Oswaldo Maciá: Fables of the wind - Swarm welcome

Location The old watertower, Tårngade, Struer

Soundrecordings of desert winds from the Atacama Desert in Chile, Chihuahua Desert on the US and Mexican border, Bisti/De-Na-Zin Wilderness and White Sands in New Mexico, the Great Sand Dunes in the San Luis Valley in Southern Colorado and the tundra of Svalbard in the Arctic. In addition to this are recordings of insects who pollinate flowers from the Choco rainforest in Colombia.

Fables of The Wind – Swarm Welcome (2018-19) is an acoustic monument to the word migrationMaciá’s sound sculpture is a celebration of migration and cross-pollination. It comprises the voices of migratory winds recorded in different deserts around the world and the calls of insect pollinators recorded in the Choco rainforest, Colombia. The phrase ‘Swarm Welcome’ of the title refers to the beauty of cross pollination.

The artwork focuses on the fine line dividing listening and hearing. When we listen, rather than simply hear, we pay full attention and process information. What happens when we acoustically look to the word ‘migration’? Can this undo the hijacking of this term by dog-whistle politics? ‘Swarm’ usually refers to the displacement of insects in groups. In our current disturbing times ‘swarm’ has been used to describe humans as if they are a plague, according to Maciá. Ironically this appropriation is taking place while swarming insects are disappearing in Europe and the United States in large numbers. 

About the artist

Oswaldo Maciá was born in the Caribbean city of Cartagena de Indias, Colombia. He lives and works in the UK and USA. Maciá creates olfactory-acoustic sculptures that have been exhibited all over the world. His work is held in international collections, including Tate Britain and Daros Latinamerica. His sculptures have been included in numerous large-scale periodic exhibitions and solo presentations across four continents. As he states in his manifesto, Maciá seeks to stimulate questions and counter received opinion. His works do not seek to provide solutions to problems, but they do seek to form new questions and new problems.

The sculptural compositions are formed from images, objects, sounds and smells. Taking shape through paper, video or image, the works operate as sculptures. Sometimes they are scenarios: They occupy space, pulling and pushing all that surrounds them for their own ends. Sculpture is concerned with the relationships people have to the space and volumes that form the world we experience; in utilising a wider perceptual range Maciá’s work opens itself to subjectivity over objectivity, experience over knowledge.


Oswaldo Maciá: “Fables of the Wind – Swarm Welcome” (2018-19), Struer Tracks 2019. Photo: Mikkel Høgh Kaldal

‘Fables of the Wind – Swarm Welcome’, 2019, Oswaldo Maciá. Photo: Mikkel Høgh Kaldal

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