Luca Bosani

C0042: Los Portales del Tiempo

Archeological site: Hauca del Sol y la Luna, Valle de Moche, Trujillo, Peru

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Statement of facts:

Chavez rang me late in the evening, around 10 pm London time on 17/03/2023. They were calling from South America, Peru. I picked up the phone and after a few minutes I understood that it wasn’t a catch-up call from an old friend, it instead was a new mission for the investigator.

Five weeks in Peru, between Trujillo and Lima with the ambitious goal of tracing the ancestral origins of UPOs. Starting the investigation from the most ancient watercraft known in the entire human history: Los Caballitos de Totora.

Investigative journey:

When I landed in Trujillo on 08/04/2023 I met Chavez and his colleague Mendoza. Alberto Mendoza is an expert in politics and history as well as being a talented collage artist. Gerardo Amador Chavez is a passionate connoisseur of archaeology, pre-Columbian artefacts, and modern and contemporary art.

They both suspected that UPOs were not only a contemporary phenomenon. After a night of rest above the Museo Café Bar, they brought me to Huanchaco Beach to introduce me to Los Cabillitos de Totora.

Investigative discoveries:

The upcoming four weeks were constellated by remarkable discoveries. We had our low moments filled with anxieties and self-doubt but we steadily progressed and successfully overcame them.

Below I report our discoveries in a historical chronology, from the most ancient to the most recent. It is important to note that our findings happened in a different order, following existing collected evidence and our natural queer inquisitive instincts.

see bottom of the page for full Report

1000-9000 BCE, Mini UPO (caballitos), totora reeds, cotton, 14x12x3.5cm each. TLSB certified.

Discovered by Gerardo Amador Chavez in the Huanchaco South coastal area, province of Trujillo on 14/02/2023. Handed to me on 09/04/2023. Evident connection with Los Caballitos de Totora watercraft reeds and possible ancestral forms of performative sailing shoes.

circa 450 CE, UPO (dama de cao), 40x140x20cm each. TLSB certified.

Discovered on 18/04/2023 in the Chicama Valley, 3 km away from the El Brujo Archaeological site, north of Trujillo, La Libertad Province. The objects appear to be a pair of 140 cm tall ceremonial footwear belonging to the Dama de Cao. According to contemporary archaeologists, Dama de Cao might have been a high-ranking female priestess or even a Moche ruler. Her discovery subverts Western patriarchal beliefs that put women in lower-ranking positions in Indigenous pre-Columbian societies.

100-800 CE, UPO (ai aipaec), ceramic, pigments, 50x60x18cm. TLSB certified.

Discovered on 11/04/2023 close to the Huaca del Sol, an adobe brick pyramid built by the Moche civilisation in the coastal desert near Trujillo in the Moche Valley. The pyramid is one of several ruins found near the volcanic peak of Cerro Blanco, and it is considered to be a spiritual centre for the Moche. The red and white ceramic salvaged object has a surprising resemblance with the legs and feet of the feared and revered Moche deity Ai apaec. In addition to that, despite its fragility and weight, it has space for a human foot to be inserted into it. Its precise use remains currently under investigation.

900-1470 CE, UPO (zapallo loche), ceramic, pigments, 50x45x25cm. TLSB certified.

Discovered on 21/04/2023 in the desertic area in proximity to Chan Chan, the largest Chimú city of the pre-Columbian era in South America. The Chimú culture arose about 900 CE, succeeding the Moche, and it was later absorbed by the Inca who reigned undisturbed until the brutal Spanish conquest in 1532. A substantial number of Chimú ceramic ceremonial jars survived till today. They are predominantly black-coloured and shaped in the form of animals and vegetables. This particular item takes its shape from a zapallo loche, a Peruvian landrace variety, related to crookneck squash and pumpkin, botanically classified as Cucurbita moschata. Unlike traditional huacos, the mysterious finding cannot be utilised to produce sounds or to pour liquids.

1975-1985 CE, UPO (glovos), 80’s tennis shoe, inflatable balloons, 80x280x40cm. TLSB certified.

Discovered on 16/04/2023 during my second visit to Haunchaco Beach, Trujillo. The curious object was noticed flying over our heads by Chavez’s friend Christie while, on a day off from our research, we were having some relaxed time over the sand. Once spotted, we all stood up with amusement, packed our bags, and began to diligently follow the unidentified flying object. After 35 minutes of chasing, the item appeared increasingly distant from us. Fleeting with an upward trajectory in the light blue sky behind layers of thin clouds. 10 minutes later, when we were about to surrender to its disappearance, we suddenly noticed something plumbing from above. The fall was rapid and was happening about 50 metres away from us. Mendoza who was some metres behind us, was to closest person to the descending object. It fell directly on the road on our right. Christie managed to stop a car that was approaching it and I was able to safely collect the item from the ground. On our chase, we encountered a few street vendors, males with four inflatable balloons attached to their bodies. Two to simulate generous breasts and two as voluptuous rear cheeks. On closer inspection, the rescued item is composed of six air balloons, four of a regular size and two larger. The larger ones were fully deflated and realistically caused the fall on the object. Despite the impact, the other four were mysteriously intact and fully preserved. The central piece of the item is certainly a vintage tennis shoe from the ’80s, neatly wrapped around a stretched shimmering purple inflatable balloon.

1990 CE, UPO (volar), Nike Air Force, permanent marker, rock, 110x80x60cm. TLSB certified.

Discovered on 01/05/2023 in the desertic area adjacent to the Museo de Arte Moderno, outer Trujillo. As formally agreed with Chavez, I am not allowed to share with TLSB any details regarding the history of this object. Will follow an objective brief description of the object. A large grey rock, 80 cm wide and 50 cm tall, over a pair of white Nike Air Force basketball trainers partially damaged by usage. The right shoe presents the inscription ‘volar’ on the frontal right side of the sole. The rock possibly belongs to the Diorite family, further analysis will confirm or deny this hypothesis.

2010-2020 CE, UPO (35), shoe soles, aluminium, golden leaf, 100x1300x80cm each. TLSB certified.

Discovered on the night of 20/04/2023 in Trujillo Central. As I am approaching this delicate description, I would like to underline that is not in my interest to share any inaccurate written information about reality. As a professional private investigator, I must portray facts followed by proven evidence. A detailed description of the facts will follow. 19/04/2023 and 20/04/2023 have certainly been two shocking days. First of all, I went for dinner in a restaurant called El Celler de Cler. The wooden balcony looked beautiful and the menu inviting. The supposedly romantic music became quickly intolerable. I ordered a lomo saltado de la chef as main course. I waited almost thirty minutes before receiving the food. The wine was decent. As soon as I tasted the meat, I realised how hard it was. I struggled chewing throughout the whole meal and I left some of it on the plate. The vegetables were nice and tasty. After paying the bill, I was offered a caramel candy. While leaving the restaurant pretty disappointed, I put the candy in my mouth. It immediately stuck to my teeth, and as I was trying to detach it from them, I felt a strange noise in my mouth. As I finished the sweet, I began feeling something solid on the tip of my tongue. I extract it from my mouth. I quickly realised that I had lost a tooth, or better a tooth crown. Spitting your teeth is not a pleasant experience. Looking at the lost tooth in my hand, I oddly remembered the pair of shoe soles sized 35 EU, that I found earlier that day on Jirón Alfonso Lugarte. I initially picked them up from the road to scan them, then left them on the pavement. With the tooth in my pocket, I reached my bedroom for some rest. Before going to bed, I securely stored the tooth in a small red metal case and planned to go to the dentist once back in London. I fell asleep within five minutes with a book in my hands. Around 3 am on 20/04/2023, I was awakened by a strong gust coming from the front balcony of my accommodation looking at Jirón Independencia. Half-asleep I moved towards the balcony. Sounds of rapid steps were audible, together with subtle squeaks. I rubbed my eyes before glancing at the street. Down on my right two golden spider-like creatures were running at full speed direction of Plaza Mayor. I look again. They are very tall, about 130 cm each, coordinately moving, glowing in the dark. I run downstairs barefoot trying to reach the creatures. The whole street was windy and loud. I managed to make my way closer towards the creatures. They heard me coming and they turned towards me. When our gaze met, they immediately froze and collapsed to the ground. The gust ceased, and Jirón Independencia went quiet again. The creatures were now lying on the asphalt seemingly dead. Apparent death is common behaviour in several animals including the wolf spider and the black widow. Aware of this fact, I cautiously approach the shiny beings. They were enormous and frightening, but also very elegant and beautiful. Six long legs each, sinuous and wavy. The small body of the spider-like creatures was identical to the shoe soles sized 35 EU I noticed the previous afternoon in Jirón Alfonso Lugarte. The only difference was that the unknown creatures were entirely covered with golden leaf. The suspected animals didn’t move nor gave any signal of breathing. I gently picked up one of them and with some difficulty, I placed it over my shoulder to bring them to my apartment for further analysis. Leaving the other one in the street was a risky move but it was my only option at that hour of the night. The streets were empty. I completed the first transport and when I walked down the stairs and opened the front gate, I pleasantly found the second creature lying exactly where I left it. I repeated the same process and after a few minutes, both creatures were lying down in my living room. On the following day with the support of Chavez and Mendoza, I managed to make them stand up once again. Frozen, lifeless and still but standing tall and proud, I consider this discovery one of the most remarkable UPO apparitions of all time. I dated them as 2010-2020, estimating the creature’s birth based on scientific studies around their shoe-sole bodies.

2023 CE, UPO (hype), Counterfeit Adidas, Inka Kola, 15x40x28cm each. TLSB certified.

Discovered on 04/04/2023 at Mercado Central, Trujillo. I generally don’t consume carbonated sugary soft drinks, but while in Peru I started drinking regularly Inka Kola. Inka Kola is considered the Peruvian national refreshing beverage, invented in 1935 by British immigrant Joseph Robinson Lindley and widely advertised throughout the 20th century as “¡De Sabor Nacional!” (Made of National Flavor!), and “El Sabor del Perú’’ (The taste of Peru). Inka Kola can be found on any corner of Trujillo and Lima, successfully sold by street vendors, tents, and bars as well as expensive restaurants and luxurious hotels. You cannot miss it. The packaging is iconic, bright yellow and deep blue, with Inca-inspired decorations. The drink is golden and it is composed of thirteen herbs including lemon verbena, known as Hierba Luisa in Peru. The afternoon of 04/04/2023 was especially sultry, Chavez invited me to follow them in the labyrinthic Mercado Central in Trujillo. The market is a true wonder, from flavoured dry fish and fresh meat to curative plants and shamanic amulets. Counterfeit designer shoes and custom printing services. You can find anything in there. Endless passages and busy crossroads lead you to endless discoveries. Second-hand household items, car repair shops, inflatable balloons of any shape and form, and animals of all kinds. The market is so large that cannot be explored in a single session. In the heat, as I tried to keep up with Chavez’s fast-paced walk among a sea of people, I began to feel desperately thirsty. On small pathways, I made space for myself and found Chavez not far in the crowd. I told them we should stop to get some chilled Inka Kola. They said we could find it anywhere and kept walking at full speed. I stopped, I knew I was about to get lost but I didn’t care. I needed a cold drink and some rest. I backtracked as I remembered about a busy tent with a large green fridge two or three crossroads behind me. I walked at my own pace, and slowly but surely I got closer to the green fridge. I passed by one of the many shoe vendor, enchanted by how accurate their sneaker replicas were. They sell them for about £20 and many Peruvians buy their shoes there. I finally saw the green fridge, which was thin and tall. About thirty Inka Kola were sitting inside the fridge. I asked for two bottles. When the seller was extracting them from the refrigerator, I looked on top of the fridge. High up, out of reach without a chair, I noticed a mysterious item. Six Inka Kola bottles as legs and a yellow counterfeit Adidas tennis shoe. The colours were beautifully paired, with an impeccable chromatic and formal composition. I inquired about the item, the vendor said that her brother found the object in his kitchen, one afternoon when returning home from work. He subsequently gifted her because she was selling the popular drink in her tent. She then placed it on top of the fridge as an advertising tool to attract more clients. I sensed right away that the object could be a UPO. Enchanted by its charm I proposed the vendor to buy it. I offered her 250 SOL the equivalent of a little more than £50. She was positively surprised by the generous proposal, and willingly agreed to my offer, gifting me the two Inka Kola bottles I ordered earlier. When I met again Chavez in the market maze, we enjoyed together the golden drinks. I showed them the rare item, and we thoroughly discussed the effects of hypercapitalism in contemporary Peru. Inka Kola is a worldwide recognised Peruvian symbol, but also the result of a capitalistic venture by the originally British Lindley family. Furthermore, the Inka Kola trademark was acquired by the US Coca-Cola Company in 1999. With a unique agreement in which Lindley’s Corporación Inca Kola Perú S.A. and Corporación Lindley S.A. retain full ownership of the Inca Kola trademark in Peru while the Coca-Cola Company has international control. The impact of branding strategies and US financial markets is palpable in most areas of today’s Peru. The Spanish colonisation heavily impacted every aspect of the indigenous South America and drastically modified the future of the country. The presumed UPO, that I acquired at the market, sums up the contradictions that make today’s Peru. Counterfeit sneakers, Inka Kola bottles, and the sharp social and economic divide between rich and poor Peruvians. The ones who can afford genuine branded goods and live in spacious villas from those who are below the poverty line and live in slums. A seductive item which tells us contemporary histories that too often are forgotten and erased by Western readings of reality.


on behalf of TLSB


Supported by Arts Council England and Paijáàäâãåąæāªn.

Curated by Gerardo Chavez and Alberto Mendoza.

Photography: Paijáàäâãåąæāªn.