Voluspa Jarpas’s artistic practice comes from a meticulous analysis of declassified archives and documents that enclose hidden narratives. Over the years, she has worked with secret documents regarding the Cold War, and in her more recent research on the construction of hegemony, she incorporates historical sources such as misogynist pamphlets from the XIXth Century, publications on hysteria, or studies about the exhibition of non-white people in human zoos. Working with the materiality of the archive —either textual or visual— Jarpa draws attention to the ways of construction of the hegemonic regime, often concealing brutal subjugation. Gender, race, class, and even whole geopolitical zones, shape through this cultural, symbolical and political links and tensions. Her work reflects on the nature of archive, memory and the social and psychological notion of trauma.
Voluspa Jarpa had important solo exhibitions, including Cuerpo político: archivos públicos y secretos at the Gabriela Mistral Gallery of the Universidad de Chile (2017); En nuestra pequeña región de por acá at the MALBA, Buenos Aires (2017); or L’effet Charcot at La Maison de l’Amerique Latine in Paris (2010). She has participated in many international exhibitions including: Altered Views, Chilean Pavilion at the 58th Venice Biennale, Italy (2019); BIENALSUR, Riyadh and Buenos Aires (2019); Artists & Agents – Performance Art and Secret Services, HMKV, Dortmund, Germany, 2019; Proregress, 12th Shanghai Biennial (2018); Parapolitics: Cultural Freedom and the Cold War in the Haus der Kulturen der Welt, Berlin (2017-2018); The Arcades: Contemporary Art and Walter Benjamin at the Jewish Museum, New York (2017); Resistance Performed – Aesthetic Strategies under Repressive Regimes in Latin America, at the Migros Museum, Zurich (2016); La No-Historia, Biennial of Mercosur, Porto Alegre, Brazil (2011 – 2015); 31st Sao Paulo Biennial, Brazil (2014); The Artistic Experience of History, State University of Rio de Janeiro (2013); 12th Istanbul Biennial (2011); and Dislocation at the Kunst Museum of Bern, Switzerland (2009), among others.
Her works are part of important collections, including the MALBA, Buenos Aires; the Engel collection, Santiago de Chile; LARA Foundation, Singapore; Kadist Foundation, San Francisco / Paris; Rabobank collection, Eindhoven, Netherlands; Museo de Artes Visuales, Santiago de Chile; and Blanton Museum of Art, Austin, Texas.