Photo Diary: Sala Contemporánea at the Museo Qorikancha, in Cusco.


Twice a year, the Qorikancha museum has a contemporary art contest that draws entries from around Cusco and Peru. Above: the winning entry, Perturbación de la memoria, by Edwin Yuri Huaman Huillca.


Announcing the winners.


In the exhibit, I saw some nice use of materials. A work by Nilton Melgar Carrión incorporates canvas, cardboard, trash bags, hair (or fur) and Andean textiles.

Last week, I attended one of the better art openings I’ve been to in a long, long time. The Museo Qorikancha, the museum attached to the ancient Inca site and Dominican monastery in Cusco, held a reception for its semi-annual art contest.  For the last eight years, the museum has been putting together a collection of contemporary art and supporting local and regional artists through a regular exhibition program and art contests. This year’s theme was ‘Memory’ and the show provided a good opportunity to take in the local scene. Things really got interesting halfway through the opening reception when the building lost power. In fact, the lights never came back on. Not that it mattered to anyone at the opening. Folks promptly lit up their cigarettes and used their cell phone lights to admire the art. Then the Dominican monks laid out a table of wine, which somehow everyone was able to find in the pitch dark.

Good times.


A detail from the cardboard portion of Melgar Carrión’s piece.


La Olvidada, by Miguel Vilca Vargas employed sand.


A view of the galleries — just before blackout.


After dark: the archways surrounding the main cloister as seen by the illumination of a flashlight.


And why it’s always a good idea to create a work that comes with its own non-electrical light source: you can see it in pitch black. La memoria del Icaro by Gustavo Moises Calderón. (Here’s what it looked like in the light.)


A view of Cusco from the museum’s darkened second floor galleries.


In-the-dark wine dispensation, courtesy of the monastery’s monks.


I returned the next day to see some of the other works, including Washington Loiza Taipe’s Al olvido. (Another good use of materials. That sturdy looking structure is made from painted cardboard.)


Todo pasa dos veces y a veces nunca pasa, by Erick Salas.


Eva, by Josias Aristoteles Ramos Paria.


Sinapsis, by Victor Raul Juanico Venero.


Alzheimer, by David Mendoza Valdivia.


Sin título, by Alejandra Delgado Uria.

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