The Hungry Mist group exhibition is on view at Oxygen Art Centre from 1 December 2023 to 3 February 2024. This page is a digital extension of the group exhibition, featuring two videos by guest artist Cecilia Vilca. These works respond to and are resultant from the hybrid residency program.

“Nixta Valley: el ritual,” Cecilia Vilca, 14 min. 19 sec., 2021

Nixta Valley is part of a series of works for the “Techno-Tamaladas de Lima, Peru a California, EE.UU” virtual residency. The Techno-Tamaladas is a project of Praba Pilar that invites Latin-American artists to draw on thousands of years of practice & knowledge in cultivating corn/maíz across the Americas to sustain life. In recognizing the Indigenous nixtamalization technology as a technology of life, they intend to reimagine technological futurity. 

For The Hungry Mist exhibition, guest artist Cecilia Vilca presents “Nixta Valley: the ritual” (2021) a Zoom ritual originally conceived as a response to video provocations sent by the diasporic Colombian artist Praba Pilar. In this piece, conceived during the pandemic, Vilca utilizes Zoom to ritualize non-physical space, to “trap” in it the “real” presence. This interstice is called Nixta Valley as a play on words that refer to Silicon Valley, the technological valley, and the ancestral Nixtamalization technology used in tamales. Through various archival interventions, the artist invokes what she has called “timestamp” images and videos, which for her are “imbued” with the power of the present moment, either painful or happy. As in life, the video works in a modular fashion, within Nixta Valley, or as a stand-alone piece.

“Collaborative recipe for anti-colonial algorithm,” Cecilia Vilca, Zoom ritual opening performance recording, Durational performance on 1 December 2023, 15 min.

It usually contains video-ingredients-stereotypes. A variety of times. Inhabitants of different water villages. A pandemic.

This is a fieldwork piece that is a performance, that is a recipe, that is a questionnaire that ritually questions our stereotypes about territories. 

Ritual reverse engineering. Reinsertion of idolatries.

Special ingredients for today: my/your stereotypes, my/your territories.

Hello water people

I really want to meet you. 

An introduction to the territory itself.

Porque el territorio que camina soy yo. 

(Y tampoco quiero que me colonices).

In this virtual intervention, which the artist calls a “Zoom ritual,” Vilca proposes a questionnaire that aims to challenge stereotypes and preconceptions that place Lima (Peru) and Nelson (Canada) to each other. Vilca serves as an oracle, whose questions resonate as a non-intentional response to the extirpation of idolatries, which were questionnaires used by colonizers in Peruvian territories in the 1600s to decimate pagan worldviews. The artist reacts throughout the ritual with virtual backgrounds containing drawings of anti-colonial fantasies, recordings of the mists of both Lima and Nelson, and personal memories that are presented in response to the spontaneous answers given by Nelson resident, Deborah Thompson, who was chosen at the opening of the exhibition.

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