Arts Collaboratory

Past occasions

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Adriana Rojas, Colombia residency at Al-Ma'mal Foundation for Contemporary Art, Jerusalem, December 2014



Light Chasquik Dome at Al-Ma'mal Foundation, video, 1'49", 2014

A Chaskiq in the Quechua language, spoken in several countries along the Andes Mountains of South America, was originally a person who gave and received. These were youngsters who ran long distances between communities to receive and deliver correspondence, news and objects in the prehispanic world. Thereafter the Chaskiqs became the keepers of knowledge and traditional wisdom, being able to safeguard and tell stories of the communities. They carried a trumpet made of a conch shell to let people know of their arrival. As they grew old, the elder Chaskiqs would pass on their knowledge to the younger generation in order to preserve the essential principles and cultures of the Andes.

Light Chasiq Dome was developed in December 2014, during a residency at Al-Ma'mal Foundation for Contemporary Art in Jerusalem. A group of youngsters became the Chaskiqs of the community in Al-Ma´mal. Receiving the stories of the elders and transforming them into real time animations by using analog devices such as overhead projectors and amplifying lamps. Characters, environments and backgrounds were recreated with translucent papers, black cardboard and local materials projected inside a dome.

The idea of constructing a dome was to both evoke astronomic observatories and their exploration of the skies as well as the concept behind Muslim buildings and temples to congregate believers under light and knowledge. The word ‘Dome’ [cupola] is also related to ‘Domus’ [house, home] and the decision to make our dome from discarded materials and fabrics was to create a nomadic structure, stressing the dramatic situation of displacement that many families and communities are facing in Palestine as well as in Colombia. Currently millions of people are being forcibly moved from their homes, leaving their homelands and yet carrying with them their own inner light filled with stories about their lives and communities.

During the four-week residency and through the Handmade Cinema workshops, a live experience of cinema was created inside the dome without the use of film. In the Light Chasquik Dome, light and sound established a direct relationship with performative actions, generating an expanded cinema so that the field of perception was amplified though multiple and simultaneous real time audiovisual operations. 

Adriana Rojas Pretel is a performer, visual artist and researcher based in Bogotá, Colombia. For the last 10 years she has been working with community projects as an artist, consultant, director and trainer in high impact itinerant cultural and educational projects that through the arts contribute to the re-establishment of human rights, local artist´s training, cooperation in reconciliation and land re-appropriation processes. She focuses in areas that are subject to vulnerability, risk, and ousting inside and outside Colombia. Her body of work involves several technics and collaborations with other artist all over the world to propose and expanded experience of art. For more info you can check: