Round Around, 2022-2024.

Installation view: The Ecologies of Peace. Works from the TBA21 Collection, Centro de Creación Contemporánea de Andalucía C3A, Córdoba, Spain, 2024.
Photo: Imagen Subliminal (Rocio Romero y Miguel de Guzmán)
C3A Córdoba

Cristina Lucas,

New dimmensions commissioned by TBA21 Thyssen-Bornemisza Art Contemporary for the exhibition The Ecologies of Peace curated by Daniela Zyman at the Centro de Creación Contemporánea de Andalucía, Córdoba, 2024

The seemingly innocuous nature of cartography belies its profound influence in shaping worldviews and reinforcing power structures. Beyond mere geographical tools, maps are intricate artifacts that wield influence over our understanding of the dynamics of modernity, colonialism, and geopolitics. They serve as symbolic scaffolds of domination, conveying hierarchical conceptions that solidify political and onto-epistemological conditions such as land/ocean, West/East, or Global South/Global North. Through their conventions of representation and naming, maps perpetuate a Eurocentric worldview, overshadowing alternative cosmologies, cultural practices, and diverse ways of life.
Within this context, Andalusian artist Cristina Lucas engages with issues of geographical representation, world systems, and political economy, deploying a stark, minimalist vocabulary. Her 3-meter minimal sculptures outline the three major historical trade routes, converging past, present, and future. The first route delineates the journey of Ferdinand Magellan and Juan Sebastián Elcano, symbolizing the colonial era and the partition of the world between Spain and Portugal. The second traces the current trade routes traversing the Panama and Suez Canals, representing the contemporary flows of global commerce and what Laleh Khalili terms “the sinews of war and trade.” Intriguingly, the third route anticipates a future shaped by environmental breakdown, envisioning the path through the Northwest Passage, which was open to marine shipping for the first time in the summer of 2007 and is expected to become increasingly navigable and ice-free. Round Around serves as a visual account of how maritime transportation is not simply an enabling companion of trade but central to global capitalism, facilitating the accumulation of capital while perpetuating colonial regimes of profit, law, and administration.
Born in Úbeda, Andalusia, Spain, in 1973. Lives and Works in Madrid, Spain.