Incognito Cartography: Exhibited, 2023
Voluspa Jarpa

Multimedia installation: video projection, print and interventions on textile
150 x 310 cm
Unique Piece
Photo Billie Clarken

Incognito Cartography is a series of three maps printed on fabric that consider the migration of over 70 million people from Europe to America in the period from 1850 to 1910 and its influence on cultural and colonial values in the Americas. This European migration took place simultaneously with the exhibition of people of non-European ethnicities within the context of colonial exhibitions and human zoos. The maps Exhibited and Public are composed of four elements:

  1. The Authagraph map (in black and yellow) by the designer and architect Hajime Narukawa. This recent map corrects the Mercator map that deformed the globe into a perfectly round shape and enlarged the Northern Hemisphere. Fraying and “skin” colored embroidery referencing notions of “race” intervene in both maps, symbolizing how the processes of migration and exhibition disseminated ideas of racialization and colonization like “civilizing-whiteness” and “savage-blackness.”
  2. The map Public points out the enormous migration from Europe to America. Voluspa Jarpa Studio’s research in archives from different regions of the Americas determined that 70 million people left Europe for the Americas over the course of only sixty years: between 1950–1910. This migration is one aspect of the social reconfiguration brought about by the Industrial Revolution, which attracted lower class individuals looking for better living conditions. In a counter stream of migration, native people in colonial areas were displaced to Europe to be exhibited in the human zoos.
  3. The map Exhibited indicates the names and place of origin of approximately 30,000 individuals who were exhibited between 1822 and 1958 in over seventy cities and nineteen countries in Europe and North America.
  4. The video projected on the map comprises fragments from archives and documentation on the exhibited persons such as photo albums and advertising posters.
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