The De-centred Gaze. Art and Colonialism in the Thyssen Collections

The De-centred Gaze. Art and Colonialism in the Thyssen Collections

I’m excited to be part of the collective exhibition The De-centred Gaze. Art and Colonialism in the Thyssen Collections that will take place at the Museo Nacional Thyssen-Bornemisza in Madrid between June 25, 2024 October 20, 2024. 

“This exhibition sets out to decipher the elements of colonial power within the iconography of certain works in the Thyssen-Bornemisza collections. A selection of paintings will reveal “invisibilised” stories of racial domination, marronage and the civil rights struggle, as well as the introduction of the modern mercantile system based on European military control, the use of enslaved African workers and the appropriation of firstly Latin American and later Asian and African land and raw materials. Visitors will be introduced to fictitious representations of new Arcadias and will witness the western projection of its unsatisfied desires in the form of the “Orient” and the construction of the “other” as barbarian or primitive.

With the aim of rethinking the future through the parameters of cultural diversity the exhibition benefits from a curatorial team comprising Juan Ángel López (curator at the museum and director of this project), Alba Campo Rosillo (art historian), Andrea Pacheco González (artistic director of “FelipaManuela – Research residencies Madrid”), and Yeison F. García López (director of the “Espacio Afro” cultural centre).”


The exhibition will feature the artwork Corn Drawings (1985-1990):

María Fernanda Cardoso, Corn Drawings, 1985-1989. Dimensions: installed dimensions variable. Medium: 35mm slides, colour. Credit: Museum of Contemporary Art Australia and Tate, with support from the Qantas Foundation in 2015, acquired in 2018.


After shelling all the indigenous varieties of pink, red and yellow corn, I used the kernels to make living, growing corn drawings.  I placed the kernels in paper squares, watered them and watched grow for a number of weeks.  I also made drawings and letters on cardboard. At their peak, I photographed them.  Also, after they died, they were displayed dried on the wall. 

More information about the exhibition here.