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Museo Histórico y Artesanal La Pila

Gobierno Autónomo Descentralizado La Pila, Montecristi.
Awarded project Premio Mariano Aguilera, 2017

The Historical and Artisanal Museum La Pila was inaugurated on Saturday, June 9, 2018, as a result of collaborative work with the La Pila community within the framework of this artistic project. Its collection consists of works donated by ceramic artisans who specialize in creating replicas of pre-Columbian archaeology in clay and stone. This artisanal tradition in La Pila began in the 1960s as an economic alternative to agriculture, so in a way, drought was the origin of ceramics. This history is also related to the collecting boom that motivated several communities to engage in excavating archaeological pieces and also act as intermediaries for selling them to private collectors and primarily to the museums of the Central Bank of Ecuador (BCE). Among the things they found were molds, known as "cuños," which were used to make clay replicas. This practice became a family business of "making dolls" that they would sell in Quito, Guayaquil, and Manta, either in museums or on the streets. Mold-based ceramics, based on ancient pieces, spread to many families who continue to work with it today, such as the Véliz, López, Bailón, Mezones, Piloso, Santana, among others.

This museum, conceived as a space under construction, seeks to valorize the memories of La Pila and highlight the knowledge of its artisans. The content proposal uses the bureaucratic archives of national museums to contextualize a local reality. Information present in acquisition records from the BCE has returned to La Pila to critically present the dynamics of collecting in the country and its impact on communities. This museum, narrated from the voice and categories of the community, opens up possibilities for identification with the past and its recreation from the present.

Pamela Cevallos, artist

Catálogo editado por el Centro de Arte Contemporáneo de Quito 


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