Regalos Ancestrales (Ancestral Gifts) is a multi-part collaboration between Sol Calero and Christopher Kline. The project serves as a channel between our individual practices and revolves around the subjectivity of archaeology and the logistics and politics of artifact recovery, transportation, preservation, and storage. It often deals with the ways artists and society at large have dealt with the ‘ancient’, the ‘tribal’, and ‘the other’ particularly during Modernism (and especially Cubism and Surrealism).
Regalos Ancestrales has been realized through publications, talks, performances, and several exhibitions. In its first incarnation, we collaborated to create a patchwork quilt, embarking from the point of the heirloom. Our focus has often been abstracting the dichotomy between the masculine tradition of permanent monuments (architecture in its preserved and ruined state, war and religious monuments, etc.) and the feminine traditions of ephemeral craftwork (quilting, weaving, sewing, egg-dying, etc). In a personal way, we’re asking what gets passed on to posterity and why, often lending equal footing to found objects and hand-made works to highlight this aspect of selection.
At TEA, Tenerife the installation made use of the museum’s immense storage facility, creating a monument out of their crates, pedestals and trash, given form by wrapping it with quilted moving-blankets. Also reappropriated were the many large vitrines and plinths which were originally created to encase African masks as part of a Picasso exhibition there. The museum, completed in 1998, was designed by Herzog & de Meuron during a period of economic boom in Spain before the financial crisis sent Spanish unemployment sky-rocketing and effectively cancelled all cultural funding. Today the museum can barely function as a contemporary institution and all exhibitions were doubled and tripled in their duration. To address this, for the second two of four months of Regalos Ancestrales the show was deinstalled and the wrapped works, empty vitrines and plinths were left in the gallery, storing the objects in a state of flux, on display for the visitors.