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Berlin Art Week 2023: PalaisPopulaire shows comprehensive presentation of the artist La Chola Poblete – Deutsche Bank “Artist of the Year” 2023 | 13.09.-16.09.2023

Editors’ Choice

Deutsche Bank has named La Chola Poblete “Artist of the Year” 2023 and will present the Argentine artist’s solo exhibition in Germany from 8 September 2023.

Fig. above: BAW23 – Palais Populaire, La Chola Poblete, La Virgen y el cordero 2022 ©La Cola Poblete, 2022, Foto Florencia Liste

La Chola Poblete is Deutsche Bank’s Artist of the Year 2023. As a visual artist, performer and activist for LGBTQ+ rights, she addresses the consequences of the inquisition, colonisation and global capitalism in her multimedia work. In doing so, she searches for new forms of community, memory and resistance.

La Chola Poblete was born in 1989 in Guaymallén, a community in the northwest of Argentina at the foot of the Andes. The exhibition of the same name is a homage to her roots, to her youth as a non-binary, indigenous teenager. At the same time, La Chola Poblete uses her biography as a foil to deal with the brutal extermination and stereotyping of indigenous peoples and cultures by colonial powers, hegemonic ruling structures and Christian religions. In doing so, the artist, who is also a member of the collective Comparsa Drag, addresses the historical roles of women, transvestites and transsexuals – all forms of femininity that are persecuted or ostracised in religious and patriarchal power structures.

For her comprehensive solo exhibition in Germany, La Chola Poblete creates an extraordinary “church of drawing”, a sacred space in which religious, political, erotic, pop-cultural and indigenous motifs and symbols overlap to form an immersive all-over. A central role is played by series of large-format watercolours, new photographic works and an installation.

“With her very personal, partly unsparing and at the same time courageous works, La Chola Poblete develops a very own artistic cosmos that touches us all directly and in the process opens up new perspectives on the present. Moreover, she manages to surprise us with completely new strategies in terms of content and form – and this is precisely what distinguishes our ‘Artist of the Year’ programme,” says Britta Färber, Head of Deutsche Bank’s International Art and Culture Programme and curator of the exhibition.

The central feature is a glowing red room whose wall is covered with graffiti of dancing figures, shadowy faces and the words “Guaymallén”. On the floor, archaic-looking drawings refer to the Nazca lines of the Incas. In Poblette’s most recent large-format watercolours, hybrid beings and symbols from the most diverse contexts can be found again. The figure of the Virgin, which plays an essential role in both Christian and indigenous traditions, is often the theme here. Two other versions of this ambivalent figure, baked out of bread dough, can also be seen in cabinets reminiscent of chapels.

La Chola Poblete tells of female martyrs and divine action, but from an attitude of self-empowerment, healing and subversive appropriation. With her art, which can be brutal and full of bitter humour, she also shakes the comfort with which we still follow the narratives of white patriarchal supremacy today.

Information about the artist

In Argentina, the Museo de Arte Moderno de Buenos Aires dedicated a comprehensive solo exhibition entitled Ejercicios del llanto (Exercises in Crying) to La Chola Poblete 2022. It was curated by Victoria Noorthoorn, the museum’s director, who, along with Hou Hanru and Udo Kittelmann, is part of the Deutsche Bank Global Art Advisory Council, which proposed the 2023 Artist of the Year award. Guaymallén is La Chola Poblette’s second solo exhibition in Europe with a large number of new works. She has already been included in group exhibitions such as Centro Internacional Das Artes Jose de Guimaraes (2022), 34 Argentine Artists, Museo Moderno de Buenos Aires (2021) and MAC, Córdoba (2019).

A publication on the exhibition will be published by Kerber Verlag in February 2024.

Programme within the framework of the Berlin Art Week

As part of the Berlin Art Week, there will be a comprehensive programme around the Guaymallén exhibition: On 13 September, the PalaisPopulaire invites you to an Open House from 6 pm.Together with the artist and trans activist Lola Bhajan, La Chola Poblete presents a new performance on 15 September at 7 pm. Bhajan impresses with her powerful voice and her passion for traditional rhythms like baguala and vidala, which have their roots in northern Argentina. In cooperation with Missy Magazine, there will be an artist’s talk with La Chola Poblete and Sonja Eismann, founder of Missy Magazine, on queer and indigenous identity and anti-colonial activism in Argentina on 16 September at 4pm, entitled “Mi género es ARTISTA – My gender is ARTIST”.

Further details on the exhibition and the accompanying programme can be found at www.dbpalaispopulaire.de.


Unter den Linden 5
10117 Berlin


Opening: Mittwoch, 13.09.2023 um 18:00


Entrance free

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