La Chola Poblete: Exercise in Weeping

Bilingual Spanish-English edition
Texts: Fernando Noy
Translation: Ian Barnett
Graphic Design: Pablo Alarcón y Alberto Scotti

132 pages
Format: 21x15cm
ISBN 978-987-1358-93-9

This book grew out of the exhibition La Chola Poblete: Ejercicios del llanto [La Chola Poblete: Exercise in Weeping] at the Museo de Arte Moderno de Buenos Aires between May and October 2022. The extremely simple, austere exhibition displayed several series of early drawings captured by the artist in different notebooks between 2014 and 2015. The show took the form of a revealing intimate diary in which visitors could access the account of a process of identity building that is both personal and political. Page by page, Poblete’s at once abstract and figurative drawings accompanied her profound inner transformation. With subtle strokes and marks, mostly in pencil, the tears, the cross (a symbol of oppressive colonialism), the potato (an allusion to her roots) and subtle references to sexuality materialised just as the artist was going through a time of transformation of her own gender. This is perhaps La Chola Poblete’s quietest, most intimate work. Her artistic practice reasserts her indigenous ancestry and the importance of South American ancestral knowledge while stressing the need to reverse colonial practices of discrimination. In watercolours and performances, the artist challenges cultural standards with her anti-hegemonic beauties and corporalities. This publication sets the works in conversation with poems specially created by the poet Fernando Noy.

“La Chola Poblete is her own work of art. When you see her untameable jet-black hair, her soaring woman-eagle’s profile, her phosphorescent opaque silk skin, her eyes hypnotised by an ever-prowling curiosity, not to mention her sovereign bearing, which, among other gifts, gives her the wild lineage of a purely androgynous neo-shamaness, with her muddy original ancestral pop-surrealism, there can be no doubt that we are in the presence of an extraordinary artist, an artist who stands outside the predictable canons and catalogues. In every instalment of her work, she is capable of capturing a highly personal and striking ritual, outside pre-announced time, with the spell of the truly inescapable intensity of her creative magic.”

Fernando Noy