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Cosmogony of the Moriche Flower

Date & Time:
September 20, 2016 | 12:30 pm
SA 129
Carlos Betancourt

LARC and the Venezuela Canadian Association of Calgary will host artist Carlos Betancourt as part of the Venezuela Culture Days. He will share his life experiences with indigenous groups of the Orinoco River, Venezuela, and how his artwork intends to express their vision of the Universe.  

Free and open to the public. Presentation will be in Spanish with some English translation.

With more than a decade of field research of the aboriginal population living along the right margin of the Orinoco River, Artist Carlos Betancourt has developed an in-depth knowledge of their symbols, cultural aspects and life style. He has transformed all these elements into artwork, sculptures and photography, achieving more than 19 solo and 15 collective exhibitions, using raw material and themes that are autochthonous to the native population of southeaster Venezuela. From his filed work, Carlos Betancourt has also produced audiovisuals and has contributed to 3 illustrated books of the Amazonas, Bolivar and Delta Amacuro States in Venezuela.

In this dialogue (“Cosmogony of the Moriche Flower”), the artist will share his life experience with these aboriginal populations and how his artwork intends to express their vision of the Universe. He will use his work "Garden of Ancestral Flowers" (Jardines de Flores Ancestrales), built with elements from the Moriche Palm, such as fruit, seeds, branches and fiber, to describe a worldview, involving aspects of the daily life (environment, deities) and sacred symbols of the Warao Nation. The discussion will include the presentation of a 6-min video.

“The Moriche Palm constitutes everything for the Warao Nation, the ancient inhabitants of the Orinoco Delta. It provides food, medicine, clothing, shelter, rest, crafts, liquor, and games. Hence, my interest in utilizing it as an artistic expression, as an element that configures a particular setting and visual structure that becomes a symbolic identity. My work aims at the preservation of the historical memory of the Warao culture”.

Carlos Betancourt will also be presenting his photo exhibition “Faces, Children of the Forest” (Rostro Hijos de la Selva) in Calgary during the vent “Venezuelan Culture Days”(Saturday 24th - Chinese Cultural Centre). These images show the faces of those who have made the Amazon, Caura, Paragua, Ventuari and Orinoco rivers their home, culture and life; surviving the devastation of gold diggers, and exploitation of chiquichique and rubber. Faces marked by the rigors of hard work, time and sun. Pensive faces, with harsh expressions, deprived of any vanity. The faces of the Pemon, Arutanis, Guarekenas, Yekuanas, Yanomami, Guahibos, Warao, Sanema, Kariñas and Panare nations.