Alberto Baraya

Alberto Baraya’s staunchly critical body of work examines the way that nature has been historically represented. His art exposes the subjective, destructive, and oppressive realities of the European expeditions of the 17th, 18th, and 19th centuries that purported to scientifically collect and quantify the indigenous plants and peoples of the Americas. Appropriating the processes of these colonial missions, Baraya ventures into the wild terrains of outhouses, doctors’ offices, and other unlikely public and private venues to generate a personal agglomeration of scavenged plastic (and otherwise fake) plants. He then documents and displays them according to his set of artistic criteria, creating a parallel yet distinctly fictional taxonomy of flora. He was selected to represent Columbia at the 2009 Venice Biennale and has exhibited internationally at a number of renowned institutions.