Atlas of Bolivar
‘’Atlas of Bolivar" is an archive composed of found objects from different towns named Bolivar throughout the U.S. All the chosen objects contain the surname Bolivar, which makes reference to Simon Bolivar, the 19th century Venezuelan general and liberator who led the struggle for independence in many South American nations. Absent from the selected objects is the first name of the hero and his iconic image. Common objects such as a matchbox from Bolivar, Missouri or a can of motor oil from Bolivar, New York, displayed as historical objects in the installation, demystify the figure of Simon Bolivar. In Venezuela, the symbol of Simon Bolivar is pervasive in the collective imagination and local politicians representing different ideologies have manipulated it throughout history. Monuments, murals and paintings representing his figure are a constant presence in the public space, particularly now, under Hugo Chavez.