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Rules of taste enforce structures of power.” 

– Susan Sontag


Reappropriating the Greek word meaning “sensation or perception” decolonial authors such as Walter Mignolo, Rolando Vázquez, and Adolfo Albán Achinte push against aesthetics, considering it a constituent part of colonial matrix of power. Their theories encourage an ongoing process of challenging and subverting the hegemony of modern/colonial aesthetics aiming a ‘decolonization of the senses’. 

This series consists of evenly-sized cylindrical vases displaying subtle differences in their shape -found in bases and tops, enhancing their handmade look- and set apart by their colors and iconography. The soft epoxy resin that they are made of makes it difficult to distinguish from glass at a glance. 

These sculptures are inspired by engraved glass objects from classical antiquity, replicating the basic shapes of beakers and some of their common hues. Through a shift in materiality that leads to a flexible finish, the rubbery resin invites a rediscovery of touch, enhancing the subjective aspect of perception, an elementary awareness of stimulation. 

The iconography among these vases blends grotesque figures, caryatids, acanthus leaves, citing the diverse neoclassical repertoire depicted on sculptural reliefs that decorate the façades of Buenos Aires’ characteristic architecture.  

Since my childhood, my gaze has lingered on the intricate ornamental details of old buildings, that seemed to bring along stories from faraway lands and times. Later, this fascination triggered larger questions about the construction of our identity as ‘porteños’ -as we call Buenos Aires’ inhabitants. 

My research on these subjects and the influence of decolonial authors made the im/possibility of imagining a European decentered practice one of my main concerns as an artist. This exploration of my subjectivity -which involves recalling early impressions of my hometown and learned notions of beauty- acknowledges my heritage and Eurocentric upbringing, at the same time that it broadens my perspective and informs my practice towards the creation of subtle strategies to undermine the colonial structures that shaped it. 

– Paula Córdoba


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