Karen Paulina Biswell

With the photographic series Ellas and Nama Bu, Karen Paulina Biswell creates a grey area between subjectification and objectification, taking a critical look at the very notion of the feminine. Her subjects express tacit protest, a volition or intentionality that rules out all forms of passivity. Ellas presents women whose ambiguous stances and exaggerated casualness blur any taxonomy: the women construct their own image. Nama Bu—meaning “we exist”—is a portrait of a family from the Emberá-Chamí Indigenous peoples of Colombia. The series both explores the social constructions that reinforce clichés about indigeneity and paradoxically transcends their limited meanings.

Exhibited work(s):
Ellas series
Lesli (2017)
Luisa Fernanda (2017)
Luisa (2014)
Milena (2014)
Ramona (2017)
Valentina (2012)

Nama Bu series
Corazón Chami, heart of the mountains (2014)
Jagua (plant for painting) (2014)
Jaí (the spirits) (2014)
Venacua (ceremony to cure the mother land) (2014)
Lujátata (mother land) (2014)
Kima, Union-Love (2012)
Sirikua, medicinal plant (2014)
The mouth is where knowledge comes and fills the stomach and the heart (2014)

1983, Oranjestad, Aruba, The Netherlands
Countries / Nations
Colombia / France
Paris, France / Bogotá, Colombia