HOLY LOVE (por Alicia Candiani)
Sweden is a country that has historically respected individual liberties and has welcomed a large number of political refugees. The Latin American presence in Sweden is a source of political exile fed by those who emigrated during the military dictatorships in the 70s. More recently, the country also served as a refuge for many migrants fleeing from the Balkan war. Today it is estimated that 18% of the population is made up of immigrants or have at least one parent born in another country. In just a few decades the country has gone from a linguistic and ethnically homogeneous society to a diverse community with many ethnic minorities. The Swedish policy is aimed at promoting respect for human rights, peaceful settlement of conflicts and social and economic justice. Together with these ideas of tolerance, Sweden has become the fourth EU country that allows same-sex couples to marry.
Evalotta has lived the last 8 years in Orsa, a town of only 7,000 inhabitants, which is 275 km away from Stockholm. There, she had the opportunity to combine her artistic skills with her educational background working in the areas of mental health and helping political refugees, mainly children. In this difficult environment she began to reflect on the various manifestations of love in a historical period of transition. The artist has always been fascinated by the definition of gender and the iconography of religious sacraments. When she defines herself she prefers to use the term “queer” (anomalous) adhering to the theory that rejects a universal classification of individuals (male, female, heterosexual, homosexual), stating that they include a huge number of cultural variations no more valid or “natural” than others..
The trip to Buenos Aires allowed the artist to discover a South America imagined by the immigrants, mainly Chileans, while confronting the social and individual implications that the legal marriage between same sex persons has provoked in Argentina. In Holy Love, the installation mounted during her residence in ‘ace, we can see all these religious, sacred, social and cultural issues … The Espacio Diálogo was converted metaphorically into a chapel while Evalotta walked performing a bride in the opening. Holy Love is a work in progress that will be completed at her return to Darlanas with the new material gathered in Buenos Aires.