“Mining the Qhapaq Ñan,” an exhibition showcasing the profound and intricate work of Micaela de Vivero, Denison Professor and Chair of Studio Art. As you enter this immersive space, be prepared to delve into the rich layers of Vivero’s artistic exploration, where scale, interactivity, and her ever-evolving perspective converge to create a thought-provoking experience. The installation, intentionally designed to be expansive, transforms the viewer’s sense of scale, fostering a feeling of insignificance that mirrors the vastness of the historical narratives embedded within the artwork.
Vivero’s creative strategies emphasize audience movement, allowing viewers to engage with the installation from various angles and witness the participatory work evolve in real time. Her art, like the landscapes she draws inspiration from, encourages contemplation as you navigate the space, your perspective changing dynamically and over time. The exhibition unfolds a narrative that spans continents, from Vivero’s upbringing in Quito, Ecuador, amidst historic cathedrals adorned with gold to her explorations of ancient cultures in places as distant as Greece and Peru. Central to this exhibition is Vivero’s deep dive into the history of silver and gold, connecting her work to the complexities of colonialization, mining, and extraction. With intentional research and a keen eye for historical nuances, she references and recontextualizes images, creating never-ending connections between past and present. The exhibition’s centerpiece, a large paperwork piece of the Peruvian city of Cusco, divides the location of the Inka Trail- north, south, east, and west and leads you on a journey revealing facets of South America’s intricate history. Through this academic exploration, Vivero, a dedicated college educator and practicing artist, invites you to reflect on the continent’s history, encouraging connections to your own heritage and the contemporary world.