Aparatoángel (Angel Apparatus)

Sonia Abián Rose

Posadas, Argentina, 1966
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  • Technique: 
    Canvas, fabric, paper, electric light and metalic clips
  • Dimensions: 
    Variable dimensions
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  • Donation of the artist, 2021

The work of Argentinean artist Sonia Abián comprises artistic investigations around archive policies and theories of reception aimed at revealing the mechanisms of power that intervene in the distribution and consumption of images. Abián appropriates historical images to reveal how they are vehicles of ideological propaganda serving power. A reference point of Aparatoángel (Angel Apparatus) is the iconography of the arquebusier angels of the Master of Calamarca, painted circa 1680. This type of representation configures a genre of colonial baroque art, mainly developed in the Viceroy of Peru, in the geographical area of present-day Bolivia and the north-west of Argentina. These representations symbolise the violence and Catholic indoctrination implicated in the Conquest of the Americas — their colonisation and evangelisation under the symbol of the sword and the cross. The installation is made up of paintings, silhouettes of bodies and suspended paper templates that deconstruct the images of angels using techniques from popular culture. Abián organises the pieces in layers to trigger different readings, according to the physical position of the spectator in relation to the work. The clothing is made with text patterns (press articles on mysoginistic violence, femicides, the arrival of migrant patera boats and migrant deportations) that perpetuate colonial ideology in the present and resignify the multiple forms of racial, sexual and gender violence inflicted on bodies.

Suset Sánchez Sánchez