El Autobús

Tate, Liverpool, England
14 June - 10 November 2019

Born in Caracas, Venezuela in 1982, Sol Calero has lived in Europe since her late teens. Inspired by her birthplace, her work explores themes of representation, displacement and marginalisation, all informed by her own perspective as a migrant. She often refers to the experience of living between two cultures and her resulting mixed identity.

Calero’s work draws upon visual clichés related to the popular image of Latin America – her paintings and murals are populated by colourful floral patterns, while her installations have a makeshift quality. However, this playful aesthetic invites us to question our perception and experience of other cultures. Is what we imagine close to reality?

El Autobús 2019 is a new installation inspired by travelling in Latin America, where richly decorated buses are popular means of transport. For locals the bus is a necessary part of the daily commute, while tourists use them in pursuit of exotic adventure. Calero explores this tension in an audio-visual installation, featuring a guided tour that takes visitors on a journey through an imagined land. Video footage from undisclosed locations is accompanied by a narrative that plays with conventions associated with travel and leisure.

Highlighting the clash between expectations and reality, Calero exposes the
privileged position of those who can benefit from the global tourism industry. As she questions cultural misconceptions, she offers an alternative to the western perspective on the world.

Photos by Mark Mcnulty