Lilibeth Cuenca Rasmussen | Copenhagen Contemporary

Copenhagen Contemporary , May 18, 2022

LILIBETH CUENCA RASMUSSEN

 

I am not what you see

29.04.21 – 05.09.21

 

Lilibeth Cuenca Rasmussen has created the timely exhibition I am not what you see, examining nomadic life, ethnicity, and identity. Here you will meet four monumental sculptures, each bearing a different name and, in their various ways, hybrids of architecture, costumes, and dwellings. Cuenca Rasmussen’s exhibition zooms in on the ability of nomads to carry their home wherever they go, crossing boundaries, parts of the world, cultures, and social conditions.


The artist has been working with these themes since the beginning of her artistic practice and I am not what you see, one of her largest exhibitions to date, manifests this examination using the leverage offered by both installation and performance.

 

With her exhibition I am not what you see, Lilibeth Cuenca Rasmussen poses questions about the nomadic condition: who is today’s nomad and where do they belong? What kinds of ideas and genetics do we carry with us? Who are you if – like the artist – you have a dual ethnic identity, calling two or more countries, parts of the world, and cultures your home and upholding their traditions? Rather than reducing each other to simple and unambiguous categories like man, woman, Asian or European, artist etc., Lilibeth Cuenca Rasmussen asks you to reflect on everything that lies behind.

 

The four sculptures in the exhibition: Iris, Miss Fabula, Fatamorgana, and Quadripoint are created from very different materials: straw, airmail envelopes, quilts, and textiles. Common to them all is that they each replicate a type of dwelling, thereby recalling distant destinations with designs referencing different iconic nomadic dwellings. However, there is more to them than meets the eye – as indicated by the exhibition title. Their hybrid form spanning sculpture, dwelling type, and costume challenges our stereotype ideas about each other and their surroundings.

 

The nomad is characterised by not owning land, reflected in the lightness of the sculptures and their inherent mobile and transformative capacity. The nomadic freedom and changeability can be explored by entering the sculptures – ‘putting on’ their identities, like a piece of clothing.