Dos islas vecinas is the first solo exhibition of José Vera Matos at Casa de América, Madrid (in collaboration with Casado Santapau Gallery).

Opening June 14 | June 1 – September 2, 2023

Casa de América | Guayasamín Room | Floor 0 | C/ Marqués del Duero, 2, Madrid

Mon-Fri: 11.00 h – 19.30 h | Sat: 11.00 h – 15.00 h

The drawings and transcriptions of José Vera Matos reflect on language and writing as essential tools for the conquest and domination of the Americas, but also on how those same tools later became a means of resistance used throughout history.

The texts selected for her transcriptions deal with various aspects of the impact of the conquest in the Americas. More than the historical fact itself, what interests Vera Matos are the consequences and phenomena resulting from this violent clash between the two cultures. Colonial violence and resistance movements throughout history are felt not only in the wars of conquest and anti-colonial struggles, but also, later on, in everyday life beset by the tension between the “civilized” and the “savage”, between “official” and popular culture, between the Western and the indigenous.

To translate the content of the texts into an image, Vera Matos uses columns of text that make direct reference to the Spanish language and language in general as an instrument of domination and control. The use of geometric elements and patterns present in all pre-Columbian iconography visually affects these columns. Just as these vertical text columns represent the forced imposition of a new way of thinking, the use of pre-Columbian stepped and trapezoidal patterns found in tocapus and Inca architecture, Tiwanaku ceramics and Paracas textiles serve to manifest rejection and opposition to colonialism.