Room 002.07
Liliana Maresca: Equation - El Dorado, 1991

In line with numerous activities of resistance in different places in the Americas around 1992, La Conquista. 500 años (The Conquest. 500 Years) was a collective exhibition organised in the Centro Cultural Recoleta in Buenos Aires in late 1991 in response to the Fifth Centenary of the Conquest of the Americas. In the show, Liliana Maresca presented the installation Ecuación - El Dorado (Equation – El Dorado) based on the myth relating gold and diamond-bearing areas of the old West Indies to this lost city, where unimaginable wealth was supposedly accumulated.

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Room 002.07
Room 002.07

Room 002.07

In line with numerous activities of resistance in different places in the Americas around 1992, La Conquista. 500 años (The Conquest. 500 Years) was a collective exhibition organised in the Centro Cultural Recoleta in Buenos Aires in late 1991 in response to the Fifth Centenary of the Conquest of the Americas. In the show, Liliana Maresca presented the installation Ecuación - El Dorado (Equation – El Dorado) based on the myth relating gold and diamond-bearing areas of the old West Indies to this lost city, where unimaginable wealth was supposedly accumulated.

The installation, conceived to be ephemeral, is reconstructed today in the rooms of the Museo by adhering to the original plans. It is made up of a truncated red pyramid — an ingot symbolising the blood shed in the search for El Dorado — and a gold sphere and a cube, two perfect and ideal yet also opposing geometric bodies referring to alchemy. These elements appear connected by a black rug and a chair representing colonial power, and to the side a computer prints out the results of an equation used to calculate the relationship between the kilos of gold transported to Spain and the gallons of Indigenous blood spilt in the Americas during the Conquest and colonisation. Thus, Maresca creates a counter-narrative confronting the celebratory and commemorative activity in ‘92, and in doing so manages to synthesise two crucial elements of conquest: the extractivism of precious metals and the resulting dispossession and human cost.

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