The architecture of “Cueva De Copal” plunges audiences into a cocoon-like space. Encouraging audiences to reflect upon their environment, the installation integrates ideas explored through previous installations, in which Huanca has transformed the masonic temple of Marciano Art Foundation in Los Angeles, the early-18th century palace of the Belvedere Museum in Vienna, and the high desert landscape surrounding the Ballroom Marfa in Texas.
In previous installations physical performances have taken place within the gallery. In Cueva De Copal, these performances – in which ‘models’ are painted with a mixture of materials including raw pigment, clay, oil, coffee, turmeric and body paint, creating a new ‘skin’ – have taken place behind the studio’s closed doors.
Remnants of these performances remain in the installation as photographs which lie beneath Huanca’s mixed media paintings. Layered amidst sand and oil applied by the smooth palm of Huanca’s hand, these performative traces are then scratched and clawed away creating a new surface.
This artwork encourage audiences to reflect upon our own relationship to time, space, and the world around us.