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Q'iwanakaxa/Q'iwsanakaxa Utjxiwa

 (Cacique apoderado Francisco Tancara & Rosa Quiñones confronted by the subprefecto, chief of police, corregidor, archbishop, Reid Shepard, & Adventist missionaries)



On View at MoMa PS1 March 16 – October 2, 2023


This newly commissioned work, made collaboratively by siblings Chuquimamani-Condori (Elysia Crampton Chuquimia, b. 1985, Inland Empire, CA) and Joshua Chuquimia Crampton (b. 1983, San Diego, CA), brings together queer and abolitionist Indigenous Aymara practices, drawing from a deeply personal narrative that links multiple forms of intergenerational knowledge and exchange.


Blending sound, music, and image, the work centers Aymara q’iwa and q’iwsa medicine, also known as Queer medicine, as a context from which ayni (reciprocity) can be practiced. The centerpiece of the installation is a large-scale collage, which also serves as a model for a potential community mural in the town of Rosario, Ayllu Pahaza, Calacoto of the Pacajes province, Bolivia, where the artists’ land ties remain. The work combines qillqa (an Aymaran form of writing with images), traditional medicines, and family photos with new drawings that tell this multi-generational story. The audio components further articulate the narrative through oral history recordings and an original score.


In the collage, the artists depict their relatives, including their great-great-grandparents, Francisco Tancara and Rosa Quiñones, who are shown breaking out of a giant qillqa head with the constellations Orion and Pleiades above them. The work also features the artists’ great-grandparents, José Tancara Quiñones and Juana Montevilla Chuquimia, shown in the lower pictorial corners in a small coffin and in a plastic bag, respectively—they are also depicted in two heart-shaped portraits, and again pictured embracing in a centralized, trapezoidal coffin at the bottom.


Tancara and Quiñones were part of the movement of caciques apoderados, culminating around the 1920s, which asserted the Aymara nations’ legal land titles, organized the building of schools when native education was criminalized, and practiced freedom of religion—activities for which they were persecuted by the Catholic church and occupying Bolivian state.

Tancara was called to represent ayllus, or Aymara communities, as cacique apoderado, and at their request he allied himself with Protestant Adventist missionaries in order to build schools in what is now the Pacajes Province. As a result of working with the Protestant “Sabadistas,” subsequent generations of relatives would be shaped by the anti-Queer and anti-Indigenous doctrine and policies of the church. Tancara and Quiñones continue to be used as props for the Adventist church's missionary and evangelical campaigns to this day—in part as an attempt to legitimize the church's ongoing presence on native lands.  


The many layers that comprise this image and sound work collectively incarnate the elders' dreams for the artists and their relatives, moving through manifold spacetimes or the pachanaka, across the constraints of Ecclesiastical doctrine and state law.

Chuquimamani-Condori and Joshua Chuquimia Crampton is organized by Ruba Katrib, Curator and Director of Curatorial Affairs, with Elena Ketelsen González, Assistant Curator. Installation photos by Eva Cruz.

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