studies, absorbs and reformulates since the pandemic, and that focus on issues such as cultural, sexual, gender and class identity, as well as such as marginalization and Christian syncretism. “It’s a way to explore the possibilities of introspection. A process of my identity construction. How to inhabit the paper? How much can a line?” she says.

These strokes are accompanied by another colorful work, “a watercolor where two figures appear that are abstracting, they are facing each other -he reflects-. Somehow it’s me abandoning the artifice of the wig to represent something”.

With an interesting national journey and international momentum through her performances that claim dark skin, “brown”, the women of her family and her ancestry from native peoples, the artist takes up in her video-performance, photographs, sculptures, paintings and drawings, a set of ancestral knowledge and shapes from a critical symbolization the colonial practices of discrimination still present.

The multidisciplinary artist is a graduate of the degree and professorship in Visual Arts at the National University of Cuyo
The multidisciplinary artist is a graduate of the degree and professorship in Visual Arts at the National University of Cuyo

These drawings that were not exhibited at the time were part of intimate notebooks-diaries that he kept. “By chance or magic she came to him Victoria Noorthoorn one of these drawings and asked me to travel to Mendoza to look for the notebooks. I remember myself in that moment of intimacy with the paper, searching for silence, capturing tranquility, quieting my ruminant head, exercising the point, embracing the line, kneading hairs”, recalls Poblete about the series created in a moment of depression.

Thus, these lines and dots begin that “exercise of abstracting ideas, images, elements” referring to personal issues of his “identity and intimacy” that leaves the literal to get lost in the composition.

“Many of these compositions are like a germ of elements and signs that later began to appear in more recent works”, he highlighted during the presentation of the exhibition at the museum, and in that cultural appropriation of the history of art that he also practices, he It satisfies “realizing this more intimate, suggestive place” that is reflected in his current work and has a more defined thematic exploration towards “coloniality”, among other themes.

A multidisciplinary artist from a humble family, he is an emerging artist on the map of artistic expressions that renew ethnic, racialized genealogies through various artistic languages ​​that are intertwined with the popular. Poblete is part of the artistic and sex-dissident collective Comparsa Dragand his alter ego the chola It allows him from the performative action to “create a collective ritual of an intimate event”, as he writes in his networks.

But, how can one get out of the logic of the art market, remain in the system without ceasing to be one? “The solo show at the Moderno is an opportunity to make my work visible to another audience. I recommend being surrounded by friends and family”, she cryptically answers the question.

A graduate of the Visual Arts degree and professor at the National University of Cuyo, Poblete states: “I didn’t just learn at the university. My training is also the night, the street, the bars, sharing a fernet on the bank of a ditch listening to Indio (Solari) ”, and songs like ‘Vencedores vanquished’ and ‘Música para pills’”, she charts.

“I always have the computer next to me, I see many video clips and images,” he indicates about his creative process and impulse of that crossing of language so pregnant, an emotion that includes music. “I like to experiment, otherwise I get bored. I have no preferences regarding languages”, she synthesizes.

How to escape from the fashion that looks at queerness, dissidence and original peoples, and walk before a society that is still very white and patriarchal? “Being one. In my case, every time a situation of this type arises, I do not remain silent. I am quite confrontational. And as for the places I inhabit as an ‘artist’, I do it from my work, sometimes being less explicit”, she says.

Poblete is part of the artistic and sex-dissident collective Comparsa Drag
Poblete is part of the artistic and sex-dissident collective Comparsa Drag

An artist who describes herself as someone who has “a lot to say and not only from the place of the fetish, other things happen to me in my daily life”, she affirms about the character that configures her.

Can there be a reparation from art? “Yes. Sometimes symbolic. Repair depends on a healing action. To guarantee the non-repetition of certain events, we must recognize what happened. The following words come to mind: resistance, action-reaction, making-memory”, he lists.

Among her projects are a probable residence in France, although her wish is “to be involved in the workshop, I’m looking forward to having an engraving press. I want to make engravings, lost blocks, etchings”, she concludes.

As part of the second episode of the museum’s annual exhibition program one day on earththe individual exhibition of La Chola is proposed as a meditative space on the first floor of the museum (Avenida San Juan 350, City of Buenos Aires).

Source: Telam

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