Caro Lopera, Antonio. "Dulce Zipacón ," 1992. TMs. Personal archive of María Clara Cortés, Bogotá.
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Antonio Caro describes the recipe for mountain papaya jam, which he calls “Dulce Zipacón” [Zipacón Jam] after the ranch that he had in Zipacón, a town in the Department of Cundinamarca in the savannah near Bogotá. The recipe and a design based on the fruit are printed in green ink on the page.
In Dulce Zipacón, Colombian Conceptual artist Antonio Caro Lopera (b. 1950) sets out to address the specificity of the Americas by means of the mountain papaya, a fruit native to the Andes. He starts with a description of how the jam is made according to classical recipes (though he includes neither specific quantities of ingredients, nor cooking times). In the recipe, he makes use of local terms like “melao,” “calar,” and “sancochar.” Throughout his career, Caro’s work has been infused with humor as well as political, social, and historical references related to discussions of identity, as he has done here. At the show Ante América, one of the events that took place in 1992 to commemorate the discovery of America, Caro presented four works: Proyecto 500 [Project 500], Hágalo Usted Mismo [Do It Yourself], Homenaje a Manuel Quintín Lame [Homage to Manuel Quintín Lame], and Dulce Zipacón. This last piece consisted of an action carried out the night of the opening in which the artist (dressed as a cook) handed out mountain papaya jam, and the recipe for its making printed on fliers such as this one. The only record of the work, the flyer was designed by Caro on the basis of a cross section of the fruit, and its green color before it ripens. Among the few and late works of action art to be produced in Colombia starting in the seventies are those by María Teresa Hincapié (1954–2008) and Caro Lopera, who was indisputably one of the first Colombian Conceptual artists. In 1971, with the work Dar para Ganar [Give to Gain], he began to experiment with works whose open structure meant that the audience was, in a sense, necessary for the piece to take place, develop, and conclude. Later works include Ven a firmar [Come to Sign] (1977, 1984), Proyecto 500 (1887–92), Hágalo Usted Mismo (1992), and various Talleres de Creatividad [Creativity Workshops] (1996, 1997, 1998, 1999, and 2001).