The world’s nations’ continuous need to operate and survive through this exuberant Anthropocene period has drained every earthly resource, reaching now into our privacy and attempting to control the flow of the Internet, our virtual river. People and industry continue to struggle in conflicting cultures. One is a culture of progress with a price placed on anything essential to life: water, land, air, other natural resources. The other is a symbiosis with nature that is a spiritual inheritance. Through work that investigates relationships of movement, assimilation and resistance, representation and control, Carolina Caycedo addresses contexts, groups and communities that are affected by developmental projects like the constructions of dams, the privatization of water and their consequences on riverside communities. The human impact on rivers is extensive and pervasive. Perhaps nowhere is this better observed than in the case of land-use change and channeled water infrastructures. Dams dramatically transform rivers by altering the downstream flow of water, sediment and nutrients, modifying water temperatures and blocking species movement. In Indigenous cosmogonies of the Americas, all bodies of waters are connected.
Rivers are the veins of the planet, their waters creating associations among communities and ecosystems. Caycedo’s evolving research-based project Be Dammed is an investigation of the socio-environmental impacts of dams, undertaken in frequent collaboration with local activists protesting their construction. Fishing nets are implemented as hanging sculptures, creating elegiac volumes in the exhibition space. Big Woman/Mujer grande is the most literal of these, depicting a female figure draped in net; it is talismanic in tone, but also pays tribute to Latin American female activists, two of whom were killed for their activism in 2016. The riparian communities Caycedo focuses on, self-sufficient and sustainable from their own work in the land and river, are independent and untaxable, and thus a threat to governmental forces languishing in a codependent sociopolitical-class food chain. More info at www.carolinacaycedo.com.