This immersive, multidisciplinary window installation illustrates stories from the cacao forest in Venezuela, also known as Conuco. Against a backdrop of political upheaval, the work explores the living and lost memory of Venezuela’s cacao cultivation while exhibiting the vibrancy of the region’s coastal rhythms and its vast landscapes.
Designers Alexandra Gelis and Alejandra Higuera draw hypnotic sounds of the Venezuelan Quitiplas into our urban experience. This Afro-indigenous percussion instrument made of bamboo sticks carry laments and conversations inside the humid and colourful cacao farms in the coastal towns of Tapipa, Cata and Rio Caribe. The work, led by Victoria Mata, invites an intimate connection to the hands, voices and songs of cacao farmers, elders, knowledge keepers and masters that have accompanied the artistic process of this creative team for the past twelve years.
You’re further invited to join us in connecting with our cacao farmer collaborators whose stories and histories are the inspiration and backbone of this production. Fill out the google form below to receive your own postcard mail art kit so that you can join us in sending your drawings and messages to cacao farmers in Venezuela!
Creator and Choreographer | Victoria Mata
Creative Producer | Alison Wong
Multimedia Designers and editors | Alejandra Higuera, Alexnadra Gelis
Production Assistant | Daniela Arango
Environment Design | Trevor Schwellnus
Camera | Cyntia Iradi, Luis Calderon, Juan Pablo Pinto, Carlos LaSala, Victoria Mata
Documentation Assistance | Eloi Araujo Mata, Liset Mariana Huerfano, Misset Parata, Nahiti Ortega
Single Channel Video by Alejandra Higuera
Original Compositions by Ivan Lira. Appearances by Carlixta Palacios, El Gato, Trabajadoras de la Hacienda Mendoza, Alicia Palacios, Trabajadores de la Hacienda San Eloy, Lourde Ramírez, Trabajadoras de la Empresa Campesina Chuao, Ivan Lira, Alexis Machado, Belkis Figuera, Jesús Rondón, Paula Nuñez, Petra Herrera, Pio Jose Lira, Ezequiel Millan, Luis Molilla, Yamile Taina Perez Palacios, Alida Quintero, Omaira Guillermina López Lyon, Hilario Garcia, Ricardo Mato López, Nelson Enrique Rangel, Maria Cristina Lira, Jesus Lira Medina, Jesus Diaz, Arcadio Moya, Sr. Félix Corro, Alberto Bonilla, Dimas Berroteran, Bailarinas de Vasallos de Venezuela -Rita Vaamonde Specht, Rossmary Rondón, y Nahiti Ortega.
Three Channel Video by Alexandra Gelis
Sound design | Alexandra Gelis
Dancers | Victoria Mata, Nahiti Ortega
Voices by Jackeline Rago (Lament Song), Alexis Machado (Narration), Victoria Mata/Diana Reyes (Poem)
Quitiplas by Yamile Taina Perez Palacio
Appearances by Carlixta Palacios, El Gato, Trabajadoras de la Hacienda Mendoza, Alicia Palacios, Trabajadores de la Hacienda San Eloy, Trabajadoras de la Empresa Campesina Chuao.