Aschoy was founded in 2007 in the city of La Paz-Bolivia. ASCHOY is a collective group that researches and produces various forms of art from the standpoint of popular culture as the source for a horizontal dialogue on the process and the creation of arts. The collective activates and participates with various groups like shoe shiners, hairdressers, embroiderers, musical bands, music instrument makers, street photographers, artisans, couturieres, prisoners, day laborers, to collectively create art manifestations. ASCHOY assimilates the “CHOJCHO” aesthetic as a genuine and original “avant garde “ manifestation, that is the result of the social and cultural clashing between the original culture confronting the western dominant culture, “CHOJCHO” then becomes a syncretic expression that embraces a range of manifestations. This aesthetic is particularly visible in the city of La PAZ- Bolivia.
The following pieces are produced in collaboration and under those premises, creating a dialogue with a common language about the syncretic experience in this city.
The following series are part of a larger sitespecific project that is a result of recognizing the multiplicity and variety of elements that create the dense local aesthetic and popular culture. A series of pieces were created with embroidery artisans, another with carnival artisans, a performance was executed with shoe shiners, and a series of photographs were made with day laborers in collaboration with a street photographer.
The result had a community impact. The local television registered the street performances. As a result the shoe shiners were invited to talk shows to talk about their reality. As a result of my research on “Chojcha aesthetic”, I developed a series of pieces that portray that aesthetic experience. These pieces are a synthesis of my experience as an artist and researcher.
The Chola (also known as Cholo) are people of mixed Spanish and Native American origin. The Chola aesthetic is a clear manifestation of a marginalized society that was forced to copy European canons imposed during colonial times. In brief, the Chola aesthetic is a mix between occidental influences with indigenous features that is particularly apparent in the city of La Paz, Bolivia. Through the frame of multiple influences that come with modernity and consonant global processes, La Paz Bolivia has the indigenous and mestizo as the main protagonist of the urban and architectonic unequilibrium embedded in its urban structures. This new protagonist has created an architecture and further an aesthetic of intermixed and exaggerated features that started to germinate in a section of the city where small commerce and the new bourgeoisie concentrated. In this way the chola-mestiza aesthetic permanently consecrated spaces of entrepreneurial cultural dialogue that resurfaces as a baroque manifestation and functions as anti-elite expression of the sublime ideas of the mestizo criollo.