Documentary series, 9 episodes, USA 2022
English, Spanish, Ikʉ – with subtitles


Producer: Agnes Stauber, Creative Director for Digital Media, LACMA
Directors: Agnes Stauber, Alexa Oona Schulz
Writer: Alexa Oona Schulz
With: Diana Magaloni, Julia Burtenshaw, Mamo Camilo Izquierdo, and Jaison Perez Villafaña

Unpacking the Universe: The Making of an Exhibition is a documentary series that follows the six-year journey of LACMA’s curators Diana Magaloni and Julia Burtenshaw in researching, developing, and installing The Portable Universe / El Universo en tus Manos. The series allows us to be transparent about how the team facilitated a collaborative process with the Arhuaco community in Colombia and curators at different institutions and kept this spirit of collaboration alive in the way the exhibition was installed.

Among many topics, the documentary features scenes of breathtaking landscapes and archeological sites; conversations with Mamo Camilo Izquierdo and Jaison Perez Villafaña regarding the Arhuaco worldview and how this relates to contemporary social and environmental issues; and behind-the-scenes footage of preparing the exhibition, including new initiatives around museum stewardship of Indigenous works. 

John Kerry in conversation with curators Julia Burtenshaw, Diana Magaloni, and the Colombian ambassador to the US.

Kerry was interested in the climate change message and potential sustainability solutions offered by alternative (indigenous) systems of knowledge.

Portable Universe / El Universo en tus Manos: Thought and Splendor of Indigenous Colombia
LACMA | Resnick Pavilion
Spring 2022 – Fall 2022

Mamo Camilo and Jaison Perez Villafaña with curator Diana Magaloni during an offering ceremony at El Morro, a sacred island in the bay of Santa Marta. (copyright LACMA)

Watch Unpacking the Universe: The Making of an Exhibition at www.lacma.org/unpackingtheuniverse  

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