Shipwrecked Species

Espai 13

Exhibition program
The Possibility of an Island
Irene de Andrés
Curated by
Alexandra Laudo

In November 2015, a shipwreck was found two hundred meters under the sea near the Rosario Islands, off the Colombian coast. It was the flagship of the Spanish Armada, the galleon San José, which had sunk in the battle of Barú more than three centuries earlier. At the time it went down, the San José was laden with a valuable treasure, so the finding of the galleon and the possibility of refloating it led to high tensions between the Colombian government - which had located the ship in its territorial waters -, the American company Sea Search Armada - which claimed to have provided the coordinates of the wreck many years earlier - and the Spanish government - which claimed that the galleon should be granted sovereign immunity as applied to war vessels.

In her project for Espai 13, Irene de Andrés develops an ensemble of pieces that comprises videos, photographs, documents, texts, sculptural elements and found objects which she uses to explore the case of the San José from different angles. De Andrés interprets the tensions that the discovery of the shipwreck raised within the context of current post-colonial relations and examines the new socio-economic setting in which connections emerge between colonialism and the current tourism industry in the Rosario Islands. The artist also taps the poetic potential of the concept of a shipwreck, interpreting the pro derelicto (abandoned) remains as a time capsule which, once discovered, abruptly opens up a previous time frame in the present.

Irene de Andrés talks about her project at Espai 13

Curatorial text

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Guided tour by the artist and curator

Thursday, 16 November at 6:30 pm