Stolen Light (Abstracto en Dorado) / 2013
The lightbulbs and neon tubes displayed in this cabinet were stolen by the artist over the course of repeated visits to the Ethnological Museum in Berlin during 2013. They are presented in front of a golden wall whose title is borrowed from Mathias Goeritz’s painting Abstracto en Dorado (Abstract in Gold), 1968, which references El Dorado, the fabled city of gold that was violently pursued by Spanish explorers during the sixteenth century. Combining these two elements, Stolen Light (Abstracto en Dorado) investigates the relationship between light (i.e., the Enlightenment), gold (i.e., colonialism), and the places where they meet (i.e., anthropology museums). In so doing, the artist resists and reverses conventional narratives of colonialism.