The Fragility of Ancestral Time

Cecilia Fiona | Clara de Tezanos | Francisca Sosa Lopez | Olamide Ogunade

April 11

Casa Velazquez, Zona Colonial Santo Domingo

“The past carries with it a temporal index by which it is referred to redemption. There is a secret agreement between past generations and the present one. Our coming was expected on earth. Like every generation that preceded us, we have been endowed with a weak Messianic power, a power to which the past has a claim. That claim cannot be settled cheaply.”

– Walter Benjamin

HELICONIA PROJECTS presents The Fragility of Ancestral Time, a group exhibition of four international artists: Francisca Sosa Lopez, Clara de Tezanos, Cecilia Fiona, and Olamide Ogunade. Spanning sculpture, photography, painting, and textiles, the exhibition touches on how time is a fragile construct – our connection with the past, present, and future is fleeting. The individual’s connection, albeit unnoticeable, with its ancestors is a notion Walter Benjamin explores in his writings, specifically in “On the Concept of History”. Benjamin explains our connection with the past fittingly – referencing a ‘secret agreement’ with past generations or {ancestors}. Benjamin alludes to a weak messianic power represented by the revolving movement of time: our strong relationship with our predecessors and how this can bind us to certain realities. The ultimate answer Benjamin arrives at is that the future and present are built over contemporary legacies. 

The Artists

Cecilia Fiona

Self-taught Danish artist Cecilia Fiona examines the idea of our roots {our ancestry} in nature. Fiona looks to transformation, connectedness, and movement and central powers in her practice…

Francisca Sosa Lopez

Reflecting on her roots in Venezuela, Francisca Sosa Lopez intervenes readymade materials such as trash, spare threads, buttons, and used textiles from her family’s home in the South American country…

Clara de Tezanos

Guatemalan artist Clara de Tezanos’ practice crosses the frontiers of photography, installation, and sculpture. De Tezanos’ works are also tied to her native Guatemala…

Olamide Ogunade

The Nigerian artist Olamide Ogunade’s delicate portraiture reflects on moments in time. Ogunade’s oeuvre meditates on the presumption that time is abstract albeit finite, while moments are everlasting…


Casa Velázquez is an emblematic jewel of the Zona Colonial of Santo Domingo. The building is from the 16th century. With its original archways, moldings, and floors intact it’s a timeless beauty. A mix of carribean coral stone, wood, and bricks shows the intervention through time seen on the property. Casa Velázquez is situated in the historic center of Santo Domingo, a stones throw away from the UNESCO heritage site, Hospital San Nicolás de Bari — the first hospital in America. The mythical building spanning 6,500 square meters was meticulously renovated, preserving and enhancing the stone and art deco facades from the colonial era.
The interiors are intervened in an elegant contemporary way, maintaining a respectful design throughout. The mythical building spanning 6,500 square meters was meticulously renovated, preserving and enhancing the stone and art deco facades from the colonial era.