b. 1971, Chile
Voluspa Jarpa’s practice began amid the resurgence of Chile’s artistic scene following the end of Pinochet’s dictatorship in 1990. She currently lives in Santiago de Chile. Jarpa works at the juncture of collective history and subjective experience, via the notion of cultural trauma. Incorporating public discourse, documents, state symbols, and urban space, as well as individual stories and psychoanalytic theory, she excavates the visual and textual materiality of the archive.
Her work analyzes the construction of hegemonic history and memory, taking into account its inherent erasures and absences. Her Minimal Secret works involve hanging installations based on pages of redacted governmental information, during the Pinochet regime and the Cold War-era. Jarpa conceptually relates the documents’ deletions, which hide information from the public conscious, to the repressive mechanism of hysteria, which results in later symptoms for society. Her project for the Chilean Pavilion of the 2019 Venice Biennale, “Altered Views”, critically dissects aspects of European colonial history to expose the manipulation and violence behind the dominant narratives of modernity.
Significant exhibitions include solo shows at MALBA, Buenos Aires (2016) and La Maison de l’Amérique Latine, Paris (2010), and group shows at Haus der Kulturen der Welt, Berlin; Kunst Museum, Bern, and Migros Museum, Zürich, Switzerland; and the Jewish Museum, New York. Biennial participations include the Venice Biennal, Chilean Pavillon (2019), the Shanghai Biennale (2018), the São Paulo Bienal (2014), the Istanbul Biennial (2011), the Mercosur Biennial, Porto Alegre, Brazil (2011), and the Havana Biennale (1997). Her works are part of collections including MALBA, Buenos Aires; Museo de Artes Visuales, Santiago de Chile; LARA (Latin American Roaming Art) Foundation; and Kadist Foundation, Paris/San Francisco. She was awarded the Julius Baer Prize for Latin American Artists (2020), the Illy Prize at Arco Madrid (2012), and was a finalist for the Prix Meurice de Paris in 2014.