News / Art

Ruya Maps will introduce culture from areas of political instability into the art world

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Pepe López: Detail from Crisálida, 2017
Photography: Julio Osorio © Pepe López, Courtesy Ruya Maps

It is no secret that artists from politically unstable geographical areas are often underrepresented in the art world. However Ruya Maps, a non-profit organisation that will introduce “culture generated in areas of discord to new global audiences," is set to launch this October.

Ruya Maps is the sister organisation of the Iraqi-based Ruya Foundation, the only platform working with contemporary artists on the ground in that country, best known for commissioning the Iraq Pavilion at the Venice Biennale. Through a diverse programme of international exhibitions, to accessible projects taking place in areas of conflict, Ruya Maps will examine the impact that social and military unrest has on territories. “It aims to establish cultural legacies for some of the world’s most disempowered communities”, explains director Tamara Chalabi. “It will allow audiences to engage with the difficult subjects of our time through the universal language of art”.

The programme launches with an exhibition of Venezuelan artist Pepe López at the Fitzrovia Chapel, London; it is the artist’s first solo show in Europe. López’s large-scale installation Crisálida will be exhibited, featuring two hundred objects wrapped in polyethene film, including a car, piano and an urn. “Their methodical arrangement suggests an imminent move or the need for storage. It explores the powerful emotional charge of being uprooted or exiled”. The work, which is at once sculpture, pictorial and installation includes packaged artworks made by the artist himself, alongside those from his personal collection and items from his grandparents who fled Spain during the Civil War. The objects are representative of "the collective memories of the citizens of Caracas”. The exhibition will run from 14 October — 26 October.

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Pepe López: Detail from Crisálida, 2017
Photography: Julio Osorio © Pepe López, Courtesy RUYA MAPS

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Pepe López: Detail from Crisálida, 2017
Photography: Julio Osorio © Pepe López, Courtesy RUYA MAPS

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Pepe López: Detail from Crisálida, 2017
Photography: Julio Osorio © Pepe López, Courtesy RUYA MAPS