Alberto Baraya, ‘Herbário de plantas artificiales - Expedición Venezia - Flor Azul’, 2009, Galeria Nara Roesler

About Alberto Baraya

Through photography, video, found objects, and drawings, Alberto Baraya parodies colonial exploitation and its echoes in contemporary global exchange. In the 1990s, he produced ironic self-portraits, highlighting the malleability of identity through the inclusion of references to iconic works of art. Since 2001, he has styled himself as a “viajero”, referring to 18th- and 19th-century European travelers who undertook botanical explorations in the name of science and in the service of colonization. For this project, “Herbário de plantas artificiais” (Herbarium of Artificial Plants), Baraya follows the path of these pseudo-scientists, collecting, cataloguing, and displaying artificial plants. “By picking up…plastic flowers on the street, I behave like the scientists that Western education expects us to become,” he explains. “By changing the goals of this…task I resist this ‘destiny.’ In that moment all assumptions are put into question, even history.”

Colombian, b. 1968, Bogota, Colombia, based in Bogota, Colombia

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