Carolina Caycedo engages with issues and contexts that affect a broad public on an everyday level: in her work, art functions as a pretext for offering up utopian models to inhabit a world in which individuals and communities are increasingly subject to com-modification, exploitation, and discrimination. As part of the colombian art collective Colectivo Cambalache, she helped conceive the project “Museo de la calle” (1999–2002) — an ambulatory and constantly shifting archive of objects initially collected by barterin in one of the city’s most marginal neighborhoods and then circulated and displayed around Bogotá and eventually abroad.

With her individual project “Daytoday” (2002–09), she lived for brief periods of time without any money in cities like Vienna, New York, and London, subsisting by bartering services she could offer — for example, haircuts or Spanish lessons — in exchange for basic things like food or a place to sleep but also non essential goods and services like a digital camera or an invitation to a party. Her experience demonstrated that bartering is as much a form of social exchange as it is an economic one.

Caycedo’s complicated biography has inevitably influenced the content of her work — she was born in the UK, grew up in Colombia, and started a family in Puerto Rico, before residing in multiple cities in Europe and the US. But rather than employ apolitical terms like «nomadic» or «globetrotting», the artist refers to herself as an immigrant, in order to emphasize the fact that uninhibited travel has become possible only for a relatively small elite, and that even as a part of this elite, most artists live under precarious economic conditions. Her 2003 video “How to obtain a British passport” shows a civil marriage ceremony as well as the negotiations that proceeded it when a Colombian friend, threatened with expulsion from the UK, asked her to help him obtain the British nationality by marrying him in exchange for 3,000 pounds. The following year, Caycedo organized a public march in Hackney, London, in which participants carried a large banner that read «immigrants influence home cultures» — the first of a series of banners with political messages that function as both affirmations and calls to action.

Much of Caycedo’s work is enacted and exists solely in public space as a form of urban intervention. In “Offerings”, 2011, she collaborated with religious and social activist groups on Manhattan’s Lower East Side to organize two candlelight ceremonies whose themes were illumination and pilgrimage, labor rights and immigration. over the course of a weekend, people from all walks of life were invited to gather around shrines of votive candles with screen-printed messages such as «better conditions for cultural workers» or «sustainable thinking» in an event that revisited the notion of art’s redemptive power.
(Michelle Faguet, 2012)

She has been invited to be a 2012 artist in residence at the German Academic Exchange Service (DAAD) in Berlin. Caycedo received the Cultural Exchange International grant from the Los Angeles Department of Cultural Affairs in 2009, a 2005 fellowship of the Arts and Humanities Research Board in London, a Cultural Diversity Award from London Arts in 2002, and a 2001 year of the artist residency from the Arts Council in UK. Carolina Caycedo lives and works in Los Angeles and Berlin.

Carolina Caycedo
Carolina Caycedo
London, 1978

Current Exhibitions

14 Jun — 06 Oct
A joint project across four institutions—MAAT (Lisbon), Bildmuseet (Umeå), HeK (Basel) and LABoral (Gijón), in collaboration with Royal Academy(London)—Eco-Visionaries has a new presentation at Matadero Madrid,...

Past Exhibitions

How to Talk with Birds, Trees, Fish, Shells, Snakes, Bulls and Lions

Hamburger Bahnhof – Museum für Gegenwart
16/11/2018 — 12/05/2019

Campos de Invisibilidade (Fields of Invisibility)

Sesc Belenzinho
09/11/2018 — 03/02/2019

Between the Waters

Whitney Museum of American Art
09/03/2018 — 30/11/2018

Solo Shows

Cuerpos de agua. Mas Arte Mas Accion. Huila y Bogota
One body of water. The Bowtie Project, Clockshop. Los Angeles

Geochoreographies. Rural public spaces in Huila, Colombia
La tierra de los amigos. Instituto de Vision. Bogota

The headlong stream is termed violent, but the river bed hemming it in is termed violent by no one. DAAD Gallery. Berlin, Germany (Brochure)
Be Dammed. 18th Street. Santa Monica, California
Criminal women. Galerie du Jour. Agnes B. Paris, France

Humane materiale. Hordaland Kunstsenter. Bergen, Norway
Costo sentimental. Galeria La Central, Bogota

Group Shows

Beyond 2 degrees, MCA Museum of Contemporary Art Santa Barbara
Coovum River Art Festival, Chennai, India

Something else, Off Biennale Cairo, Egypt
Htuos/Htron, Nuit Blanche Toronto, With Cambalche Collective, Toronto
En y entre geografìas, MAMM, Medellin
Bring in  the reality. No longer empty, Nathan Cummings Foundation, New York.

VI Festicine, Festival de Cine de San Agustin, Colombia
Acciones territoriales, ExTeresa, Mexico City
8 Berlin Biennal, KW Institute for Contemporary Art, Berlin
Paisajes hidricos / Waterscapes, Centro Colombo-Americano, Medellín

The phylogenesis of generosity, Prinzessinnengarten, Berlin
The past is present, Museum of Contemporary Art Detroit, US

Here, there and elsewhere, SFMOMA, San Francisco. (Performance commission)
Material information, Kunstmuseene, Bergen, Norway
Bogota Pavillon, 9th Shanghai Biennale
Intense proximity, La Triennale, Palais de Tokyo, Paris, France

Contacts & Details

City of birth: London Country of birth: UK Date of birth: 1978 Lives in: Los Angeles, USA