Lookback: Pia Camil

Posted on 3 Apr 2020 in Visual Art

These past weeks have been a powerful illustration of the ways in which we are all connected, across continents and regardless of borders. It has reminded us of Pia Camil's 'Bara Bara Bara' - which incidentally opened in our main gallery last April, 2019. 


The striking installation included deconstructed T-shirts sewn into vast canopies, with which visitors were invited to interact, and discarded jeans sewn together, creating intimate and informal seating areas within the gallery. These works created a form of exchange with the viewer, their own bodies becoming an integral part of the work.

The T-shirts and jeans utilised were originally produced in Latin America, sold to retailers and organisations in the United States, and then illicitly found their way back to the bargain markets of Mexico City.  Camil brought attention to contemporary trade routes through which commodities and bodies move, and the inequities of global commerce that define daily life in Mexico City. In fact, 'Bara, Bara, Bara' took its name from the well-known cry of street vendors there. Shortened from barato (cheap), the exclamation advertises a wide variety of low-cost goods on sale. 

Pia Camil lives and works in Mexico City. Since her exhibition at Tramway, she has exhibited 'Here Comes the Sun' at Salomon R. Guggenheim Museum, and 'Fade Into Black', Queens Museum (both New York).

Further reading: Visit the artist's website> 

Pia Camil, Bara Bara Bara
Tramway, 13 April - 23 June 2019.

Top and bottom left - installation photos by Keith Hunter 
Bottom right - Courtesy of the artist