saco6 semana de arte contemporรกneo contemporar y ar t week antofagasta / chile
SIXTH CONTEMPORARY ART WEEK
LOVE: decadence and resistence 1
saco6 semana de arte contemporรกneo contemporar y ar t week antofagasta / chile
SIXTH CONTEMPORARY ART WEEK
LOVE: decadence and resistence 1
SACO6 Sixth Contemporary Art Week LOVE: decadence and resistance / July - September 2017 INTERNATIONAL EXHIBITION ARTISTS Fernando Foglino Uruguay Nicholas Jackson Chile Paz Castañeda Chile Oscar Pabón Venezuela Adriana Ciudad Perú Lucia Warck-Meister Argentina Ana Mosquera Venezuela
JURY Rodolfo Andaur Chile Marcos Figueroa Argentina Alejandra Villasmil Venezuela / Chile Raquel Schwartz Bolivia Dagmara Wyskiel Polonia / Chile
ALUVIÓN VISUAL ARTISTS Pilar Elgueta Santiago David Corvalán Calama Vania Caro Alto Hospicio María Inés Candia Iquique Catalina González Santiago Juana Guerrero Iquique Gabriel Navia Antofagasta Patricia Díaz Antofagasta Claudia León Antofagasta Francisco Vergara Antofagasta Antonieta Clunes Antofagasta Sebastián Rojas Antofagasta Julio Morales Antofagasta Pamela Canales Antofagasta Jordán Plaza Antofagasta
TEXT ARTISTS Marcelo Mellado Chile Claudio Pereira Chile Alejandra Villasmil Venezuela / Chile
SPACES Melbourne Clark Historic Pier Estación Antofagasta Cultural Centre Minera Escondida Foundation Art Gallery Artequin / INACAP Museum Antofagasta Regional Library ISLA / Instituto Superior Latinoamericano de Arte Quillagua / The driest place of the world
TEAM direction / Dagmara Wyskiel general production / Christian Núñez communications, archive and digital contents / Francisco Vergara national and international media journalists / Elisa Cárdenas y Francisca Vargas local media / Christian Godoy mediation with schools and communes / Carmen Núñez mediation assistant / Catalina Lobos web platform, database and bulletin / Juan Troncoso social networking / Francisco Bahamondes production assistant / Lilyan Pizarro audiovisual and documental video assistant / André Salva aerial register / Cristian Arce photography / Cristian Ochoa translation / Kevin Hagen and Eliana Olivares assembly officer / Héctor Valdebenito mediators / Camila Díaz, Antiča Petricio, Gabriel Navia, Paulina Contador, Patricio Araya, Nicole Valdivia, José Hernández, Manuel Terraza and Andrés Eaton 2
SACO6 is organized by Colectivo SE VENDE, Mobile Platform of Contemporary Art. It is financed by the Regional Government of Antofagasta with resources from the National Fund of Regional Development, F.N.D.R., 2% Culture, year 2017. Instituto Superior Latinoamericano de Arte (ISLA) is financed by Other Collaborator Institutions Program of the National Council of Culture and Arts. It is presented by Minera Escondida, operated by BHP.
We are grateful for the support from: Embassy of the Republic of Poland in Santiago, Visual Arts Museum (MAVI), Ministry Regional Direction of Education, Antofagasta Municipal Social Development Corporation, Radio Bío Bío, El Mostrador, Artishock, Antofagasta TV, El Mercurio de Antofagasta, CP Comunicaciones, mor.bo, Media r2tv, CNC, Guillermo Chong, Romina González, Gabriel Navia, María Inés Candia, Vania Caro, Iñaki Uribarri, Rodrigo Jacob, Gisela Avaria, Christian Moni, Ana Mosquera, Adriana Ciudad and Lilyan Pizarro.
Project under the Law of Cultural Donations.
edition / Elisa Cárdenas y Dagmara Wyskiel layout / Christian Núñez
Created and produced by Colectivo SE VENDE, Mobile Platform of Contemporary Art Antofagasta, November 2017 www.proyectosaco.cl
TABLE OF CONTENTS LOVE: DECADENCE AND RESISTENCE / 7 The latin lover in times of crisis. Dagmara Wyskiel / 9 Visual Arts with a territorial and historical sense. Elisa Cárdenas / 13 Culture as social capital. Patricio Vilaplana / 26 Territorialities, convergences and disobedience. Varinia Brodsky / 30
ART AS THE HIGHEST SENTIMENT / 33 Works that take on a life of their own. Elisa Cárdenas / 35 Interview with: Ana Mosquera / 39 Adriana Ciudad / 43 Nicholas Jackson / 46 Paz Castañeda / 49 Oscar Pabón / 52 Lucia Warck-Meister / 55 Fernando Foglino / 57 Jury: Raquel Schwartz, Rodolfo Andaur, Marcos Figueroa, Alejandra Villasmil, Dagmara Wyskiel / 60
FILES OF DRYNESS AND COMPLEMENTARY THRESHOLDS / 63 Parallel of rebellion. Dagmara Wyskiel / 65 Talking of Love. Marcelo Mellado / 68 Art, desert, cohabitation. Alejandra Villasmil / 76 Love folds, art unfolding. Claudio Pereira / 89
AT THE SECONDARY SCHOOL / 105 Sustainable encouragement: Encounter with the new generations. Francisco Vergara / 107
VISUAL FLOOD / 123 The eternal desire to reach maturity. Dagmara Wyskiel / 125 Contemporary signals of the local. Elisa Cárdenas / 130 A broken mirror facing the city. Dagmara Wyskiel / 147 Perimeter effect. Vania Caro / 152 Dust you are. Dagmara Wyskiel / 155 1/8 for the whole. María Irene Alcalde / 158 The tip of the iceberg in the desert. Pilar Elgueta / 160 The trunk from the past as a key to the contemporary. Carolina Contreras / 163
IN THE FRAMEWORK OF SACO6 / 167 Anonymous. Interview with Ximena Zomosa / 169 Following the traces. Julia Popławska / 171 Thinking of SACO as an act of resistence. Marcos Figueroa / 175
COLECTIVO SE VENDE: A MEMORY / 179
LOVE: DECADENCE AND RESISTENCE
THE LATIN LOVER IN TIMES OF CRISIS Latin America is a land of a syncretism of affections. An officially Catholic continent, where the majority of children are born out of wedlock, where native religions live together peacefully with sin and guilt, and where the peak of patriotism is experienced not in an ideological debate but rather at a football match. A culture stigmatized outside by the image of the latin lover, a compulsive but irresistible polygamist and by an endless number of his variables, cultural and sentimental clichĂŠs that are exported, such as the mariachi, an obese male chauvinist; the black man from the Caribbean, king of the salsa; and the impeccable and masculine tango dancer, among others. Alternative family structures are opened. What was considered reprehensible in the past is now frequently in fashion and draws people to experiment, both spiritually and worldly. The conservative circles and the transgressors look at each other with disgust, and at the same time with some attraction. Sometimes looking leads to something else. Love hurts, says an old saying, and it is here where the rate of violent crimes of passion is one of the highest. And it is also here where the struggle and the resistance for freedom, equality and tolerance produced unimaginable changes a half century ago. In parallel with violence, Latin America is the land of devotion. Religious festivals with their dances, offerings, rituals and states of trance speak of experiences of transcendental love, that are ever more clearly opposed to the logic of the ecclesiastic sacraments, essentially being shamanic rituals. Polytheistic world views in a procession behind a cross turn out to be coherent in the Latin logic. Mestizo turns out to be what is most purely self-defining. Gustavo Buntinx talks about â€œillicit and unusual associations but not unlike those that our ongoing experience of apparently unconnected simultaneities offers.â€?1 Perplexity is caused by the omnipresent coexistence of the affective world structured by the patriarchy, now in somewhat of a decline, with the simultaneous explosion of freedom and diversity in the ways of relating and loving. In hybrid social ecosystems, all loves mutate, from that which relates us with those closest to us and defines our immediate day-to-day constellation, or from the emotional identification with the territory to which we belong, whether it be marked on a map, or is ideological or virtual, to that which evokes something beyond that, whether it be religious or spiritual love, 1
Lo impuro y lo contaminado III: Pulsiones [The impure and the contaminated III: Impulses] (Neo) Barrocas en las rutas de Micromuseo [(Neo) Baroque on the routes of Micromuseum)]. Chile Triennal Catalogue page 237.
or love of the Pachamama (Mother Earth) or the universe. Very rapid and significant transformative experiences enable us to think that we are facing a distinctly Latin revolution, without heads being cut off or bonfires, but indeed irreversible and transcendental. We see that it is possible to mix fire and water and produce a new element profoundly native to here. We bet on this multi-dimensional hybrid as the raw material of the works for SACO6. How is Latin love today? We leave the question open, in the form of a Latin American call. The resonance that this call has provoked confirmed that it was the right move. At a time of crisis in affections and relations, a moment for reflecting on what is happening to us with this highest sentiment, became a natural gesture of resistance. Substantiating this, when interviewed, Nicholas Jackson said, “A curatorial proposal based on Love is interesting to me as a theme and also challenges this ascetic trend among certain circles. It seems very interesting to once again look at personal and existential topics, of individual bodies in social tension.” Fernando Foglino goes for what is beyond the white cube: “SACO call seemed like a very brave proposal. I also celebrate the fact that art is gaining spaces so significant for the city and the people, outside of the traditional museums and galleries.” No less important than challenging the established systems of art, producing gestures of courage and rupture, is establishing a fertile link with the artists themselves and their processes. “It seemed to me that the curatorial intention resonated with my work method, focused on the emotional dimension of Latin American social and political issues”, says Adriana Ciudad in this book. Ana Mosquera emphasizes the cause – effect relationship between the crisis and the transformation in the sentimental area. “The curators asked the question of whether affection is in crisis and that was very interesting to me, specifically in how that crisis goes hand in hand with the transformation of our relationships with other people, in a world increasingly dominated by image and immediacy.”
The 287 projects that were received from 17 countries were evaluated in three stages: admissibility, economic and spatial viability, and finally coherence and quality. The last session of the judges was in person, lasting three days, and the files of 54 finalists were reviewed. The commitment and the convictions of each of the evaluators, precisely their affection for one project or another, resulted in long hours of discussions, with arguments and emotions. Finally, and although it seemed difficult to achieve, they all reached a consensus, and the constellation of the seven winners represented the overall view of the judges. The works that were raised during the residency in August 2017 on the Historical Pier of Antofagasta had a significant conceptual forcefulness and at the same time were produced in harmony with the setting and its characteristics. Attractive also to the untrained eye, aware of the multiple distractions in the public space, hitting the mark in establishing relationships between the volume and the landscape, intelligent, and seductive. With these pieces, the affective constellation of Latin America was constructed. The theorist Ignacio Szmulewicz, an attentive observer of the processes experienced by the Colectivo SE VENDE during the last decade, defines the phantoms of contemporary Chilean art that the Contemporary Art Week has been able to 11
demystify: “SACO has overcome three resentments that Chilean art has sustained for many years as immovable pillars. The first has to do with the idea of a show. It is true that SACO is a large-scale event that involves a complex, associative arrangement of various actors, both local and national. Like its cousins, El SACFIC or Teatro a Mil, it seeks to attract and captivate a mass and heterogeneous audience, and to do so it is not afraid to use the broadcasting and positioning strategies that are so typical of shows with a large turnout. To the envy of many, this has not meant a decline in the critical function. On the contrary, its positioning with the media, the captivation and local and economic insertion in the city have enabled it to address issues that many times art has passed by. An art that almost always approached the desert, with the full satisfaction of addressing the ruins of a buried past. Secondly, mediation and education have been central for SACO. Understanding the gaps and needs of a city without artistic education, it has wanted to solve that problem, obliging and requesting each visitor to return for talks and workshops that leave a lasting pedagogic value in the community. It has also been on the leading edge regarding the possibilities that art can open in the current debate on people’s education, a matter that little by little has more intensely permeated all the country’s cultural institutions. So, SACO offers not only a palliative measure but is also based on education as a cornerstone for the production of contemporary art. Finally, faced with all the unease that the artistic scene exudes regarding the allocation of funds, the centralism, nepotism, and all the isms possible, SACO has known how to go beyond the autonomies that the independent scenes and spaces have wanted to install. Its associative and integrating profile shakes the foundations of the country’s cultural policies by not basing its operation on either the infrastructure or direct assignment.”2 Dagmara Wyskiel SACO Director
Excerpt from: El relato mítico de SACO, Ignacio Szmulewicz, La Panera nº 86, september 2017, pag. 4 - 5.
VISUAL ARTS WITH A TERRITORIAL AND HISTORICAL SENSE In Chile, for an event dedicated to contemporary art to be able to congregate a massive audience turns out to be very unlikely. Traditionally, governed by the mandates of open television, the large masses are not aware of, and therefore have few alternatives for access to appreciate the ways that visual arts have developed in recent decades. The scarce minutes that television dedicates to reporting on cultural news or events are generally targeted exclusively at the world of popular music or cinema coming from North America, in some cases proposals of creative and discursive relevance, but most of the time extreme action films, self-aware of their disposable nature, merely for entertainment, distant from art, immersed in the industry. Chilean films, increasingly more valued in international festivals, do not remain for more than two weeks on the metropolitan much less regional billboards; auteur films do not appear in the large cinema chains. The Chinese artist (dissident) Ai Wuei Wuei, known for his political activism expressed in mediums such as installations and the performing arts, and probably today the most â€œfamousâ€? artist in the world, recently crossed over to our country from Argentina, where he inaugurated a large exhibition.
I cannot guarantee that his express conference in the CorpArtes cultural hall had not been announced on television, but I can say that there was not one single program or news report that tried to get an interview with him or at least a statement from him, which is something that would constitute fundamental material for a potential current visual arts agenda. Public television in Chile broadcasts the activities of the principal museums or galleries, as well as the activities of some artists, musicians, and photographers in micro audio visual spaces or capsules, which are generally paid for. This is all the existing cultural programming, broadcasted at such incredible times as on Saturdays at 2 o’clock in the morning. Today, the Internet has radically democratized access to all types of information, including cultural, but until less than two decades ago, television was the most information medium for information traffic, always subject to the interests and emphasis of their respective editorial directors. In recent decades, culture in general and the visual arts in particular have been progressively excluded from open television, and partly for that reason they have not been easily or fluidly integrated into the daily lives of the hundreds of thousands of people who make up those large masses of audience seduced by the screen, or as it was already critically called in the 60’s, “the idiot box”.
While culture intensely lives and beats in Chile, there is always a separation, a divorce between Culture and Mass Audiences; the most popular tastes, preferences and agendas in Chilean society are distant from the practices we define as cultural. Far from a moralizing desire to pretend to define what people should or shouldnâ€™t choose from among the very broad range of symbolic production, it can be confirmed that if that latent distance between culture and the mass public exists in Chile, it is to a large and determinant extent due to lack of information. We will never know for certain whether or not the large masses are interested in culture as long as that cultural production is not publicized, using the different vehicles of information. Given this context, for an event in Chile dedicated to the visual arts to bring in 14 thousand visitors in a period of two months is an encouraging sign. If that occurs in a province and not in the over-crowded Metropolitan Region, it is even more interesting to stop and look at the dynamics that are moving our societies, or their most massive expression. There were months of intense activity, and the SACO 2017 Contemporary Art Week in Antofagasta concluded with these positive figures in its sixth version,
national stage of which was held simultaneously in several cultural spaces of the city, under the title Aluviรณn visual (Visual flood), and a central phase in which Latin American artists installed their works inspired by the idea, or starting point of AMOR: decadencia y resistencia (LOVE: decadence and resistance), along the Historical Pier of Antofagasta. REGIONAL ENERGIES SACO is self-defined as an interdisciplinary project that links visual arts with areas of knowledge such as ethnography, astronomy, history, geology, sociology, anthropology, mineralogy, philosophy, and multiculturalism. Therefore, a diversity of professionals, not just from visual arts, converge in an agenda of activities that include exhibitions, as well as panels and conferences in educational establishments, guided tours, residences in artistic creation, and actions in the territory. Consequently, included in the storyline of SACO is the informative and educational intention that is denied by other media to the visual arts discipline. Professors from the region, students from municipal high schools, and university students who act as mediators familiarize the public with the works exhibited, encouraging their interpretation. They are all a crucial part of this system, of the modus operandi of
this regional encounter that is generating spectators not taken from academia or from the intellectual or stylistic stronghold, but rather from the street, from the hills, from the schools, from the mining worksites; and also from the bourgeois and affluent, from the managements and from the various professions. In the end, a public from all origins, a plural, massive audience. It is then when the latent utopia that is SACOâ€™s driving force is manifested; something that was thought to be unachievable, but that with the six versions carried out, and the interaction of the work team does seem to be possible. In a city without a university art school and without galleries dedicated to contemporary art, the alternative way that SACO carries out, occupying the city, taking over the territory and above all bringing together the people, inspired by its own formula of a â€œmuseum without a museumâ€? becomes an all-embracing and effective option for narrowing that gap between culture and mass audience that is so persistent in the country. And the challenge is tough, in a city absorbed and wrapped by mining activity, where industry, technology and economic prosperity are the directives, leaving little space for cultural expression, cultural projection; with reflexivity being seen steeped by praxis. But it would seem that those obstacles strengthen the realization of the Contemporary Art Week: it is the wire fence that the urban context places; it is also the remoteness from the large centres of cultural production (and greater promotion); it is the province and its peculiarity 17
that cause the event to persist and strengthen, gaining new and more audiences. The case can in turn be framed in an energetic synchrony with other regional projects in the field of the arts. Cities in Chile share attributes and scarcities; all are affected in one way or another by the Stateâ€™s excessive institutional, economic and cultural centralism. But that same attention and benefits focused on the metropolis liberates them in part, generating artistic activity that is less competitive and more collaborative, less anxious about circulation and more reflexive, less calculated and more spontaneous. Also, it is its position on this Chilean map of culture that inevitably works its way into its themes and ways of being creative; it is the territory, its situation, and the local community that are embodied in the works, for example in the invitation Ven a mi casa (Come to my house), aimed at the cityâ€™s artists, with nine proposals that, in the traditional hall of the Antofagasta Station Cultural Centre, jointly formulated, without proposing to do so, a cry of alarm regarding the imbalances, injustices and excesses that are occurring today in one of the most prosperous cities, and in fact the one with the highest cost of living in Chile and one of the highest in Latin America. The territory with its traumatic stories, that landscape that almost speaks to us was also present, eloquent in the exhibition Efecto perimetral (Perimeter effect) by four women artists residing in northern Chile. 18
We know that art displaced the ideal of representation centuries ago; nevertheless, currently it is more oriented than ever toward realism, no longer imitative but rather more revealing and hopefully, transformative: “In our times, art reflects on the ways there are of inhabiting the world; it explores its voids, exclusions, and contradictions, as opposed to the vanguards that invited us to the configuration of new worlds. Art will no longer be intended to invite us to live, even though it is in the glow of a look, in other imagined worlds, but rather in promoting forms of otherness in this world in which we live. An intent that is probably not separable or distinguishable from an exercise of resistance faced with the current economic colonization of communication and of the life experience that dominates our times” (Juan Martín Prada, Otro tiempo para el arte. Cuestiones y comentarios sobre el arte actual, [Another time for art. Issues and comments on current art], 2012, Valencia, Sendema Editorial). Exercises of resistance perhaps. The word is being progressively coined in territories of contemporary visuality, and was also in the suggestive invitation to Latin American artists for the Colectivo SE VENDE projects event. LOVE: decadence and resistance was the first open call made by SACO, which up until the previous version prepared its curatorial diagram with invitations to artists. Surpassing all expectations, the overwhelming number of responses was immediate, and by the end of the process, the judges selected two Chilean proposals (Paz Castañeda and Nicholas Jackson), two from Venezuela (Ana Mosquera and Oscar Pabón), one from Peru (Adriana Ciudad), one from Argentina (Lucía Warck-Meister), and one from Uruguay (Fernando Foglino). They all spent about ten days preparing their installations, living together and sharing their experiences at the Instituto Superior Latinoamericano de Arte ISLA. The residency is one of the essential aspects of SACO; as the Romanian writer and critic Mircea Cartarescu says, “Within each moment there is always the chance for a thousand others”, and it was this shared and collaborative opportunity, the presentation that each artist made to the others of their visual projects and the key elements of their work, the conversations, the technical problems, the changes of plans, the unexpected things that came up and even the laughs, that this way and not another ended up constituting the great central SACO exhibition on the Historical Pier of Antofagasta. This publication will talk about each work, in detail and analytically, and what is most pertinent to relay in this written space is the regional presence, now in the macro, continental sense, on the old nitrate pier, nestled in the Great Northern part of Chile. And here we emphasize the utopia or the potential projection of Latin American art, or a Latin American discourse through the arts. The Argentine theorist Andrea Giunta “The new history of art from Latin America is focused on notions and concepts that artists and critics elaborate in their specific creative situations” (Andrea Giunta, ¿Cuando empieza el arte contemporáneo? [When does contemporary art begin?], Fundación arteBA, 2014). 19
Why not to think, then, about exploring that Latin American autonomy based on the arts? Without artists being the ones called on to reveal to us the frictions of our reality that we avoid seeing, we use an opportunity like SACO6, its creators, its works, and its spaces to think about Latin America and its cultural reality from a new place, and not based on a construct that we already know, assigned by the colonization that names and defines us. “Artists are image hunters. They trap different worlds in the space of a work”, writes Andrea Giunta. And in fact, each SACO6 artist outlined difficulties in love in their most diverse manifestations, from the worldly to the transcendental. They made use of the space, some communicating based on the structure and materiality of the old pier itself; others based on its immediate urban context; and others based on its history: “the inscription of contemporaneity is continuously faced with what is unresolved from history. The past opens up to the present”, Andrea Giunta also says. And that trance to the past is clearly manifested when on the way to Quillagua, the driest place in the world and an already classic destination in each version of SACO, the artists and the entire team made a brief stop in Chacabuco, a former nitre village. An abandoned place with the tracks of an economic boom lost in time. 20
Chacabuco also reveals to us the bitter traces of its occupation as a concentration camp during the Chilean military dictatorship. There the voices of the emblematic work by Luis Advis, La cantata de Santa María de Iquique, resonate internally, telling of the killing of more than a thousand Chilean workers perpetrated in 1907: “If you contemplate the pampa and its corners, you will see the dryness of the silence, the soil without miracle and the empty offices, as the last desert. And if you observe the pampa and imagine it in the times of the nitre industry, you will see the woman and the gloomy stove, the worker without a face, the sad child. You will also see the failing hut, the candle that lights its shortages, some calamines for walls and for a bed, the sacks and the dirt. You will also see humiliating punishments, stocks in which they placed a worker for days and days under the sun, without regard to whether he ended up dying. The worker’s guilt many times was the arrogant pain he showed; impotent rebellion, insolence! The law of the rich owner is sacred law. You will also see the payment they were given; they didn’t see money, just tiles, one for each day worked and that was exchanged for food. Be careful about buying somewhere! There was no way you could do it, even if things were cheaper. The Office had prohibited it. The purchasing power of that tile had been going down over time, but the same daily wage continued to be paid. No raise for anything in the world. If you contemplate the pampa and its corners, you will see the dryness of the silence. And if you observe the pampa the way it was, you will hear the shattered wails”. The unresolved history opens to the present. We feel it in these invaluable SACO6 tours, in Quillagua and its Valley of the Meteorites, in the geoglyphs of Chug Chug, in the abandoned Sloman Dam, the first hydroelectric plant in Chile, in the middle of the desert. Art brought us to this encounter and showed us the common people who actually put that Resistance into practice, subsisting with their work in an area of enormous cultural and geographic value, giving themselves up to the most absolute lack of protection from the State and the historical and current exploitation of their resources by the mining industry. History once again calls our attention these days, on the other end of the country, to a group of compatriots, our native people, the people of the land, resisting with their lives. Currently, all over the world, 200 events dedicated to contemporary art are held each month, including festivals, auctions, fairs, seminars, etc. Every two years the art biennials add a hundred in different cities on the five continents. These are true international showcases for artists, where prestigious curators, critics and other strategic professionals in the visual arts converge to discuss and expand forms of experimentation, creative freedom and the promotion of critical thinking. Biennials are characterized for being independent encounters, not for profit, and of a pluralist nature, where discussion and reflection flow with regard to the potential of the arts as transformers of the current state. In the mid-term future, SACO hopes to become the biennial of Chile, or rather of Antofagasta? It is known 21
that this type of encounters is a source of tourist attraction and revenue for the cities and communities where they are held. Utopia or not, it can be expected that this type of biennial or encounter that is held in the future will continue to promote reflection and action with meaning in the territory of Antofagasta, Chile.
Elisa Cรกrdenas Cultural journalist
CULTURE AS SOCIAL CAPITAL We are grateful for the invitation to present the sixth version of the Contemporary Art Week of Antofagasta, along with its creators and organizers. When we started this alliance four years ago, there were very few initiatives linked to contemporary art in the region, and if there were, they were isolated from each other and with very few places to see their work. This reality, along with the need to open up opportunities for dialogue and reflection regarding the profound processes of transformation and cultural changes that the region was experiencing drove us to join this innovative and forward-looking proposal. In SACO, artistic languages and manifestations converge that seek to provoke us and oblige us to look, recognize and understand realities that we have to take charge of as a society and that we cannot ignore. Immigration, diversity, inclusion, and identity beyond geographical boundaries are some of the topics in which we have been able to go into depth in its different versions. Our alliance with this project is framed within a long trajectory of work with the world of culture and for which we have opted as a setting for legitimate and necessary dialogue between mining and its environment. For approximately 20 years, through different ongoing activities, we have contributed to promoting access, participation and the dissemination of high quality cultural assets in broad sectors of the population throughout the country, with emphasis on the Region of Antofagasta. The Cultural Program of Minera Escondida / BHP has enabled us to establish alliances and carry out successful initiatives with different actors from the world of the arts, literature and patrimony, thereby supplementing public policies in this area. This work has positioned us as the leading private company in supporting the countryâ€™s cultural development. Our support in this area is based on the conviction that through culture we are making a concrete contribution to strengthening social capital, generating capacities, improving the quality of life, and the cultural decentralization of Chile. Thanks to the self-management effort of the Colectivo SE VENDE Mobile Contemporary Art Platform, and public and private support, SACO has become one of the most important contemporary art encounters in the country, generating collaboration alliances with exponents of the world of culture.
We feel very proud to be part of this project and to participate in its growth and consolidation. We invite you to join us in an upcoming version, which will undoubtedly once again captivate and surprise us. Patricio Vilaplana Vice President of Corporate Affairs Minera Escondida, operated by BHP
TERRITORIALITIES, CONVERGENCES AND DISOBEDIENCE Thinking about love is today an act of resistance in the midst of the decadence. If contemporary art is the answer that by self-commitment must challenge us, assuming this position from the gracefulness of the Antofagasta pier becomes an obstinacy that year by year, for six years now, based on that obstinate perseverance of self-management, from the II Region of Chile, between the desert and the sea, with all that brings together in symbolic, geographic, economic and political terms, enables reflecting and finding ourselves based on the fundamental task of art, creation and critique. This year, SACO also included an extension to several exhibitions in other points of the city, generating a tour, and therefore expanding the art event. While the works of each artist or each curatorial practice are a theoretical-aesthetic proposal that each year has its good points and its shortcomings, it all moves based on the subjectivity that is precisely the value that the experience contains which is openly available, both for the encounter of artists, curators and promoters, as well as for the various publics that are circulating. What is interesting is that this experience is solidifying the possibility of another way of understanding the world, and it is precisely there where SACO’s proposal lies, as a temporary, geographic and aesthetic space that opens us up to thematic reflection according to concepts pertinent to our contemporaneity. “I offer you that kernel of myself that I have saved, somehow – the central heart that deals not in words, traffics not with dreams and is untouched by time, by joy, by adversities”, says Jorge Luis Borges, who reflects the nature of love very deeply, which is in itself an act of resistance, of resistance toward oneself as a first measure. The interest of this approach is in the strength taken on by an instance that based on will has been sustaining and establishing itself as an action relevant for the national scene. Self-management lies in striving and the instinct that is ingrained in the possibility that there is something that can be changed; there is a point of inflection, of dedication, of sacrifice and it becomes a lifestyle that is offered, just like Borges, as a gift in the decadence of a disrupted, distorted and capitalized world, like the resisting works installed on a pier speak of love. The Contemporary Art Week then becomes more than an event that is staged once a year, much more than works that engage in a dialogue on a topic. It is an action of resistance that calls on us to reflect on the various views regarding the question of art, in territorialities, in convergences and also in disobedience of what is
established, what is viable. SACO is an opportunity for questioning that despite the historical abandonment of cultural policies, including in the region, emerges and bursts out to stay. Varinia Brodsky Visual Arts Area Coordinator National Council for Culture and the Arts
ART AS THE HIGHEST SENTIMENT
WORKS THAT TAKE ON A LIFE OF THEIR OWN Called under the challenging title LOVE: decadence and resistance, the seven artists selected in the SACO 2017 event arrived from their respective countries to the ISLA residence, near the coastal border of Antofagasta. They shared about two weeks of a camaraderie that became endearing for them all. The conversations, lunches, presentations of their visual proposals and even the contingencies that delayed or conflicted with their respective installations on the Historical Pier, were elements that they now treasure and that summarize a “behind the scenes” that was determinant in what this new and successful edition of the Contemporary Art Week turned out to be. The names of Paz Castañeda (Chile) Adriana Ciudad (Peru), Fernando Foglino (Uruguay), Nicholas Jackson (Chile), Ana Mosquera (Venezuela), Oscar Pabón (Venezuela) and Lucia Warck-Meister (Argentina) will continue resonating in the new publics that germinate in the city of Antofagasta. Their works, in one way or another, involved the people and the local landscape, sometimes resulting in unexpected developments, such as was the case of Oscar Pabón, the only artist who was not present at the encounter, but who supervised by digital media those in charge of each stage of his installation, young Venezuelan immigrants for that purpose; that is, his compatriots. This action, which embodies the solidarity among Venezuelans in one of the most difficult periods of its history, became part of the work itself, originally focused on the theme of romantic heartbreak, and subsequently also representative of the wounded territorial love of the Venezuelan diaspora. On August 17th, LOVE: decadence and resistance, the principal exhibition of SACO6 was inaugurated by its organizers from the Colectivo SE VENDE and the authorities who have had an influence on the continuity and success of this artistic endeavour. Once the gates of the Historical Pier of Antofagasta were opened, the local public started to connect with topics as contingent as that proposed by Ana Mosquera, who gave the welcome to the tour. Before SACO, the young Venezuelan artist, a resident of Peru, was immersed in research on the applications that now enables us to locate people from our telephones in order to set up a sexual or friendly date. Simply using GPS technology, in a series of canvases, Ana Mosquera proposed a possible cartography of moments and specific places in the city of Antofagasta, configuring a new idea of community based on Grindr, an app used essentially by the gay community. Based on this work, which also opened the chance for the public to complete the information or “sniff” beyond using the QR code, Ana Mosquera hit the mark in targeting transformations that are revolutionizing our societies, modifying our conception of relationships and affection and that certainly also have something to say about the symbolic structure of the today’s cities. She was followed on the tour by the Peruvian-German artist Adriana Ciudad, who fulfilled one of her big dreams in SACO: constructing her own picó, an enormous loudspeaker that is habitually used in areas of the Caribbean as a form of carnivaltype recreation on public thoroughfares. Ana Ciudad converged several of her 35
concerns in this work-spectacle, such as revealing the misogynistic lyrics of reggaeton, currently one of the most popular styles of music in Latin America and the world, which were broadcasted as part of the programming of this picó, with messages such as “Whip her - Overpower her - Be a savage – She loves for you to beat her in bed with a bat – I put her against the wall and tell her I’m going to send her to intensive care – I want a very pretty woman, quiet, who doesn’t say anything”, phrases that could well be used to design an inverted slogan of the transversal campaign Ni una menos (Not one less), to generate awareness against gender violence. The artist could perhaps have included concrete data and figures on femicide in our countries in this piece, ironically supplementing the reggaeton revelry. These strong and invasive rhythms were intermixed with the voice of a Caribbean announcer and with sounds of nature as a type of nostalgia for the typical and territorial “environmental noise” that we have stopped hearing. In this, her first work in the public space, Adriana Ciudad sets out the noise as another way of understanding the space, something that disconcerted her when she returned to the continent after residing in Germany for a decade, where acoustic pollution seems much more regulated. The resistance in romantic relationships of all types was the metaphor of the Chilean Nicholas Jackson, who experienced a preamble of random and performance act work by personally going to the Coloso cove to look for the rocks that he would install in trays on some metal shelves, placed in the middle of the pier. The assembly generated beauty in the combination of the industrial aspect of the pier and the rusticity of the rock, revealing the counterweight that, who knows, could end up bringing down the installation. An allusion connected to his original profession as an engineer perhaps, but above all Nicholas Jackson’s acute interest in philosophical topics. The work is eloquent in representing the frictions, the uncertainty and the challenge involved in radical decisions in life, such as love, as well as opting for a career as an artist. Topics that revolve throughout his work, indissolubly linked to his own life. Across from Jackson’s heavy material was posed the lighter and evanescent intervention by Paz Castañeda, with a subtle work of fragile materiality that had to deal with the inclemency of the coastal climate. For days and days the artist explored possible solutions for her proposal, inspired by the texts of Roland Barthes and motivated by the dichotomy on the pier, which on one side has a small-scale fishermen and on the other, the Yacht Club of Antofagasta. For both she used nautical symbols to write texts from the book Fragmentos de un discurso amoroso (Excerpts from a romantic discourse) on some flags that had to be tied to the beams of the pier by professional divers, adding this unexpected performance act condition to the work and surprising the artist herself, accustomed to working alone in her studio, who felt like just another spectator faced with an almost cinematographic display for the optimal placement of her work. Castañeda’s work had to be in direct contact with the sea, without totally drifting, precisely expressing those swings of affective or romantic relationships, at times in full force and at the same time with the permanent risk of breakup, a 37
figure very well expressed through the movement of the water. As the days passed, the swells did what they do, and the works ended up taking on a life of their own. The work of the Venezuelan Oscar Pabón refers, in its materiality, to the minimal constructions that populate the hills of Antofagasta or the favelas of Caracas. Several cardboard structures made up a type of labyrinth from where the voices of the anonymous people interviewed by Pabón were heard, telling of their breakups and traumas in love, expressed in romantic songs from pop culture. These stories of hurt were added to by others from Venezuelans in exile, expressing their feelings regarding their distant and endearing native land. Further along, a work that was perhaps more fully site specific was installed, by the Argentine Lucía Warck-Meister, who used the planks of the pier itself to cause to emerge a road of flowers?, blood? made of an intense red silk. The highly poetic intervention sought to represent that which blooms and hides; the feelings that sometimes come over us; the passions that take over our will; the conflictive conducts of love, intruding from the structure of the pier, a place that WarckMeister conceives as a point of departure and return, of farewell and welcome. The strategy of this artist, who had already extensively addressed the topic of love in previous projects, turns out to be notably effective in the capacity for synthesis. Finishing off this Latin American visual reflection on love, the monumental work by Fernando Foglino lit up and sheltered the end of the pier with a type of pyramid made of silver and gold-coloured thermal blankets. The artist wanted to construct a reference point that could be seen from far away and that would establish a dialogue with the different luminosities of the city, dazzling the vision at certain times of the day. This lighthouse, chapel or refuge was born from a thought that Foglino dedicated to the nitre workers, who worked with vigour and sacrifice under a punishing sun, and who the Uruguayan artist wanted to repay, in a symbolic way, with the love and tenderness that was denied to them by their working conditions. Behind this notable manifestation of public art is the interesting work process of Foglino, architect and poet, with four books published, who through his verse articulated his familiarization with Antofagasta, a city up until then unknown to him, its current state and its history. Reading Andrés Sabella and other literature about the desert and that territory in particular, the artist mentally constructed his image of the city that urged him to reflect on the ways of love. SACO6 was a possible panoramic reading of Latin American art today, and was above all the expression of the worldly aspect that still defines contemporary art, with contexts that drive, divert, and transform projects, with that ingredient of unexpected, unforeseeable complications that cause meanings to appear and be revealed. Elisa Cárdenas
ANA MOSQUERA (1983, Caracas, Venezuela) In 2009 she joined the School of Architecture and Urban Planning of the Universidad Central de Venezuela, graduating in 2015. During the course of her studies, she participated in the international Archiworld Academy competition where she won a mention for her project Granjas de Agua (Water Farms), a proposal of public space for zones at risk of mudslides from rains. In 2016 she won First National Award at the 12th Young Artists Salon of the Zulia Museum of Contemporary Art, with her work Usted siempre está en control de su experiencia (You are always in control of your experience), which explores the vulnerability of users of the social network Tinder. That same year she participated in the 19th Young People’s Salon with FIA, where the Cisneros Foundation provided her a grant for an artist’s residency in PIVO (Sao Paulo). She has participated in various exhibitions, such as Moving Light, Candid Arts Trust Gallery, London (2005); Ian Parry Scholardship, Tom Blau Gallery, London (2005); Puro Espacio (Pure Space), Centro de Arte Los Galpones, Caracas (2013); Cotidianidad Sublime, (Sublime Everyday Nature), Alejandro Otero Museum, Caracas (2015); III Salón nacional de proyectos fotográficos (III National salon of photographic projects), Espacio GAF, Museo de Arte Contemporáneo de Mérida (2015) and Galería de Arte Nacional, Caracas (2016). www.anamosquera.com.ve
Tell us about your interest in participating in the SACO6 event and what the experience was like. The curatorship posed the question of whether affection is in crisis and that deeply interested me, specifically in how that crisis seems to go hand in hand with the transformation of our relationships with other people in the world, which is increasingly dominated by image and immediacy. The new technologies have deeply transformed how things are, but perhaps they havenâ€™t entirely transformed the why. I believe that people still go looking for others as a result of involuntary attractions, what Octavio Paz called secret magnetism, only now we do so in much more extended, more global territories, and maybe that is leaving us with a strange taste of loneliness in our mouth. The majority of people I talked to regarding the Tinder and Grindr pieces generally told of the same sensation of excitement in knowing they were attractive to so many people, followed by an impossibility of totally committing to anyone when so many possibilities were still open. Perhaps having a fantasy for dozens diminishes their value in the end and leads us into the trap of converting affection into merchandise. Visiting Chile, Antofagasta and participating in SACO was crazy in a good way, the kind that change you and that you want to remember your whole life. For me, even though I still feel a little green in exhibiting, it was a sea of emotions, an enormous joy to see the project emerge from the drawing and become reality, thanks to the support of the whole team behind SACO, always with a solution for everything, even before starting to imagine the problem. I take home a lot of affection, the pleasure of having met so many incredible people, a bag full of laughs and the memories of a desert that has filled my head with ideas. They say that everything has already been said about the highest sentiment. What does Love mean in your work for SACO6? My starting point has always been the city, the dynamics that occur there and how to visualize them; I have arrived at love tangentially, as an agent that acts in a place. A few years ago, during lunch, a woman commented to me on the advantages of using geosocial applications such as Tinder to find a partner. According to her it turned out to be easier to make herself more attractive through a profile image and the application allowed scanning large numbers of individuals and quickly discarding those that didnâ€™t fill her expectations. For that, this woman had a method: open the application only in certain areas of the city, areas with a high socioeconomic level in general, and never from her home. To my astonishment, she helped me setting the application on my telephone and it took very little time for my first 20 compatible partners to appear on my screen, men with welldefined abdominals, sailing boats, driving new cars, or enjoying some beach in the Caribbean. So, love had become a geographically conditioned numeric variable, in an efficient and orderly process. I experimented with the application for a few months. I was interested in the relationship between the geographic space and the types of interaction. However, 40
I quickly understood why the woman had recommended not using the application from my home, since it is relatively easy for the persons with whom you have been found compatible in the social network to be able to locate you. Then, love had been converted into a form of supervision for recreation. From that experience emerged the piece Usted siempre está en control de su experiencia (You are always in control of your experience), which sought to show the vulnerability of the information we share in social networks and its relationship with the city. Nevertheless, other social networks use the same resources differently, such as the case of the geosocial application Grindr, intended for the gay community, where users do not fear being precisely located (the application localizes up to 0 meters distance) since it enables them to map the areas with the highest social activity in the city and increase the number of possible interactions, thereby coordinating a digital map of their community. For SACO6 I was interested in working on a piece that would study the possibility of generating the cartography of a place, constructed through the dynamics of interaction of Grindr users in Antofagasta. This way I wanted to set out Love converted into a territory. Do you see decadence or resistance in today’s art? I think I have dreamt or read somewhere that art is sick, perhaps for what some call an excess of rhetoric or for the supposed lack of technical skill, but that road of simplification can only lead us to a single definition of art and perhaps we are not very interested in that. Recently I was riding a bicycle along the Avenida El Ejército, in Lima, and on a wall someone had written in big white letters “Arte Contemporáneo 993 863 950”. Purely out of curiosity I entered the number in Whatsapp and on the other end I found Maria Antonieta Zaldívar, a Peruvian artist interested in the subject of art and commercialism. For her, this graffiti is an alternative way of distributing art in a commercial context, a way of convening the public to discuss exactly what contemporary art is. For me this work is an act of resistance, in a place where access to cultural spaces is excessively complex and where too many things are exclusively by invitation. In Venezuela the adverse conditions faced by cultural institutions, in many cases subjected by the State to a political ideology due to their public status, has led artists to work in precarious and unconventional ways, developing work that defies adversity. Yes, I believe there is much art in resistance today. It seems pertinent to me to go back to the ideas of George Orwell in his book 1984, when he envisages the possibility of a State that in the name of love oversees the loyalty of its citizens. For some reason when love and policy get mixed together, authoritarianism and populism are born. At least that’s how I understand the case of Venezuela, where the State and its Institutions have been transformed into tools of a leader’s cult, distorting reality in the name of love to the extent of delirium. I suppose that Icarus also flew zealously toward the sun, only to see how his wings came apart before falling to the void. 41
Is art an act of love? Ortega and Gasset defined love as a centripetal force that leads us toward things, a fluid and continuous flow toward what is loved, whether it be the Mother, the Son, the Lover, God or Country. Love is a vital force that enables the union of two into one. In this sense it is transcendental, since it pushes us to leave from ourselves, even for an instant, and find ourselves in communion with the other. Art is an act of creation and any act of creation demands that centripetal force that leads us toward things; before being born, every work will see many obstacles. Only love can bring it to a happy ending.
ADRIANA CIUDAD (1980, Lima, Perú) Half German and half Peruvian. She was born and lived in Lima until she was 20. At 21, she left for Germany to study at the University of the Arts (UdK) in Berlin, where she lived and worked as an artist for over 11 years. 3 years ago she returned to South America, establishing herself in Bogotá (Colombia), to continue her creative work from there. Using poetic and visual languages, her work is oriented toward addressing Latin America’s social, political and environmental concerns. This search has led her to create pieces that incite visceral reactions and critical reflections on the continent’s complexity. Her most recent works have been exhibited in the Casa del Lago, Mexico City, in the Y Gallery, New York, and in NC-arte, Bogotá. Highlighted among the recognitions she has received a grant for a project from the renowned DAAD (German Academic Exchange Service) in 2012 to carry out her proposal in Los Angeles. She also received a Painting Grant from the Dorothea Konwiarz Foundation in Berlin, in 2010 and 2011. She has carried out Residency Programs in the Commonwealth & Council Gallery in Los Angeles in 2012, and in 2011 in TUPAC, Centro de Creación Visual in Lima. www.adrianaciudad.com 43
Tell us about your interest in participating in the SACO6 event and what the experience was like. It seemed that the curatorial intention Love: decadence and resistance resonated a lot with my work method, which is focused on the emotional dimension of Latin American social and political topics. I was attracted by the challenge of creating a public space piece. I was motivated by the desert context of Antofagasta and juxtaposing soundscapes: bring the tropical farther south. The experience in the residency in Antofagasta has been very enriching, on one hand for the experience of creation and reception of Las Amazonas ¿amor o carne? (Amazonians, love or flesh?), and on the other for the exchange of ideas and experiences, and also the experience itself of the residency with the other artists and the whole SACO team was invaluable – sharing with all the participants, facing the immigration crisis and the mining in Antofagasta, learning about the political history of the Atacama Desert, experiencing the monumental landscapes of sand and sun, and observing the star-filled sky of Quillagua, made this residency a wonderful and unforgettable experience. They say that everything has already been said about the highest sentiment. What does Love mean in your work for SACO6? Las Amazonas ¿amor o carne? (Amazonians, love or flesh?) is a reflection on tropical soundscapes. On one hand it shows the love that the Afro-Colombian culture has for the picó and on the other, it is a proposal that reflects critically on the tropical loudspeaker and how it has become a portrait of the current landscape. A loudspeaker is the gate where the sound comes out and amplifies internal worlds of desires and loves. The tropical loudspeaker is the contemporaneous drum; it is the form of expression that tropical people find to express themselves and be in community. The picó, for example, represents a cultural legacy from the Colombian Caribbean. The music you hear on the picós is basically African music from the 60’s and 70’s. Love of music serves almost as an ancestral call in picotera communities, where people get together to listen and dance. The volume is so high that there is no space for conversation. It involves a trance encounter, where the music enters from the ground and makes the body vibrate. The dances that take place around the picó are just as unusual as the music and are similar to ancestral dances around the fire and the drum. The loudspeaker and the volume of the music that reverberates in the tropical landscape become a fundamental part of the setting and emanate love. However, the tropical loudspeaker is not without its controversy. Even though it is part of the tropical identity and, in the case of the picó, contains an important cultural legacy, from another viewpoint this practice has controversial elements. For example, from a Western perspective, these loudspeakers violently invade and burst onto the landscape and transgress personal space. The tropical loudspeakers are all over South America and the music that currently predominates (outside of the picotero context) is reggaeton, the songs of which, in my opinion, invade and 44
transgress women. Their lyrics tend to be camouflaged in love songs, but they hide concepts that reduce women to an object of flesh. Do you see decadence or resistance in today’s art? It seems important to me to focus on the resistance. Resistance is the capacity to think for oneself. Critical thinking is very valuable in contexts of decadent societies, where the lack of education, the corruption and the post-truth have led people to a type of somnolence, where nobody knows how to think or discern for themselves anymore. Is art an act of love? It’s hard for me to give you a precise definition of what we call art and what we call love. Defining or conceptually limiting what is art or love is to deny it. For me, art is in the act of making, in the act of creating, in the act of expressing through one’s own view that is transformed and redefined in the eyes of a public.
NIChOLAS JACkSON (1984, Viña del Mar, Chile) Visual artist and teacher. Graduate in Engineering from the Universidad Adolfo Ibáñez, Masters in Arts from the Universidad Católica de Chile and a Diploma in Higher Education Teaching from the Universidad Andrés Bello. He has held exhibitions in Santiago, Valparaíso and Santa Cruz. He is currently a professor at the Escuela Camaralúcida, the Instituto Arcos and at the Campus Creativo of the Universidad Andrés Bello. Last year he guided graduate projects at the Faculty of Arts of the UNAB and wrote the reports for the professional photographers of Arcos. In 2014 he directed the Unco project, an interdisciplinary initiative that integrated contemporary art in a rural community in the sixth region, thanks to support from the FNDR (National Regional Development Fund). In 2015 he participated as a resident artist in the Nekoe and Cancha galleries in Santiago, where he launched his first book financed by Fondart (National Fund for the Development of Culture and the Arts). That same year he was selected by the CNCA (National Council for Culture and the Arts) to participate in an exhibition of contemporary photography in the Cultural Centre of La Moneda Palace and in a workshop with Alfredo Jaar. Last year he inaugurated individual exhibitions in Worm Gallery and Balmaceda Arte Joven in Valparaíso. He also participated in workshops and viewings with the curators Montserrat Rojas, Rodolfo Andaur and Carol Illanes. Recently he was part of a collective exhibition at the Sala CCU and held an individual exhibition in Galería Tajamar. www.nicholasjackson.cl 46
Tell us about your interest in participating in the SACO6 event and what the experience was like. I think there are prejudices regarding curatorial themes like these; perhaps addressing affections in art is seen as something basic. Sometimes even representing any topic frontally can cause judgements like that. This is related to an expectation of restraint on the part of artists and their proposals, something like expecting artists to have the capacity and vocation to disengage from the weight of reality in order to withdraw to their “elevated” reflections. I don’t believe in that vision; I’m interested in life, the street, the conflicts that I experience as a member of this society; I’m interested in everything that affects me. A curatorial proposal based on Love is interesting to me as a theme and also challenges this ascetic trend among certain circles. It seems very interesting to once again look at personal and existential topics, of individual bodies in social tension. Regarding the experience itself in Antofagasta, I am deeply grateful to the SACO team and all those from ISLA who contributed to this incredible project. I feel that I brought back with me a very intense experience, the privilege of meeting brilliant people, and the experience of working in conditions of the highest level. They say that everything has already been said about the highest sentiment. What does Love mean in your work for SACO6? Love is an encounter of forces that cause friction, that generate resistances, wear and tear, but above all the possibility of support, of bodies sustaining each other, where there is dedication and backing, and the possibility of exceeding. Here, providing sustenance is set out as a challenge to the calculation defined by what is budgeted. I was interested in showing an objectual love that was presented honestly, without tricks or artificiality, and for that I sought a metaphoric approach, but one I believed was different from common imageries. I thought about how it would be to divest the presence of resistant “bodies” of clichés and I arrived at setting out simple structures that would allude directly to the (absurd) action of placing stones on a shelf and that at the same time could make bare the effort of that action. Do you see decadence or resistance in today’s art? I think that in general, art shows decadent symptoms. With that I am referring to the trend of obsession with being successful, on one hand, and the difficulty involved in exhibiting more radical postures. I think there are various realities that contribute to this conflict. Perhaps the most difficult to combat is the idea that art must capitalize a return today, in the present. What I am talking about is immediately evidenced in observing the fever for like that is present in the social networks. Today everything has to produce immediately; everything must function in the present and be directed toward that time. Somehow, the imperative of industries to measure and quantify the performance of their assets has penetrated the consciousness of the majority, including of course, us, the artists. So, what is decadent is the lack of creating things just because; what is decadent is depending on what others will think or giving shape to a work hoping that it connects with and pleases a majority. What is decadent is the calculation 47
some artists carry out to achieve those returns, something that dilutes precisely the power that most attracts me to this profession, the resistant, ambiguous and contradictory chance to present oneâ€™s own vision of the world through images. Is Art an act of Love? Art has a particular relationship with love, one that is quite contradictory. In first place, the type of love that could occur in this field seems asymmetric, in the sense that love, in relation to bodies or the flesh, for example, would not emergence, since in art there are not two individuals who give themselves up reciprocally, so as an artist it is not possible to feel that other body. However, a submission in tune with love would be possible if it is carried out based on an attempt at transcendence. Proposing love that way, transcendent, would be to indicate something ingenuous; it becomes honest, just because. It is not really known how, since it is recognized as contradictory, nor is it understood where it is going. Rather, it seeks to find the conditions to show itself. It tries and almost never turns out. In that sense, and from my point of view, art becomes an act of love to the extent that transcendence occurs in that disinterested and even â€œsillyâ€? manner. Love is not calculated, so I think that uncalculated art could become an act of love, not toward another individual body, but rather toward the body of culture, the current society, the history of art and only from that intuitive, disinterested and daring place, build a community, a people, perhaps not in the present. Not a community today, but rather, as Deleuze says, a people yet to come.
PAz CASTAñEDA (1965, Lota, Chile) Degreed in Fine Arts from the Universidad Arcis (Santiago), with studies in Journalism at the Universidad de Chile (Santiago), she currently lives and works in Viña del Mar. During her university studies she worked as an assistant for the artists Alicia Villarreal and Enrique Matthey (in the courses on Drawing and Painting, respectively). She has worked as a teacher at the Universidad Arcis, Universidad Católica, UNIACC, UVM and at the Fine Arts School of Viña del Mar. She has exhibited individually at the Museum of Contemporary Art of Santiago, the Hall of the Universidad de Concepción, the UC Extension Centre and Gasco Hall, and has participated in collective exhibitions at the Museum of Contemporary Art of Valdivia, Galería Isabel Aninat, Galería Cecilia Palma, Cultural Centre of La Moneda Palace, National Historical Museum, Factoría Santa Rosa, Centex, and exhibition halls in Lima, Mendoza and Santa Fe (USA), among others. She has received financing from the National Fund for the Development of Culture and the Arts on four occasions, one of them supporting her individual exhibition at the Gasco Hall in 2014. In November 2015 she participated in the international exhibition De madonna a Madonna. [De]construcciones de lo femenino en la sociedad contemporánea [De]constructions of what is feminine in contemporary society) curated by Paco Barragán in Matucana 100. In 2016 she participated in several collective exhibitions and was selected for Fondart 2017 with her project Nuevas Ruinas (New ruins) to be exhibited in Santiago, Valparaíso and Concepción during the year 2018. 49
Tell us about your interest in participating in the SACO6 event and what the experience was like. I was attracted by the challenge of doing an intervention in a historical place that also involves doing the work in situ. Once I was at the site of the work, I was impressed by the willingness to put all the energy and financing for the installations to turn out the same or better than what was proposed in the projects. SACO was a tremendous experience at every level, because I could meet other artists and be surprised with other ways of doing things and with a seriousness for work that is not so normally seen. I felt motivated to be constantly talking with my peers. I realized that my neurons were being awoken and making new connections or reviving others that had been dormant due to my voluntary isolation. With all of them I could share not only ideas, but also a sense of humour, which is most important for me. On some days also on a human level, because you see how other people, who are not artists, set up an enormous mechanism, providing generosity and companionship, so that what you have in your head actually works. They say that everything has already been said about the highest sentiment. What does Love mean in your work for SACO6? It is a living process that is constantly moving between validity and decadence, and that faces the subjects of love with the chance to rescue it or let it go. I have always worked a lot with quotes, developed graphically or pictorially. Reelaborating through a quote always provides me with a new view, because it indirectly incorporates a new speaker (the quoted author) with whom there is a dialogue through the new work that you produce. In this case I did a double quote in working with the texts of Roland Barthes (extracted from the book Fragmentos de un discurso amoroso [Excerpts from a loving discourse]) and with the code of nautical signals, which enabled me to do a translation from the word to the image. In that sense, the entry I look for is in setting up a new syntax, with a discourse that does not belong to me and in a language that does not belong to me. Do you see decadence or resistance in todayâ€™s art? In my case, since I am dedicated mainly to mimetic or realist painting, I am in constant resistance and decadence simultaneously. This type of painting is received with considerable resistance in contemporary art circles in Chile, for being considered decadent. And, on the other hand, my way of resisting is insisting on painting as a language. I am currently working with topics such as landscapes in ruins, which constitute a metaphor of the decadence that is attributed to painting. In general terms, I believe that contemporary art is forced to experience that same tension of resisting and declining. Works are produced based on resistance to conventional criteria in order to explore new articulations of meaning, but finally those forms of creation end up being absorbed and institutionalized as the correct ways of making contemporary art, which would imply its decadence as alternative creation.
Is art an act of love? I believe that art and love are related by the impulse that originates them, by the sense of urgency that they both take on at some point, by the desire to turn something that didnâ€™t exist before into reality. And also by the act of faith that is made by getting into them: you bet that it can turn out, even without knowing how, and risking the enormous possibilities of failure. Also, in both cases there is the certainty that the intensity will be diluted over time, in which desire is being worn down by the constant friction with reality. The senselessness that joins both (love and art) is that we continue putting ourselves at risk, despite that certainty.
OSCAR PAbóN (1984, San Juan de Colón, Venezuela) Architect and visual artist. His work combines interests in philosophy, art history and the public space. He took courses in Architecture from 2003 to 2008 at the U.N.E.T., Venezuela. From 2006 to 2011 he studied at the Taller de Arte Contemporáneo (T.A.C.) and currently for a Master of Urban Design: Art, City, Society at the Universidad de Barcelona (UB), Spain. His research intends to structure a study platform regarding architecture and the conformation of the public space based on contemporary art. Pabón translates his concern for detail to a large scale, developing designs for public spaces through the synchronization of what is functional with what is ornamental. He has held several individual exhibitions. In 2004 Synthesis I and II, in 2005 Sensibilidad geométrica (Geometric sensitivity) in the Art Gallery Demetrio Silva, Cojedes, Venezuela. In 2016 he presented Double crochet project room, in WOW Amsterdam, Holland and Representation of a piano, in the Quinta Normal Contemporary Art Museum in Santiago, Chile. He currently lives and works in Barcelona, Spain. www.oscarabraham.blogspot.com
Tell us about your interest in participating in the SACO6 event and what the experience was like. I was very attracted by the public nature of the project in relation to the private dimension of the idea of love. Love in this case as a sentiment between individuals, as a private act that can have a materialization in the public space, beyond a painting or graffiti in the city’s streets. I was also interested in resolving the form that heartbreak could take, which was something that made me go ahead with the project. For that, I started the conceptual process for the proposal with the rhombus that is in the engraving by Albrecht Dürer Melencolia I, which represents a state of introspection and of outbursts present in some people. That was a starting point that was evolving and being transformed up until the moment of constructing the project on the Antofagasta pier. I couldn’t be there to assemble it myself, but I was very attentive to the progress of SACO through the social networks. They say that everything has already been said about the highest sentiment. What does Love mean in your work for SACO6? In the novel The Magic Mountain by Thomas Mann, one of the key characters is Settembrini, who represents the humanist and learned tradition and acts as mentor of the protagonist, Hans Castorp. Settermbrini collaborates with the Ligue por l’organisation du progres, which develops a dictionary of about twenty volumes with the title Sociology of suffering, by means of which they propose the classification and systematic analysis of human suffering, from the most intimate and personal up to the biggest group conflicts, all with the objective of laying the foundations for happiness in humanity, or in other words, combatting and finally eliminating human suffering. That project, which is the hyperbole of irony, can serve as a reference to El pabellón del despecho (The pavilion of heartbreak), my work for SACO6; that is, from antagonisms, being able to approach the highest sentiment. So I think that more subjectively exploring some of the consequences of breakups - heartbreak, offers us a collateral approach to the focus of attention. Love, in this proposal, is the consequence and not the cause, considering heartbreak as an effect of breaking up, approaching the topic from the absence, from the non-love, from the backlash, also as something precarious, transitory, and ephemeral, fortunately, which is materialized as a space of emotions and sentiments. These are exercises of introspection and extraspection. A first part of the project can be seen as a rational act that is linked to the ephemeral architecture and the surrounding space, where the circulation and casual tours are coordinated and programmed. There are also the cardboard boxes that serve as resonating elements for the audios that talk about personal experiences of breaking up and heartbreak. These audios are interviews of different people, the majority of them friends and acquaintances from Latin America, who gave me their recommendations on how to overcome heartbreak based on their personal experiences. At the end of each 53
response, music or a song plays that the person relates and remembers from his or her own sentimental situation, at the time it was experienced, or is being experienced. I also thought about my country, Venezuela, which is currently experiencing a dictatorship in a very particular way. This has led to millions of Venezuelans in the diaspora, generating a longing and a type of melancholy for the country, and with that, a type of “territorial heartbreak”, a consequence of love for the territory, which without a doubt is another form of love, but based on the love-politics relationship. Based on that, I decided to dedicate a small part of the SACO6 project to asking Venezuelans abroad about how they are experiencing this “territorial heartbreak”. The original project had six loudspeakers and in each one, different audios with experiential responses regarding heartbreak. One of the loudspeakers was finally aimed at to making reference to this type of love for the territory. Do you see decadence or resistance in today’s art? Decadence and resistance are constant and permanent factors in all activities and areas of society. But if we think about these categories from a moralistic focus – decadence as something negative and resistance as positive, perhaps it wouldn’t be of great help in understanding today’s art. These two categories in our contemporaneous condition tend to mutually interact. I think about decadence when it is converted into something beneficial and positive for a certain social group, for example, the fragmentation and division of the Republican Party in the U.S. in the last presidential elections, where groups with power incited racism and xenophobia, resulting in their own decadence and divisions contributing in part to the party achieving a victory and that in turn generated strong resistance. Resistance appears as a consequence of decadence itself, but the inverse can also occur: that resistance itself generates its own decadence and once again enters into a constant cycle. I think it is very close to the ideas of Zygmunt Bauman and his Liquid modernity. We can recognize and talk about a resistance in today’s art, but for a certain time, since it can change state and evolve into decadence. This way, in art there is a decadence and a resistance at the same time. It can occur that one of them has a greater presence, but only for a certain time, since resistance can evolve into decadence and vice versa. Is art an act of love? Yes, I think love is an important part of what we traditionally understand as art. Art involves in itself an act, an action, and for that it is necessary a willingness that precedes it. That act prior to the action is where a series of emotions, desires, dreams and wills converge. That state prior to the action is where art can be related as an act of love. It is also important to think of it as a constant and continuous process through time. There are attitudes that flow into actions and that can end up being texts, novels, dance, actions, art and culture, among many other forms of expression.
LUCIA WARCk-MEISTER (1962, buenos Aires, Argentina) Degreed as Professor of Painting and Sculpture from the Prilidiano Pueyrredรณn School of Fine Arts, Argentina. Her works have been exhibited at Imago Mundi Exhibition, Venice Biennial; DUMBO Arts Festival, New York; Palm Beach International Biennial, Florida; Sculpture Exhibition in Public Spaces Bellevue, WA; Museo del Barrio, NY; Museo de las Americas, Washington DC; Griffiss Sculpture Park, NY; Miura Art Museum, Matsuyama City, Japan; Briggens Museum, Bergen, Norway; Deutsche Bank Foundation, NY; Biennial of Piedmont, Torino, Italy; National Fund of the Arts, Buenos Aires; Tigre Art Museum, Buenos Aires; MUMBAT, Tandil, Argentina; Timoteo Navarro Museum, Tucumรกn, Argentina. She has been awarded with the 2014 Ibermuseos Award; Pollock-Krasner Fellowship, NY, 2009; Visiting Artist at the American Academy; Rome, Italy, 2007; First Prize at the Sculpture Biennial in Public Spaces, Palm Beach, Florida, 2006. She has been an artist in residence at the ArtCenter SF in Miami in 2016; Sculpture Space, Utica in 2007; School of Visual Arts: Public Art Residency, NY in 2005; CAMAC, Marnay-sur-Seine, France in 2008; NYFA Mentor Program - New York Foundation for the Arts, NY in 2008; Prize for Creativity, National Fund of Arts, Buenos Aires and Amalia Lacroze Foundation Award of Fortabat, Buenos Aires in 1999. www.luciawarckmeister.com 55
Tell us about your interest in participating in the SACO6 event and what the experience was like. What I was most attracted about SACO6 proposal was to go back to this question about the love that I have worked many times in my work; along with this, the invitation to install the works on a pier added special interest for me, because a pier is a place to scrutinize what is beyond, what comes or what goes. SACO was an intense experience and lasting effect, as well as very professional and very funny! They say that everything has already been said about the highest sentiment. What does Love mean in your work for SACO6? For my presentation I was interested in exploring from those places where something escapes, insinuates or filters. I tried to find an answer in the interstices, between what was said and what was not said; between what is seen and what is not seen. In this work, love is encounter and dis-encounter; passion-intensity-redsilk; a fracture, a place, an emotional space that reflects, that transcends. Do you see decadence or resistance in todayâ€™s art? I see more resistance. As a denial to accept or comply with something. Art is not designated to be in any particular way, nor is love. Both should only be. Is art an act of love? I think so. When we think of art as giving oneself and as a total commitment. I was once working intense hours for an installation and a friend, when he saw me, he said: â€œHow much love!â€? I believe that the dedication without measuring efforts characterizes the one who gives himself/herself completely. To love or art. Or both, if possible.
FERNANDO FOGLINO (1976, Montevideo, Uruguay) Poet and visual artist. He studied at the UDELAR School of Architecture between 1994 and 2006. In 2004 he published the book of poems Kate 500 Km (Artefacto Editorial). In 2007 his second lyric work Vodka, appeared, obtaining the Casa de los Escritores Award. In 2009 he received a scholarship to Berlin (Germany) for his Clipoemas, an audiovisual piece within the framework of the 53rd National Visual Arts Award. In 2011, he got the second award in the Grand Prix Paul Cezanne, residing in Paris for two months in 2012. He served as official jury of the Juan Carlos Onetti National Literature Award, 2012 edition. In 2013 he published the narrative La mรกquina del movimiento continuo, (The machine of continuous movement) (Estuario Editorial). In 2014 he returned to poetry with Link, A season in Isla Negra, Chile (Una temporada en Isla Negra, Chile). During 2015, in a collective work together with Valentina Cardellino, they exhibited the work Relaciones bilaterales (Bilateral Relations) (Intemperie Award, Figari Museum) in Montevideo and Beijing, doing an artistic residency between April and May 2016 in the town of Hunan, south of China. In 2016 he obtained the Mercosur Visual Arts Award. Since 2008 he has made solo and group exhibitions in different museums in Uruguay and abroad. His works are part of public and private collections. www.foglino.me
Tell us about your interest in participating in the SACO6 event and what the experience was like. The call from SACO seemed to me a very brave proposal. I also celebrate a lot, when art gains significant spaces for the city and people outside of traditional museums and galleries. With my artist friends in Montevideo, we see it as a silent war with a white glove. Each place of exhibition won in the city, is one less shopping, and I wanted to be part of this battle in the open. During the development of SACO many arms were open to embrace, contain, offer, applaud and work, which is the base of this mountain. Everybody put a lot of love and resistance, with generosity and stolen time to their personal projects to make this great collective project possible. I feel my experience at SACO like a success and it is thanks to the fact that we all move forward. They say that everything has already been said about the highest sentiment. What does Love mean in your work for SACO6? It is the blue reflection of the sky, it is also the gray, white reflection or the red reflection of the same sky. It is also a mirror that is above our heads, our body. Its subject is to return what it receives, I believe the same matter of love. “In the end, the love you receive is the same, the love you give” (John Lennon). My work Infraestructuras para el amor (Infrastructures for love) (IPEA) has a monumental, fragile scale, a large silver exterior surface, which I hope reflects all of Antofagasta. It also has a refuge role (made of emergency blankets); its golden interior that opens onto the ocean will serve for contemplation and shelter from the sun in the “driest place in the planet”, recovering stories of calicheros whose imprint of sacrifice still wanders through the historic pier. IPEA is an altar, it is a contemporary chapel, it is a gazebo, it is a lighthouse and a sun dial, it is an abstract and essential pyramid as I believe it is love. In 2013 I did the work El verdadero significado del amor (The true meaning of love [(VSA]), an ironic and strict title that promises something as impossible as the finding of the definitive answer to the eternal adolescent question that continues resounding the entire life: What is love? Is it love what I feel? and all that number of variants to the question of which, I believe, none of us has escaped. EVSA was an arduous work of compiling definitions of the word Love, from 1700 dictionaries to today’s Wikipedia. All these definitions were patiently transcribed and typed on an old Remington typewriter with no ink. The strike of the key on a thin and continuous sheet of metal embossed in a long mantle the more than 100 definitions. The carbon copies of this work were becoming increasingly discoloured. The third “faithful copy” of the document was already illegible. The message is precisely not to insist on defining love or wearing oneself out on questions or doubts. Speaking / doubting, insisting so much defining something that is a highly existential experience is useless and counterproductive, it ultimately harms love. One of the written definitions said: “love is what happens while you are thinking about something else” (John Lennon). That 58
silver mantle, unreadable, was displayed as a jewel in a semi-dark room, and because we could not read it, we took each other’s hands to walk around it. Do you see decadence or resistance in today’s art? For all what was said above, I insist on Resistance. Is art an act of love? I think Art and Love are much related. We always laugh at the shops that use words composed with “art” to name their business and that are abundant in Montevideo. Are there also in Chile? ... Superarte, Tamborilearte, Dedicarte (Superart, Devotart, Drumart) and infinite more variants. This time I’m going to laugh, saying that love and art are closely related, but not side by side, but one within the other. In love, art. Love is pregnant with art and from time to time, gives birth.
This is the logo of a store that sells nothing.
JURY Raquel Schwatrz (bO) Visual artist, curator and cultural manager. Director of Kiosko Galería, an independent contemporary art space that promotes the exchange of experiences of Bolivian artists with international artists. She is a member of the CIFO advisory committee, Cisneros Fontanals Foundation, Miami, USA. She resides in Santa Cruz, Bolivia. Rodolfo Andaur (CL) Curator of contemporary art. His fieldwork has been focused between the political contingency and concepts surrounding Latin American anthropology. In addition, he has organized a series of seminars and workshops that reflect on the arts of visuality and the practice of curatorship. Marcos Figueroa (AR) Visual artist, independent curator, researcher. He directs the WORKSHOP C of the Faculty of Arts of the National University of Tucumán, where he was dean in the periods 1999-2002 and 2002-2006. Curator of Antofagasta for the Triennial of Chile in 2009. Curator of the Forums of contemporary art and cultural policies in Tucumán, Argentina. Alejandra Villasmil (VE/CL) Founder and director of Artishock, an editorial platform for the dissemination of Latin American contemporary art. Through the parallel organization of workshops, lectures, exhibitions and conferences, Artishock aims to enhance the value, promotion and circulation of Chilean and the region art. Dagmara Wyskiel (PL/CL) Doctorate in Art, curator and co-founder of the Colectivo SE VENDE. Director of the SACO Contemporary Art Week. She was field editor of the Triennial of Chile 2009. Her artistic work covers the art process, installations, object-oriented and graphic art, videos, and intervention in the landscape and the urban space.
FILES OF DRYNESS AND COMPLEMENTARY THRESHOLDS
PARALLEL OF REBELLION The Melbourne Clark Historical Pier of Antofagasta is a patrimonial and symbolic construction that is inscribed in the logic of Chile, a country lying on its side, with its back against the hills and its knees in the water. In these circumstances of narrowness, constructions arise that steal a little territory from the sea, converting it into a place, if not land, at least reachable on foot. Walking along a parallel, when all the power and order, from Arica to Punta Arenas are constructed according to meridians, is an artistic act and is rebellion. The tour along this pier starts at the edge of a highly congested street, the noisy seaside promenade, right in the city’s historical section, with palm trees imported to comply with the standards for an authentic boulevard. With vagabonds who live their lives underneath the pier, we above are installing sublime objects; salesmen offering boat rides, stray dogs, bicycles and all the mixture that together amounts to a contemporary image, captured by a photographer sensitive to diversity. This threshold setting perfectly conjugates the first phase of the exhibition LOVE: decadence and resistance, the worldly, invasive and immediate. The profoundly urban experience of Ana Mosquera, with the scent of hot cement and reflections from the windows of taxis, a knowing glance with a rush of adrenaline upon finding the desired prey on the cell phone application, being the chosen one among so many. In front of a very sexy, dominant and seductive loudspeaker by Adriana Ciudad, together they construct a zone where the body of the other is a mere object of desire and use, both in gay and heterosexual relationships. The rhythms of reggaeton unite the entire continent. The masses repeat their messages, supporting the violence. Paradoxically, we continue talking about love. In the second sector of the exhibition, the noise of the city lowers in intensity, the city is left behind our back and beneath the pier we see the deep blue, somewhat polluted sea, which keeps us in immediate contact with reality, the territory and the works that come next, with the resistance that has a very high cost. We enter into a territory of inherent pain, disillusion, and loneliness – aromas of a sentimental decomposition. With Nicholas Jackson’s stones from the desert, the violence returns. But now it is no longer about a beating, but rather years of intimidation. Irreversible tracks that over time leave one above the other. Deformations that are produced as the result of long and painful closeness, built by friction and impositions, omissions, blackmail, and finally resignation. There is no escape, no I’m leaving. Hermetic codes unite the graphic pair by Paz Castañeda. They speak the same colourful and geometric language that nevertheless is diluted with the repetitiveness of the daily tide. The message is lost; all that effort is in vain. From the edges, the 65
two of them send illegible messages in opposite directions. They don’t look at each other, they turn their back. They don’t share the horizon, creating a deep void in the middle. From there arises the scale of the protection from multidimensional precariousness. The irregular architecture of heartbreak by Oscar Pabón speaks to the settlements, which from this point of the pier form a view romantically set in the skirts of the hills, always looking from afar. The appearance of scaffolding habitually promises future splendour, until we realize that that is what there is and there won’t be more – a conjugation of boxes that make sounds, like the city, with songs that help us numb the nostalgia. In the third zone, the sea beats the city in volumes of sound and smell. We are reaching the fingertip, sticking into the Pacific, where we find a long red path constructed of lines of shiny fabric. The contemplative track by Lucía Warck-Meister plays on the border between what is material and what is intangible, what is concrete and what is an illusion. It has no weight and its dimensions are in doubt. We can go inside and pass through it, but we must now be aware of our steps. Do we want to step on what rises up from under the surface? Maybe nothing will happen, but then, better not. The minimalist drawing among the worn boards constructs a void, an indispensable air between the two biggest volumes, that one by Pabón and the one that finalizes the tour, by Fernando Foglino. We reach the temple that absorbs and returns the energy from the sun. A chapel of passing shelter, a space to withstand any insignificant contingency. A refuge; a pyramid closed to the city and open to the infinite. A lighthouse, so necessary for not getting lost. The arrow and the mirror, directed toward connecting with something beyond, on the other side. How many loves have we encountered? We are on our way back, from the transcendental and spiritual, by the existential affection toward humanity, the territorial, sentimental and passionate attachment, to arrive toward the here and now, on the edge of the noisy street. Dagmara Wyskiel
TALKING OF LOVE THE REPORT The report as a literary genre usually has a deep referential component, which can make an operator of fiction uncomfortable when it is driven to evacuate one (an expression that always caused me a great hilarity). There is a common place in literary criticism that says that each work is, or contains, its own theory of literature. That could be homologated to the visual arts and, more specifically, to SACO6, which undoubtedly implies, in itself, the development of reflexive practices on contemporary art, even more, that is one of its imprints. This, we know, always in an interrogative key, appeals to the subject, to the other one, to the possible public, in relation to the modes of his appearance in the world. Now, the artist subject, on the other hand, that one who has a collective vocation and who participates in community initiatives and projects to re-establish ruptured liaisons or to collaborate in operations to re-establish new liaisons that enable the improvement of their conditions of existence. As described by Ernesto Laddaga in Estética de la emergencia (Aesthetics of the emergence). And in this interrogative context, one of the bets of SACO (and the Colectivo SE VENDE) is, and has been, to generate school without school, that is, academic paradigm without academic institution, which is the traditional way in the system of the BBAA. This “anomaly” is appreciated. This is one of the possible paths of art work today, especially that one which circulates in the areas outside the great decision centres of power and the great designs of policies, which allow the visibility of the works and practices. THE TERRITORY The art production, then, in those conditions of possibility, is able of generating its own territory and the corresponding landscapes. Maybe that is nowadays one of the searches (or the encounter) that we have to aspire to, capitalizing on our structural precariousness. “I do not seek, I find.” This phrase attributed to Picasso, whether we like the person or not, gives us a cunning guideline of the paths to follow in the production of art. The appeal to cunning is key for developing artistic scenes in areas far from the big centres, as is the case of this country, determined by an irremediable condition of finis terra. Now, it is fascinating when the province of the province, and some artistic operators that live in it, use contemporary art as a reflective territorial resource or as a register of other subjectivities. There, at that point, the question, takes another colour or another appearance. The aesthetic experience emerges as an epistemological alternative, to give it a flamboyant name, valid to indicate the deception with respect to the dominant development model or the simple game of ideological (im)postures. 68
For that reason the title of this exhibition that seems to quote the bolero lyric, key in the construction of the Latin American loving hysteria, accounts for a crisis in the representation of affections. Or, simply, the empire of hatred and rupture, as a resource of interpersonal relationships. The symbolic operators or artists have as a habit to work (problematize) these breaks of the continuity of territorial landscapes, both in the symbolic dimension, as in the material, from an analytical instrumental that comes from the flow of critical culture, and from various poetic rhetorical practices. The particular thing that the artistic look or observation contributes about the territories is a re-coding of common sense and a different look of the models of meaning. The territorial strategy, which could coincide with the current land art, is quite effective in proposing-promoting reflective systems in communities conflicted by ebbs and flows of an extractive economy and by migratory movements. As well as revealing and valuing the endemic ways of inhabiting the communities, which implies recovering other sign systems, and a whole communicational plot that has other signs of identity. THE LOVING NOVEL In the case of the SACO6 event (Contemporary Art Week), whose referential title is LOVE: decadence and resistance, regardless the curatorial theme or the cultural 69
political operations that give rise to it, we can establish that it is crossed by at least three axes: discursive, the cultural politician and the operational one. There is a spatial support, constituted by the Historical Pier of Antofagasta, in which seven works of Latin American artists were assembled. The discourse of love appears as an ultrareference that sustains the event, flanked by two concepts that delimit it and give it an imaginary configuration of border area, between desire and impossibility. Perhaps SACO6 can be read as a novel whose narrative units are those seven works exhibited on the pier, whose plot progresses from the development of an affective conflict, between heartbreak or broken love. Those breaks in the desire line charge of events the affirmative or decayed modes of the emotionality of the desiring bodies. There is a narrator who has defined from curatorial criteria, a set of discursive operations on a patrimonial enclave of the territory. The pier as a symbolic work support receives a very powerful load of plastic intervention. It is possible that SACO6 is the demonstration that contemporary art is the affirmation of a collaborative work that makes run another cognitive dimension of the human, very necessary today as a device, perhaps, salvific aesthetic.
It is probably that at some point of the production work and installation of works, without wanting to, it is invoking that original auratic scene to which Benjamin mentioned, a moment now lost, but that always disconcertingly invokes the utopia it wants to reproduce. All this faced with the calculated failure of the avant-garde. If we made a capitular tour we could say that, although it seems reductive and banally descriptive, the installation event appears episodically, more or less like this: First, the pier is intervened by a kind of lighthouse-refuge of travellers, as a metaphor for the affective den, which corresponds to the installation of Fernando Foglino. A metallic, bureaucratic shelving furniture, that supports the material and symbolic weight of the memory and of the roughest territorial certainty, on the other hand, in the assembly of Nicholas Jackson. Then, the love date erected in reproach of the one who leaves or who comes, as a criticism of the same closeness of another body that I love: “You love me where I am not.” And “You wait for me where I do not go.” Barthesian quote that hangs on a cloth as a recoded signal, in the seafaring language of distance, of affection that can only be seen in the distance or in the absence of the other; in the case of Paz Castañeda. For Oscar Pabón there is a sonorous correlate that responds and neutralizes the effects of the love breakup. Rupture that the artist suffers in his own flesh by not being able to be present directing the installation due to a bureaucratic issue, typical of a country in a critical state at a functional level. 71
Some immigrant compatriots produced the emotional continuity of the assembly from their instructions given at the distance, which generated a double nostalgia. The work of Adriana Ciudad recreates a musical box (picรณ), characteristic of the Caribbean public space, in an ironic gesture in relation to the gender paradigm that represents that box of sexist melodies, producing a critical paradox, with that brutal device of talking love. Lucia Wark-Meister investigates instead the anecdote of the good-byes and the farewells, closing the desire in those interstices of the stage tablao that will trample the forgetfulness. The pier emerges as that canonical place of farewells and arrivals, sheltering areas and the romantic date. And the heavy burden of coping with the love story, that one that sneaks through the slits in which we lightly perceive the kitsch satin. Then, the georeferential map of sexuality as an offer of the possibility of encounters-disencounters. Here Ana Mosquera explores the digital urban location of desire. All these works appeal to a kind of vessel that is loaded with symbolic files that read the city or the urban plot from its signals.
QUILLAGUA DANCING OR THE FILES OF DRYNESS The protocol of the event supposed that the artists and diverse cultural operators summoned, crossed certain milestones of the atacameĂąo desert that had historical and patrimonial importance, like part of an aesthetic exercise that will complement the process of installation of works. In all this there is always something of serendipity (that walk or trip that has no precise object of search and that is open to the eventful offer that arises). Antofagasta was the axis of the trip, but the key for me was the desert, another territory where the word gained a credible sense, bounded by the sea. The desert is a location to which Chilean art resorts, perhaps more than that of the forests of the south, which was the sacred place of Neruda, rainy and sad south (â€œNothing sadder than a train stopped in the rainâ€?). Zurita used the desert as a support for his writing and spilled some verses on the saline sand and Eugenio Dittborn recorded his video La mancha (The spot) previously, looking in the desert for the signs of our structural abandonment. When we passed through the geoglyphs of Chug Chug, I remembered those modern interventions and I homologated them to the archaic drawings that mentioned, when appearing, to activities of animal exchange, as a pretext for the other exchanges, including that of love. When we visited the abandoned saltpeter of Chacabuco, a ghost town that also served as a prison camp, I thought (we thought) that life itself is a territorial intervention, with dramatic features. And when the group of inquirers stopped at a beautiful ruin that once served as a power station, the Sloman Dam, where a pond emerged in the middle of the desert, including a waterfall, paradox and awe struck our certitude. That microfluviality of the Loa river imposed monumental in a space of the type locus amoenus (pleasant place), slightly paradisiacal (or vegetable point in the middle of the desert, for not to call it an oasis). Then, a crater that local mythology attributes to the fall of a meteorite, where we practice run games, took photographs and exhibited works (the artist Ximena Zomosa displayed some of her sewing works at the bottom of the crater). Finally, as a closure, an scenario in Quillagua, with the speech of an Aymara leader who intended to reproduce the tourist model of the oasis of San Pedro de Atacama, and then the final graduation dance where popular love melodies, even with plenty tropical music, ratified us as operators of a probable emotion, irremediably festive. Not without going through a kind of domestic museum of mummified corpses. One would like to think that always in Chile contemporary art is in crisis of devices, formats and supports, conceptualizations that we witnessed in the capital of the art kingdom, even more, that has defined, we believe, the courses of art policies and its academic records, and the events that have determined its visibility and its international relations. Realities that we have systematically despised, mostly 73
because of rhetorical sport and resentment, that is, because of love crisis (lack of love), which has resulted in decadence (and resistance) as a sign that is lodged in the metonymic heart, organ which represents affectivity in crisis (heart problems). In this case the desert is that scenic device in which the word of love is the water that is missing, the sand tends to dissolve. They are the metaphorical plots of the cultural political struggle. I want and I need to write about the possibility of the territory and the irruption of the landscape, no more than that. Writing the plot of a trip to which I am invited to try to account for a verification, a fact of love and existence that makes us say that art is close, more than we think. I remember some young artists who spoke playfully of â€œart alarmâ€? when the nearness of the unusual or paradoxical was increasing, even what some culture calls the freak. The fact is that any displacement could refer us to the barbarism of the other, to the practical difference that throws us to another side. From the textual practices to which I pay tribute, it has always been more comfortable for me to work with visual artists, perhaps because I feel a weakness for land art, or because my writing and agrocultural appearance has always been linked to territorial intervention and aesthetic practices built from travels on vegetal or dusty soils. And I wonder: Why are artists refounding territories, symbolically speaking, what is their strategic interest? The look of the art operators seems to be key today, as they see the irremediably other. When SACO6 makes us this loving invitation, what it does is to look for allies to sustain an unbalanced utopia of work. And the accomplices, obviously, are those who inhabit the weakened areas of the speech. As I am from the south, for me, the moisture-dry dichotomy had preponderance to the former. My aesthetic experience with the desert tells me the opposite. Dryness keeps the bodies better and the bodies of art need good maintenance and nothing better than desert salt. Thatâ€™s why in the museum of Quillagua we could be in such good communication with our ancestors. Marcelo Mellado Writer
MARCELO MELLADO He was born in Concepción, Chile, in 1955. He studied elementary and secondary education in Santiago and studied Literature and Pedagogy in Spanish in Valparaíso (UCV) and Santiago (UC). In the decade of the ‘80s, he lived in Chiloé, doing agricultural work and working sporadically as a teacher. Later he lived in San Antonio. He published his first novel, El huidor, in the ‘90s, with the Ojo de Buey Editorial, continuing with the story book El Objetor (Cuarto Propio Editorial); The Province (South American Editorial); Informe Tapia (Calabaza del Diablo Editorial); Ciudadanos de baja intensidad (Calabaza del Diablo Editorial) and La hediondez (Alquimia Editorial), all works published in the 2000s. The Diego Portales University Editorial published his chronicles with the title The ordinariez. Then Hueders Editorial published La batalla de Placilla and the story book Humillaciones (between 2011 and 2014). He has obtained the Critics Award, the Municipal of Santiago Award in 2014, and the best book according to the National Council of Culture and the Arts, in 2015. For several years, he has worked as a columnist for the newspapers El Mercurio de Valparaiso and The Clinic. His work has a chronic destiny and a descriptive look of the functioning of the artistic, cultural and political field. Currently he lives in Valparaíso.
ART, DESERT, COHABITATION AN APROACH TO “SACO EXPERIENCE” Already in its sixth edition, the Contemporary Art Week (SACO) has become an exemplary initiative in the geographically and culturally adverse region of the Great North of Chile; in a country where well done collective efforts in the visual arts sector are not common. In the middle of this hostile scene both regionally and nationally, those who push it forward, the Polish artist Dagmara Wyskiel and the Chilean producer Christian Núñez, have established the foundations for a solid proposal of linking art / community / education / territory that has already transcended its own territorial borders and limitations of all kinds. As a project established to enhance mediation, reflection and artistic experience as tools of awareness and social change, SACO was born, grows and infiltrates into a place that, despite its booming economy based on mining, does not have museums and art schools, what poetically Dagmara Wyskiel has described as “a museum without a museum, a school without a school”. In 2017 I participated for the second year in a row in SACO, observing the development of its central exhibition, living with the artists during the period of residence, observing the creation of their works and the solution of the problems they face throughout their production. I also attended some of parallel activities - the program En el marco de SACO (In the framework of SACO), talks, exhibitions and workshops - and went to the reconnaissance trip to Quillagua, The driest place in the world. I took part, in essence, of a beautiful professional exchange with almost 30 people, from whom complicities, collaborations and friendships flowed. My first visit to Antofagasta during the Contemporary Art Week was in 2016, as an “active observer”. I had to work on a recognition of the local scene from an outside eye, interacting with artists and managers, with the landscape, with other ways of production under other conditions, in order to present Artishock readers an approach to what SACO had to offer: an experience about art and territory from the community, in community and for the community of Antofagasta and its surroundings. I was very impressed by the dedication and teamwork of its organizers, by the commitment of the artists and other cultural agents invited, by the reflections that are emerging along the way, the amount of work that is generated and that reaches so many people. The days of SACO are intensely lived, and one wants to return. This year, the invitation was to establish a closer relationship between Artishock and SACO through an alliance as an associate mean, being also me part of the jury of the first call for Latin American artists, which was opened to define who would be the participants of the central sample. They also invited me to write this essay. Among all this, several months went by, the sample is closed, but 76
SACO continues activating the local scene with residences, exhibitions and mediation programs, and consolidating or seeking alliances with actors and institutions from the national and international scenery. Although its most public face is the exhibition in the Historical Pier of Antofagasta, SACO is a living entity, not a unique event, even though it mentions a week. Its next challenge is to become the art biennial that Chile does not have, thus opening a broader time frame that allows for a much more comprehensive and internationalized exhibition, with several milestones or activations in the field of mediation occurring in the course of those two years. WORKS ABOUT LOVE, FOR LOVE AND FROM LOVE Every year, the main exhibition of SACO raises a universal theme that is uniquely addressed by artists from various parts of the world, from the limits and folds of the Great North of Chile. In 2017, the curatorial theme was LOVE: decadence and resistance, three words that, together or in any combination, expanded the framework of conceptual and formal possibilities for the artists called. As a curator of the exhibition, Wyskiel then set up an exhibition along the pier from the ideas related to love, decadence and resistance in which it was possible to establish a scale of intensity that, from the entrance, goes from the carnal to the sublime,
from the street to the refuge, from noise to silence, from the invasive to the contemplation. Just entering the pier the sound of the picó of Adriana Ciudad (Peru) could be heard, a portable speaker that reproduces, for thirty minutes, sounds collected by the artist in her trips through the Amazon jungle, mixed with beats and misogynistic texts of popular songs from reggaeton, as well as a narration of the picotera culture, produced in collaboration with Dairo Barriosnuevo. The piece, the first sculpture for a public space of the artist and “the first female picó of the history” is, according to her, a “symbol of resistance”. Seduced by the sounds of reggaeton, the visitors approached to discover in their lyrics the abused woman, victim of verbal and psychological violence. It is well illustrated by the title of the work: Las Amazonas ¿amor o carne? (The Amazons, love or flesh?) And the exuberant aesthetics of the tropical speaker, with its hand-painted palm trees and neon designs, attractive and invasive at the same time, only served to highlight the clichés of the Tropics and, with it, a certain attraction towards a popularized iconography. Trying to answer the questions of whether it is possible to think on a place through sexuality and build historiographies based on demographic analysis, 78
Ana Mosquera (Venezuela) proposes in her work Paisajes invisibles (Invisible landscapes) a cartography of lasting love, furtive, undercover- of the city of Antofagasta. Using the GPS of her mobile phone, the artist located six active zones in the free application of increased Grindr reality, through which users - mostly homosexuals - share their geographical location to communicate with other members, according to their proximity. In this sense, users could somehow map geographic areas to ensure spaces of bigger interaction, thereby generating a digital cartography of their community and negotiate a common space. The results, six radial diagrams, were captured in fabrics that were hanging from a roofed corridor, located at the entrance to the pier, accompanied by digital information from the users of the application that could be accessed by scanning a QR code, but protecting their identities through pseudonyms “Free Military”, “I make you oral”, “enjoyment Bear”. Mosquera found out that personal relationships that are set through Grindr go beyond the sexual or the loving, detecting commercial uses of the application, such as the purchase and sale of products and services. Thus, through technology,
the artist creates a cartography of a digital space that is invisible, while through the names of Grindr users it reveals codes of identity and certain behaviour patterns of a portion of the residents of Antofagasta. Through this work, carnal love is presented to us as a landscape or punctual and unrepeatable portrait, since the cartographies are elaborated from data taken at a specific place and time. A fluctuating cartography, which is modified and transmuted, as well as love and geography. Nicholas Jackson (Chile) approached the theme of love based on metaphor. For the artist, many radical decisions in life are carried out by love; decisions in which resistance is present, a friction between belief and reality. His vision of love as that encounter between two different entities, and the adjustments and arrangements that that relationship implies, symbolizes them through large rocks that he collected in the Coloso cove, placed on metal shelves of industrial manufacture. The weight of the rocks made the metallic surface collapse, sinking it lightly but insistently, into a clear exercise of long-term â€œresistanceâ€?, like that love despite adversity and wear, has the potential to persist. As in his previous works, made with objects found, Soportar los golpes (Bearing the blows) puts into tension the opposite, material and symbolic ones, to find a harmonious formal resolution, animated by subtlety.
The installation to floor of Lucia Warck-Meister (Argentina) takes as its starting point its same location: the pier as the place of departure and arrival. An intermediate space - a “no space” - between here and there, between the sea and the mainland. Like the pier, love is a suspended place, open to uncertainty: we know when it arrives but not when it ends; moreover, we can perceive what it is and, however, never understanding it completely. The installation Intersticios del amor (Interstices of love) refers precisely of the inapprehensible, of that which we will never know how to define but which nevertheless happens and emerges. The artist represents love through thin lines of red cloth that come from the interstices of the pier floor. Like a bloomy desert, from the arid a life is born where it could not appear. Along with this work, el Pabellón del despecho (The pavilion of heartbroken), by Oscar Abraham Pabón (Venezuela), takes us to a more palpable and experiential level of love. Like his compatriot Ana Mosquera, Pabón seeks to map the experience of love in Antofagasta by recording testimonies and sounds related to this feeling. Pabón, an architect, designed a structure composed of scaffolding and recycled material that, in appearance, simulates the precarious constructions of the poorest areas of the so-called “Dubai of Latin America”.
The great Pabellón del despecho (The pavilion of heartbroken) by Pabón contains five stations that serve as resonance boxes for the audio files that are reproduced inside, which are nothing but the answers to the question: “How to overcome the melancholy caused by disaffection?”. In the interval between one and another response, the artist asked each interviewee to recommend a piece of music that relates to their own experience. Appealing to the pictorial, nautical and semiotic languages, Paz Castañeda (Chile) built a kind of fiction in her work Fragmentos de un discurso amoroso (Excerpts from a loving discourse), homonymous title of a book of the French structuralist thinker Roland Barthes. The book includes the quotes “You wait there where I’m not going” and “You love me there where I’m not”, which are appropriate for the artist and translated into nautical signs. As in the nautical code, the phrases are “written” to be read from top to bottom, and arranged on the railings of the pier, facing the sea, so that they can only be read from the fishing cove or from the Yacht Club that surrounds the Historical Pier. This impossibility of decoding a message, this coding that only people with knowledge understand is already, in itself, a powerful element in the work of Castañeda, although the keys to read it are in the same pier, or on the back of 82
the fabrics that fall to the sea. In this way, only if we enter the exhibition space we will be able to decipher the enigma. But the work has another reading layer: the fabrics are painted with dyes for food, which make these inscriptions vulnerable to being exposed to moisture, to the possible delete by water. A metaphor of love as a feeling in permanent risk, between dissolution and rescue. At the end of the tour, at the end of the pier, was Infraestructuras para el amor (Infrastructure for Love), by Fernando Foglino (Uruguay), a work that was born in literature, stories, songs and fragments of sun, sweat and work from the nitrate desert, such as Arriba quemando el sol (Up there burning the sun) by Violeta Parra or Andrés Sabella´s Infraestructuras para el amor (Infrastructures for love). Referring to a refuge from the constants “slaps of northern sun”, Foglino built a “contemporary chapel” capable of lodging any belief. Its pyramidal shape comes from the following image: Chilean nitrate workers were able to load 30,000 bags of saltpetre daily, protected from the sun only by a sack of saltpetre of 100 kilos carried on their backs. If the pyramid of bags was not perfectly built, the ships could wreck at Cape Horn. For the artist, the pyramid, symbol of the union between heaven and earth, it is then synonym of salvation. This pyramid, a shelter area, stands on the Historical Pier with emergency blankets - material of an ideal
economy for a work of this level - that because of the silver face (outwards) they reflect the intensity of the Antofagasta sun and inside (the golden face) they create shelter. Foglino erects a temple, a beacon of light, a space of protection, a shelter of love that opens towards the infinite, towards the transcendental. HUMAN EXPERIENCIES FROM THE DESERT Beyond its exhibition as the most visible axis, SACO is experimentation, it is living together, it is almost, I would say, a way of life. In Latin American Institut of art (ISLA, Instituto Superior Latinoamericano de Arte), headquarters of all the activities of and around SACO, the rhythm is enraptured, and it is always like this, during the whole year, when curators make their residence there, when the artists hold workshops or they are incorporated into mediation programs. This last version of the residence was not the exception: the artists not only produced work, they also shared their knowledge with high school students and public schools, attended talks and visited areas of the region that nourished in a holistic way their human experience in the desert. With different cultural backgrounds, ages and track record, these artists - selected from a total of 287 applications from 17 countries in Latin America - lived there for ten days, exchanging experiences and ideas for the proper development of their projects. Exposed to work in other geographical, climatic, cultural and social conditions -sometimes extreme-, the artists had to find a way for the time factor in order to shape their proposals within hours, with the available material resources, facing technical failures or errors of calculation, rethinking and rearranging strategies, starting the combustion of skilfulness sparks Two activities at ISLA were especially relevant for them and for those who were with them (part of the jury, guests from other art initiatives, both national and foreign, the SACO team): one was a presentation session of their portfolios, the other a community dinner in which they had to prepare a dish inspired by the theme of this yearâ€™s call. The presentation of the portfolios was a privileged opportunity for everybody, as it allowed opening that space to criticism and reflection that is less and less usual in artistic practices today. The dinner, on the other hand, was a community activity where the culinary art and its rituals served not only as a creative platform, but also as catalysts of emotions and sensibilities. Invited by the SACO organization, the artists started a procedure very similar to that of the artistic creation, going from the idea and the purchase of products to the preparation and public presentation. At the large table, tasting varied dishes inspired by the countries of origin of each artist, we were guests, critics, friends, and yes, a bit sybarite. During the residence days the artists came and went, from ISLA to the pier and from the pier to ISLA. They looked for materials, thought on solutions, produced, returned to the pier with everything, returned to ISLA with enthusiasm, or nervous. Own processes in the logic of production of work that, rarely there is the opportunity to witness. 84
Another day at ISLA was dedicated to video interviews to each of the participating artists, which are incorporated into the SACO6 documentary. I participated as a listener to hear about the processes, advances, setbacks and solutions, and to be a participant in how their ideas were unveiled and transformed in time, from the time they were proposed on paper to their final execution. Some of them commented on the adversity that the particular climatic and geographical conditions of Antofagasta entail - especially in the area of the pier - in the process of assembling the work. Fernando Foglino fought against the strong gusts of wind, Paz Castañeda against tides and anchoring techniques (a team of divers had to be hired to fix her work to the sea floor). Others faced the daily life of the city of Antofagasta, from how to get a marker with special ink - in the case of Adriana Ciudad -, where to find voluminous rocks and how to move them from an arid hill to the pier, in the case of Nicholas Jackson. The work process of the artist Oscar Abraham Pabón was quite particular because his work changed and in fact was enriched precisely from an important unforeseen event. In view of the serious crisis in Venezuela, Pabón could not renew his passport on time and therefore could not travel to Antofagasta to do the assembly. It was then crucial the solving capacity between the artist and the SACO production team. Together, they decided that a team of Venezuelan compatriots should help -they very kindly and with pride accepted the challenge of installing the work-, carefully following the drawings and precise indications of the artist. Seen within the context of the proposed curatorial theme and, more broadly, in a historical moment where migrations and xenophobia are sensitive and urgent issues, this collaborative work of a group of Venezuelans affected by the political conditions of their country is definitely a gesture of love, as well as resistance. On the other hand, the current serious situation in Venezuela - a de facto dictatorship that has forced two million Venezuelans into exile in the last 15 years - also led Pabón to reformulate his work, incorporating a new pavilion dedicated exclusively to interviews with Venezuelans in the diaspora. Pavilion 3, or Territorial Heartbroken, is then another manifestation of love, in this case, towards a country that is left behind, as well as an expression of falling in love and enchantment towards a new country and its culture. FROM ANTOFAGASTA AND QUILLAGUA TO ALL CHILE AND LATIN AMERICA, AND VICE VERSA After the inauguration of the display LOVE: decadence and resistance the participants of SACO6 went to Quillagua. Our bus trip to the town made a stop in Chacabuco, one of the saltpetre offices of the Atacama Desert, turned into a ghost town, and during the Pinochet dictatorship it was a detention and torture center. The site is, within the routes through the desert proposed by SACO, one of the most loaded of a violent past. 86
The group who was invited to Quillagua - artists, curators, critics, journalists, writers and sociologists - stayed at Quillagua Space, the only vacation centre in the area, which has sought since its opening to launch the tourism of The driest place in the world. SACO organizers arrange an agenda of local visits that includes the G-15 Ignacio Carrera Pinto School -where Manuel Félix Cortés, headmaster, is also the only teacher of 13 children who, although of different ages, make up only one grade- ; the geoglyphs of Chug-Chug; the abandoned Sloman Dam; the Anthropological Museum of Quillagua – under the care of a very old woman, Felisa Albornoz, whose collection includes several mummies recovered from the Atacameño desert; and the Valley of the Craters. All these visits were marked by the astonishment of the discovery. Even for many Chileans, this tour around Quillagua is a revelation in its own soil. In Quillagua, a place of resistance and decadence flows, above all, love. A love that from there overflows to reach Antofagasta and then to Latin America, a region also with its conflicts, with its own resistance and decadence and that, by a two-way road, arrive in Chile with the invited artists, to return again to their countries - now with other layers of history - in their backpacks dotted with desert sand. Alejandra Villasmil Journalist, specialized in art
ALEJANDRA VILLASMIL She was born in Venezuela in 1972. She is a journalist, visual artist, founder and director of Artishock, a website about contemporary art with an emphasis on Latin America. She has a degree in Social Communication, with major in Audiovisual, from the Andrés Bello Catholic University (Caracas, Venezuela, 1994) and has free training in contemporary art (theory and practice) in schools in New York (1997-2007). In New York, she worked as a correspondent for Arte al Día International magazine (2004-2007), as a culture correspondent for the news agency EFE (2002-2007) and as a principal correspondent in Spanish for the agencies DPA (Germany) and Notimex (Mexico). She has exhibited her work in galleries and institutions in New York such as El Museo del Barrio and the Queens Museum of Art. In Chile, meanwhile, she has been responsible for press and dissemination for the Museum of Visual Arts (MAVI), Gabriela Mistral Art Gallery, the Moro Gallery and the Video and Medial Arts Biennial. She designed and coordinated the program of the Diploma in Critical and Curatorial Studies of the Universidad del Desarrollo (UDD), where she also held the Art and Writing Workshop (2012). She has written for exhibition catalogues and sites such as the Fundación / Colección Cisneros (Caracas / New York). She has also given conferences organized by the Jersey City Museum (New Jersey, USA), Museo del Barrio (New York), as well as the Universidad Católica, Ch.ACO Fair and Antenna (Santiago, Chile). She was a jury at the FAXXI Fair (Chile, 2014 and 2015) and the Entre Ch.ACO and Finland Competition (2015), among others. Artishockrevista.com 88
LOVE FOLDS, ART UNFOLDING “Betray, that is, do not see, but not to see, in love matters, is to betray.” Patricio Marchant I was called to SACO6 due to my activity as a sociologist as an attempt, in my opinion, to open or establish thresholds complementary to understanding. If the sociological profession bears certain crafts and subtleties, we can try through our training to access certain irruptions of spaces of meaning that sometimes insist on hiding themselves. Evasive to analysis and conscious understanding, their cry is heard, soft in its eagerness. Enlarging the semantic field, interpreting, analysing and intuiting, is a great motivation even in the most rational criticism. If we ask ourselves the conditions of existence of what has been separated in the modern subject, its own substantive reason, such as art, science, economics, ethics and politics, to name a few spheres, they demand to be able to sit down and talk. This would be one of my mottos. CONTEMPORARY ART According to European critical thinking of the twentieth century, it was the task of philosophy or rather of philosophers, to account for the mutations suffered by the concept of art in all its singularities. Today, not only would the so-called social sciences be called upon to account for these changes, both in terms of the conceptual and the practical, but also to “decentralize” what for centuries appeared as monopolized by European art, which in its version more totalizing was called itself “high culture”. I must recognize that due to my training in political sociology and later in socioanalysis, that the vehicle or leitmotif that leads me is an idea of negativity in relation to the social function of art and where personal experience takes second place. Negativity for the writer designates dimensions of criticism of reality, that is, its function as politicity. Heir to European Marxist thinking, the idea of art as a social and political function associated with the work and the social relations that produce it, seems to be crossed by a no less valid way of experiencing art. This would be a type of individual or introspective experience that in the past was underestimated (“bourgeois art”, “alienation”, etc.) The question seems to link the epistemology (conditions of emergence of knowledge regarding art) and phenomenology (sensations that provoke me as an experience of introspection). Today it appears as a no less valid approach. According to the sociological thought of the last century, it is often in the very inner circle of the home, even in relatively modest places, that the strength of preferences and of one’s own judgment is best expressed. According to Gadamer “there are not only reproductions there, that unprecedented means of expanding memory and adapting everyone to what is fashionable and it takes more in the field of reproductions. There are mixed forces that act against the homologous effects of the current living conditions, dominated by the technique.”
This would validate the above, this decentring or release (a takeoff of capital) in this case, of a sense of art on the one hand (which interrupts the concentric idea of an “elevated” art from the countries of the so-called first world and a takeoff of the capital of the works in a profane sense to put it in some way), no longer orienting social classes or specific cultures, but based on their political function. Whether this be negativity, whether this be an introspective experience. This is, in my opinion, what is achieved in the SACO6 project. Diversion of meaning (political function or process of subjectivation), diversion of capital (decentralizing resources), deviation of gallery (now in a public space); triple deviation of SACO6, urgency after its emerge. I take these preliminary considerations, to substantiate what is exposed and not presuming of that “expert knowledge” that says “I know about this, I am a professional in these matters”. The thing is not as simple as that. Beyond entering into tedious dimensions to some and odious separations between theory and practice (that have been so bad for us), these appreciations would serve the reader related to the social sciences and specifically sociology, to enter in a more friendly way according to their own concerns and interests. LOVE: DECADENCE OR RESISTENCE? According to certain sociological perspectives, the love of a couple would be in crisis. I am more inclined to think that what is happening is a reconfiguration of the idea that sustained much of the dominant civilizing thought and that also manifests itself in the primitive one (social groups of low complexity), that is to say; a system of Being in the world associated with roles and in a second movement, with functions. If, on the one hand, we have nostalgia for the strong bonds that traditional affective relationships showed, we came across, on the other hand, with the so-called Liquid Love, namely, relationships and affective limited discourses due to their limited extension in time. The question that SACO6 asks me is still complex, because we are witnessing a transit that we cannot visualize in its entirety (due to its extensive temporality), even though having some kind of theoretical empirical substrate on our side. The question that SACO6 asks us is an ungrateful, uncomfortable question, because it’s ourselves the protagonists of this historical transit. But as a problem, we have an ethical duty to address it. The question that I immediately ask myself is: where is the decadence and where is the resistance? Firstly and with a certain hermeneutic prejudice, I thought that the resistance was that ideal/ platonic that we inherited from Western metaphysics and that could show itself as an idea of pure love that resists epochal changes; decadence, on the other hand, could come from the so-called “postmodern” perspectives, although I hate that term a bit in its emptiness. After my experience in Antofagasta and especially in the Historical Pier observing the works, I have tended to invert the terms and those 91
propositions, playing with them. If so, decadence could emerge from traditional romantic love in all its symbolic as well as physical violence and resistance would only be one side of the same problem. By inverting the statements, we could arrive at the pier where decadence and resistance are part of the same semantic universe that kills more women per year than in many countries, but on the other hand we could also appeal to an idea of “pure love” that should be recovered. I’m not inclined to this second idea. As we already took sides, we will leave aside the idealistic vision of love and we will turn to a more empiricist vision, so to speak. I think that what convenes us is “how is the love of a couple manifested?” And not “what is the love of a couple?”. THE WORKS The visual artist and painter Paz Castañeda in Fragmentos de un discurso amoroso (Excerpts from a loving discourse), confronts us, inviting us to look from her work, how ephemeral and unstable a relationship can be and the constant struggle that implies. Taking semiotics as a starting point, Castañeda installs an X-ray of the configurations and re-configurations of the Eros que habla (Talking Eros). Like a ship sailing, making an analogy at the end of a relationship, the work establishes the swing of contemporary couple’s love. We no longer talk about “life-long” relationships, but a coming and going where the loss, the choice and the departure 92
are permanent present. Barthes points out in Excerpts from a loving discourse, that: Historically, the discourse of absence is pronounced by the Woman; she is faithful (waits), Man is a prowler ... There is something new here, given that in some of the big Chilean cities are the women who no longer wait and “set sail” (following the metaphor of who leaves for the sea). It should be noted that Castañeda also plays with her unconscious knowledge when placing his work “inside the sea”, given that in the most contemporary or late psychoanalysis, the sea is an archetypal element that is widely used as a means of interpreting desires and fears that are repressed in all of us; this makes that the work, for me, completes as a whole, and closes organically. The experience of art is for everyone just something unusual, rather an opening to the unusual (Gadamer), which tempts you not only to enter it but to really experience it. This Umheimlich (something familiar but that is strange at the same time), involves the border or threshold where the psychism accesses what it already knows, but it does not know what it knows; “You leave and I stay here ...” (Rocío Durcal) From another front, Nicholas Jackson, attacks the edge of the daily love that bears the weight of time, the traditional love that lasts a lifetime and how it molds itself according to its own weight. Taking, in my opinion, the conception of traditional love, Jackson works with the “distinction” that lovers make of themselves with respect to other people. Based on an ideological construction
that separates the human from the animal, traditional love expresses the repression of the jungle instincts in favour of a nobility that lives in the idea. This repression (which is constitutive of culture), would be expressed in the best way in the miserable conscience of “suffered love”. Soportar los golpes (Bearing the blows), title of the work, expresses the paradox or the dilemma of a love based on an exteriority of power: on one hand culture and on the other the power of habit as a naturalized need. The lifetime love of our grandparents, the violence hidden in it, the mistreatment and the resistance to change course especially in the female world, comes to put us to reflect on if all past time was better. Winking with philosophy and physics, Jackson performs an intelligent game by circulating a multiplicity, situating the resistance from a critical sphere, as negativity, on the other hand putting the philosophy of the subject on hold in a quantum way, that is, ending with the separation between subject and object when mounting a work on an “altered nature” (metal furniture) and mounted stone (dehumanized nature). If the weight of the stone alters the surface of the metal that supports it, it also alters the reality of time in honour of its material. It would seem that today, the combined interests of creation are the ethos of the moment as a new creative subject. The work of Oscar Pabón, a Venezuelan visual artist, immediately caught my attention. Since I work in architecture, I live in a 94
field where housing and the public space are the constant subject of analysis and reflection. The model called Melancolía: el pabellón del despecho (Melancholy: the pavilion of heartbreak), the context of meaning of which is structured in the field of break-up and romantic sorrow, places in the arena the phenomenon of co-dependence of lovers in Latin America. On a continent where romantic love is part of everyday life and part of the imagination, and where femicide is the order of the day, Pabón, with his five metallic structures that bring a typical poor periphery neighbourhood to the pier, enables us to do field work in a metaphorical manner. In listening to the tragic love songs over and over again as a response to the question of how to overcome the loss of the object of desire, we are left before a tautology, a trap, an alley. On one hand, we cannot love without suffering but not mourn with serenity either, but rather in absolute drama. Inherited from sociological thinking, the so-called Marianism, that co-dependence on an idealised image of women in Latin America, which is nothing more than another side of the patriarchal male chauvinism. Syncretism between the male military and the virgin (patron of Chile, for example), would fully express this figure; but something is changing. From my experiences with the homeless, a high percentage of men blame the women for that situation contrary to the female discourses that for me have been zero or scarce in number. Pabón’s work shakes things up, since it has nothing of a metaphysical or abstract allegory. It is a direct confrontation with the problem, the house, the oikos, and the home. A work that based on the events occurring in Venezuela is transformed into a political act in itself, since Pabón was not able to attend SACO6 and the fact that his own compatriots spontaneously came to his aid in its assembly gives this work an unrepeatable character. In the reign of the imagination the metamorphosis of oneself is an adaptation to the imaginary medium, writes Gastón Bachelard. The pier, a point of departure and arrival, is also nature intervened. A place of sentiments engraved in the wood, now a place of nostalgia, a place of exile, like a dimension with different temporalities that are found face to face, but that only sometimes dialogue. In meditating on the freedom of metaphors and their limitations, certain poetic images are superimposed on top of each other, without being mutually discriminating. Lucía Wark-Meister from the sister country of Argentina, with an austere style and
macabre and keen sweetness, makes the pier bleed once again. Intersticios del amor (Interstices of love) invites us to recover the memory of the old object, its blood, its pain, but also its blossom. Once again, more than a record. It speaks of roses in a world without humans, it speaks of a place stained by the poverty of those who were, are, or will be on its surface. Tears of blood of romantic love on that great memorial object that is the Atacama Desert. I must acknowledge that this work is the most difficult for me to address, since I once read somewhere that you have to clear away all the books in order to address a poetic action. My function broke down the first time I encountered this work on the Historical Pier. Thanks to certain education that some sociologists have in psychoanalysis and/ or in â€œprojectiveâ€? literature (from the subconscious), what is elusive about this simulation can be briefly grasped. Its simplicity and its profound symbology thwart you, it is filtered, as the artist says. A strictly phenomenological work for which it is better to leave knowledge at home. Continuing with the line of meaning that the Historical Pier provides, Fernando Foglino, CharrĂşa, from eastern Uruguay, causes not only the poetic but also the political to coexist with politicidad (politicity). This refers to and defines like the attempt to modify attitudes and relations inside the popular field, seeking vindications, educating and recovering the historical memory. Foglino constructs a 96
refuge, a den, a pyramid, but also shakes things up, scandalizes. A dual record for a place that was once a place of suffering, ExplotaciĂłn del hombre por el hombre (Exploitation of man by man), but also a space of nostalgia, of epistle, of hope. A dual record at the same time for its structure. On one side, a place that shines and generates heat and a place that provides shelter and coolness from the relentless sun in the north. On one hand, an investigation of the working conditions and the life of nitre workers, providing that story to the SACO6 visitors on the pier. A dual political-aesthetic strategy, but at the same time a ritual. The ritualist sense of Foglino and Valentina Cardellinoâ€™s work also functions as an exorcism. By recovering the memory and making the cry of pain of those who lived here who were exploited be heard, this place is transformed into a space of peace, of shelter, of relief, and of love. Now lovers can protect themselves from the intense and scorching heat; love will do the rest. When an interaction is formed between a creation and its reception in all the parameters of individualsâ€™ lifecycles, it is because it is the very social changes of the times that obligate artists to experiment with new things, new languages that include phenomena or realities that are new or even wide-spread. In the case of art and communications media, we know that they have undergone significant changes in the last hundred years. From the Aestheticization of politics (Benjamin) and the use of art and the
communications media as an ideological propaganda apparatus (with mostly terrible purposes), cinema, radio and the television empire, today we see the reign of life established based on digital and virtuality. From Venezuela, Ana Mosquera with Paisajes invisibles (Invisible landscapes) asks whether it is possible to situate sexuality in a place. Based on a decentralizing intent, Mosquera does a turn on a certain critique of a European court, which for this author takes on a certain essentialism, which would imply a supposed dehumanization of human coexistence by establishing it based on the utilization of social networks. Curiously, it was the European rationality that expanded the so-called “expert systems” (Giddens) where the use of technology reached paroxysm. Mosquera does a double turn in attempting to take a step back from the centralist ethos and think about sexuality/technology/place from the periphery, which stops being so and is cancelled in her own decentralising and descentralizant act. She does a triple turn in making gay sexuality a topic outside the bosom of the private sphere, now situating it without fear in the public space. Linking by new media is as controversial as the start of the use of the epistle was at the dawn of modernity. I have no doubt that for medieval thinking, the use of the letter and of the I as protagonist was not looked upon favourably. I think it’s necessary for us to think from our Latin American region about what we accept and what we don’t, leaving behind what we are told from other latitudes regarding what is good and what is bad. Capturing 98
the elusive seems to be the slogan, what exceeds all normalisation of conducts, that sphere of freedom with which the powers that be would find themselves in an instant of limitation; yes, because this doesn’t have a face. In the origins of the oral tradition there would already have been a close relationship between sexuality and language. In the very act of naming things, a primitive nominalism, we would already find an origin of sexual difference. In a certain way, the phallocentric thinking translates to that which is outside of oneself; that is, it translates to women. Men know about “that not knowing, that knowing relegated to the sphere of the unconscious. With that, it administers, generates and projects desire in that other.” It is paradoxical that the work Las Amazonas ¿amor o carne? (Amazonians, love or flesh?) by Adriana Ciudad of Peru, is constituted based on a contraption called picó, so similar to the colloquial name that in Chile is given to the male sex organ. A coincidence? We don’t know, since coincidence and facticity don’t get along. On one hand, the civilizing logos and on the other, tribal thinking have made women “man’s companion” by nature; at his service. In Latin America, with that syncretic stock of which we are heirs, talking about Caribbean or talking about South America, that objectification of women is part of everyday life on a large scale. In a certain sense we have taken a step forward in democratizing the body in the market of affections. But at the same time and constantly, in my
judgement, we take three steps back. It is not my intention to whine with some kind of teleological thinking, as if we were really moving toward a better world, but yes, we must not back down from trying over and over again. Nor should we think of it from a position as if as southerners (Chile, Argentina or Uruguay) we are at the vanguard in de-objectivising the body as merchandise. But there is a big “more Caribbean” trend to this type of discourse as a technology of appropriation of not only the female but also the male body. Adriana attempts to cause a scandal, subtle but aggressive and active. In exhibiting the first Picó femenino (Female picó) on the Historical Pier of Antofagasta, she is rubbing your face in your own object of desire. She plays with your enjoyment, not as desire but as that artefact that you need but that causes you misery and you ignore it. It would seem that things aren’t so much that way either. From my experience as an observer, I could register some comments from school-age girls. Quickly understanding the sense of the proposal, these girls/women confessed to me that it is necessary to educate, above all in the schools, on how certain types of music carry a violent message against women; well done by the work. But the matter would seem to be more inclined toward the idea that it doesn’t matter what the lyrics say or what message they have, but that it is in fashion and has a very attractive rhythm. Adriana wants to politicize, putting in your face what could result in your own decadence. This is her resistance. Claudio Pereira Sociologist
CLAUDIO PEREIRA He was born in Santiago, in 1971. After the coup d’état in 1973 he went to live with his grandparents, due to his parents’ trip to the Brazilian Amazon. His Secondary education was at the Liceo No. 6 in San Miguel, a peripheral district where he witnessed the struggle against the state violence of the older generations. As a young man of the ‘80s, he began to hang out in places where the artistic avantgarde and resistance converged: the Spandex parties, the Trolley, the Esmeralda Theater and the Matucana Garage, and he actively participated in the NO to Pinochet campaign. He travelled through South America, visiting northern Chile, Bolivia, Peru, Argentina and Brazil, where he settled for a time. In Rio de Janeiro he approached sociology. He met the members of the Without Land Rural Workers Movement, known as MST. He participated as a volunteer in a team of botanists for the reforestation of Brazil (1999-2000), experience captured in the film La sal de la tierra (Salt of the Earth), by Wim Wenders and Sebastião Salgado, where the natural beauty and the misery in which many inhabitants of that country live are conjugated. Back in Chile, he entered the ARCIS University, where in 2011 he obtained his degree as a sociologist. He did his professional practice in market studies, but rejected the over-quantification of social life, as well as retail companies. He preferred to work in the field with the community, first in training programs for seniors, women and organizations in general and then in an architecture consultancy, which carries out social studies in provincial communities, to improve their urban environments and quality of life. He is currently the head of the social team of this consultancy. 102
AT THE SECONDARY SCHOOL
SUSTAINABLE ENCOURAGEMENT: ENCOUNTER WITH THE NEW GENERATIONS Antofagasta is a city that is advancing by leaps and bounds towards a cosmopolitan metropolis, for this reason it is necessary to examine the link between educational programs and cultural organizations. Art education or formative projects have been required from a countless of complex demands to evidence at a first instance. Insufficient resources, the obligation to be self-sustaining and the demands to maintain organizations are factors that transversally determine the system of artistic formation. Within this context, the objective of interventions in educational establishments is to provide the tools that strengthen the emotional life and locate the vital connections between the social, political, economic and, of course, the artistic world. Then, from that need, the question arises: what we should teach? We have to show a critic and a reflection about what is the role of art and work in resistance to the conditions that the formal educational system proposes. This atmosphere can project the synergy of cultural promoters, artists and teachers together with the students, who promote a propitious space to bring knowledge closer and generate the optimal conditions to see art as a tool of transformation. From the first edition of the Contemporary Art Week in 2012, the Colectivo SE VENDE has maximized the efforts to bring the visual arts closer to the educational community, exploring in intense formative instances, with clinics, conversations and encounters in different parts of the territory and reaching multiple audiences. This year 2017, thanks to the constancy and advance planning of the linking and mediation program of SACO6 LOVE: decadence and resistance in municipalized establishments, the team successfully held the cycle of conferences in public secondary schools of Antofagasta and Mejillones, involving the administrations of the establishments, the academic staff, media, visiting artists and curators.
VIRTUAL CONNECTIONS AND PARALLEL WORLDS Wednesday, August 9th The first day was the meeting at the Liceo Mario Bahamondes Silva in Antofagasta, where the Uruguayan artist Fernando Foglino met with a hundred of Secondary School adolescents to offer the Post Internet conference. The topic of the presentation achieved closeness and complicity, considering that since the beginning of the activity the students indicated that they were users of technologies in their daily lives. Participating with the forthcoming vision on the use of electronic equipment, young people laughed at some of the analyses on the mass of â€œmemesâ€? in social networks or the ease of accessing specific contents about videogames, football, animation or biology. Later, Foglino deepened into his work methodology, illustrating the first experiments with softwares at the end of the nineties, a stage where networks were already beginning to present information of what was to come, a mixture between reality and fiction.
As commented by the artist, the understanding of the world of abstraction in the media and the empowerment of communities in the network, from the beginning has mobilized knowledge. This dynamic allowed massification of the â€œremixâ€?, a phenomenon that allows and encourages the combined use or saturated edition of elements from two or many works, remixes in which elements of copyrighted pieces are often extracted without notice. In the educational session it was also explained that the development and creation of hybrid societies in Latin America are part of cultural integration, a term that stands out for the establishment visited, since it hosts the highest rate of foreign students in Chile.
The second presentation was in charge of Ana Mosquera from Venezuela, with the conference La ciudad después de Pokémon Go (The city after Pokémon Go) at the Technical School of Antofagasta. The artist told how the video game of increased reality operates by locating the Google Maps system. This interactive prototype consists of searching and capturing the hundreds of characters in the animation saga, which in practice has moved the young people to the streets, physically moving around the city, promoting that participants in different locations have points of reference nearby to their homes, making up a community that “hunts pokemon” and interprets the same codes based on the reference imposed by the “pokeparadas” of the mobile phone application. When describing the procedure of use, Ana Mosquera explained to the students of 1st and 2nd Grades that the organization of the game would obtain privileged information when obtaining the registry of movements, interests or sites of reference of the young people registered in the digital platform. In this context, the creator of the work Paisajes invisibles (Invisible landscapes) described the method she applied when identifying the georeferencing of the users of the Grindr application (geosocial program aimed at the homosexual audience), seeking to explain the way in which, territorially, social relations by internet generate cartographies capable of interpreting the space and routes of
the groups that live in the city of Antofagasta. There was a discussion on the identity on the Internet and the active role that society should have when creating educational contents in favour of the development of users.
OBSERVATIONS OF THE SORROUNDINGS Thursday, August 10th At the Liceo La Chimba in Antofagasta, Adriana City from Peru held the third conference called Procesos creativos (Creative Processes). She met with 3rd and 4th grade students of the public establishment. The conversation started with a review of her artistic career, her passage through Latin America and Europe, and the motivations she had to specialize in arts, creating with painting fictitious environments or abstract representations of reality. Adriana Ciudad gave a brief description of her baggage, and began to argue her proposal for SACO6, Las Amazonas ¿amor o carne? (The Amazons, love or flesh?), talking about the rescue of the musical heritage of the Colombian Caribbean, which is recovered by means of a sounding box called picó, an instrument that captivated the artist by the uniqueness of its colours and the “carnival” style impregnated in the device. After showing a report about the picotera culture, the conference took a turn, and in front of the students, Adriana City played popular songs of the Latin reggaeton to highlight the lyrics, repeating the choirs very well known by the students.
At the auditorium, the young people, when listening to the songs integrated into the sound atmosphere of the picó, were immediately animated by shaking their shoulders in reaction to the different rhythms. At this time, the international exhibitor of SACO6 made the break, stopping at the contents of these songs that are part of the parties and the daily life of the generational group visited. “Bottles above, the combo on the table, and wild animals come out by nature” or “I am the owner of your fantasy, nobody does it like me” were some of the extracts analysed. Then the students were asked what they thought about those lyrics, and they answered that they were uncomfortable with the use of a sexist and misogynist language in the reggaeton genre, but that at the same time they were accustomed to it and ignored those messages taking into account only the catchy tunes that often sounded in their homes, parties or public access places.
The fourth conference, La Obra y el Paisaje (The Work and the Landscape), was held by the Chilean artist Paz CastaĂąeda at the Liceo Geraldo MuĂąoz Campos, in front of around two hundred students of the commercial specialties of finance and administration. In the activity, CastaĂąeda started telling that in the first instance her formation had started with a career in journalism, following several vocational doubts in the arts, especially focusing her interest in photography and painting, portraying ordinary women, with the purpose of understanding real femininity, characterizing the body in its different ages, considering the physical changes due to motherhood or aging. Following the presentation, the artist showed different landscapes of the central zone of Chile and the city of Antofagasta. She described certain abandoned places, former industries, ruins, empty sites, absurd infrastructures, graffiti or dumps, arguing that they are also part of a determined place, and that these corners of the urban environment belong to the environment and therefore it is possible to appreciate them at the moment of having the intention of representing the context or illustrating the contemporary landscape. After explaining that in each territory there are particularities that stand out above others, depending on the vision you have, she continued talking about her
work in Antofagasta, especially the work Fragmentos de un discurso amoroso (Excerpts from a loving discourse), which has in nautical language painted the phrase “You love me there where I am not” and “You wait for me there where I will not go”. After revealing the personal meaning of these words, linked to the paternal bond of the artist, an academic present, expressed the sentimental complicity of the proposal, detailing that the work mounted on the Historical Pier also reminded her of her father who had been a fisherman of that place so typical of the city, aspect that moved the students, who spontaneously applauded this coincidence.
THE CREATIVE CONTINGENCY Friday, August 11th Chilean artist Nicholas Jackson held the conference El arte como visiĂłn del mundo (Art as a vision of the world) at the Armando Carrera School in Antofagasta. Twenty students of the specialty of visual arts had the opportunity to meet and talk with the creator. This fifth intervention of the conference program of the Contemporary Art Week raised the point of view that the formal educational system sometimes distorts the needs of students, and that the artistic vocation can include literature, dance, painting, among other disciplines close to the imaginative universe, to intuition, to the certainty of wanting to express the inner world without having clear the way to externalize that concept. In this sense, the author of the work Soportar los golpes (Bearing the blows) stressed that questioning the rules and working guidelines is part of personal growth, noting that he often found himself in conflict for recognizing his creative capacity. The attendees at the presentation asked the artist, how do you calculate the weight of the rocks in the mountings? To which Jackson replied â€œsometimes I do
not calculate, I do not measure, but I feel that this element is the right one, and thus I am trying, opening the work to experimentationâ€?. At the end of the conference, the question arose again: what is an artist and how is he/she inspired? Jacksonâ€™s response was that the creator is someone who needs to show a feeling about what is happening, what he/she sees, thinks or even dreams, understanding that the objective of the concept or the work is to be conceptualized and visually set up.
For second year, the conferences were transferred to Mejillones, visiting the Juan JosĂŠ Latorre Benavente Educational Complex. The sixth presentation was called La memoria del mar (The memory of the sea), referring to the profile defined by the works of the Argentinean artist Lucia Wark-Meister. The exhibitor of Intersticios del amor (Interstices of love) in SACO6, visualized some thematic lines, projecting images of different residences, interventions and contributions in collective projects. She highlighted in the pieces shown the use of glass spheres, objects that she has installed in natural geographical spaces, breaking the primitive landscape with reflection and optical game. The sky on the sea and vice versa is what caught the attention of students from the coastal area of northern Chile. The youths listened to and observed very attentively the conference, in this way approaching contemporary visual languages. Thus, the speaker explained her artistic narrative, and the game of the unreal in a performance with dancers and singers, which she made in New York City. Lucia Warck-Meister deepened into the story line of her work, which explores what is not said, what it is, but cannot be seen, what is insinuated and insinuating, the interstices that are activated in any situation and relationship.
HACKING THE CLASSROOM Wednesday, August 16th The seventh conference called Herramientas para la resistencia (Tools for resistance) was developed by the artist and educator of the Alumnos 47 Foundation, Aisel Wicab, who travelled from Mexico to the Contemporary Art Week, together with the cultural manager Tamara Ibarra from Plataforma YEI, an organization also from the Aztec country. At the Liceo Domingo Herrera in Antofagasta, Wicab, made a brief introduction about contemporary art, trying to explain the concept of “hacking the social system”, that is, the exercise of identifying within the classroom the group problems that may have improvements, analysing the situations of conflict, focusing on consensual solutions and favouring the collective opinion. The applied methodological strategy considered the opinion of each student and sought to channel the forces of the youth in the educational community. In two periods of two hours each: one in the auditorium, where the hierarchical structures inside the establishment were revealed and the possibility was raised that among all the parties - students, administrative, academic and teacher´s
assistants â€“ work days were designed to optimize the transmission of knowledge; along with assessing the role that each one fulfils. Quickly in the second period, the attendees were imbued with the spirit in it, using the school yard with dynamics of moving all together, encouraging the group to make intuitive decisions. Francisco Vergara Journalist
THE ETERNAL DESIRE TO REACH MATURITY There are various definitions of an artistic scene. According to the majority of them, the key pieces in this erector set are constituted first by a school and a museum, and second by a critical mass and editorializing/filing. The second two elements are naturally the result of the first two. On the Latin American map there are few scenes with the four legs firm and level. And it is precisely these four legs that ensure the stability and usefulness of the structure for the community. In this sense there are many wobbly variables between Punta Arenas and Tijuana, scenes that are able to advance, withstanding shortages in a way that could be called a seal to Latin merit. Here there are also zigzagging territories, cultural deserts, virgin and abandoned zones that none of the four extremities underlie, and where art simply does not exist, or is reduced to a provincial, self-complacent circle made up of a solitary artist, a professor who does recycling, two or three portrait and landscape painters, a nude body photographer, a graffiti artist, a rebellious drawer, and an enterprising promotor, to give a configurative example, which can vary according to the ethno-political context. For a reader from a capital, this picture would seem like a cartoon, but it is an x-ray of the majority of the Latin American territory. Table with no legs.
A STRANGE CASE OF A SNAKE Marcos Figueroa sustains that there are examples of incomplete structures, those without a school but with a museum, like Salta, or without an art museum but with universities, like Valparaíso, which have been able to develop a firm and lasting local art platform. But the fact that a work surface without one single leg has achieved generating an emerging scene is an unprecedented act and takes place in Antofagasta. Inspired by this reflection by the artist from Tucuman and SACO6 judge, I reconstructed the history of the Group’s work – initiatives that resulted in the growing of the extremities: SCHOOL WITHOUT A SCHOOL If we were to understand a school as an academic and hierarchical space, structured and fossilized according to nineteenth-century norms and canons, we would not be in a position to operate, since the Colectivo SE VENDE is an organization independent from the universities and that maintains a critical view of what the career means today. But if we comprehend and desire an educational platform as
a space for the constant transfer of know-how and techniques, development of critical thinking, generation of interdisciplinary connections, link with the territory, creation of human links through work and shared objectives, dialogue, reflection and reading, we can indeed establish a school. TERRITORY Learning without walls expands the absorption of knowledge; the landscape stimulates and demands interaction. The link with the desert turns research, creation as well as learning into extremely local and contextualized events at the level of processes and experiences, but that are universal in terms of content. INTERDISCIPLINARY NATURE Listening based on the sources of significant contents, such as astronomy, geology, archaeology, history or ocean sciences, among other areas of knowledge in the case of northern Chile, enables constructing real contemporary and transversal questions in the fields of research. In ISLA we developed a network for exchange with scientists, which nourishes the research by local and resident artists.
EDITORIALIZING SACO has its annual editorial line, with a book and a documentary film with versions in Spanish and English, in addition to publications related to specific projects. The intersection of disciplines is also present in the Colectivo’s editorial projects, including thinkers from various areas of knowledge in order to reflect on the multiple local contexts – the landscape, the politics, the industry, the multiculturalism, the clearest sky on the planet, the country’s highest consumption, the climate, the official and the real history, and finally the desert that encompasses us, with its transcendence and its potential doors to reading. MUSEUM WITHOUT A MUSEUM Every space is potentially expository. Exercises, both internal and external, of conversion and appropriation expand and democratize access to art, not only de-monopolizing the circuit of conventional museums and galleries, but above all enriching and diversifying the use and reading of urban space, renewing ways of inhabiting, circulating and looking. They also enter into a fresh and unique dialogue with the place and maintain a nomadic autonomy, never ceasing o seek out and rethink. IN THE FRAMEWORK OF SACO6 Everything that happened In the framework of SACO6 was an exuberant materialization of museum without a museum. It covered urban and desert territories, associatively linking with the city’s principal cultural facilities: the Melbourne Clark Historical Pier, Minera Escondida Foundation / Balmaceda Arte Joven, Antofagasta Station Cultural Centre, Artequin Museum / INACAP, Regional Library, Instituto Superior Latinoamericano de Arte ISLA and The driest place in the world, Quillagua. Visual flood covered five exhibitions in the city of Antofagasta, constructing a tour alternative to the commercial circuits, offering a different experience and urban mapping. Identified graphically through borders placed on the facades, with its curatorial and museographical coherence, visual communication and mediation, it effectively constructed a museum that no longer needed a building with a plaque, since it had expanded, taking over a good share of the city (page 130). In addition to Visual flood there were three more elements this year. The residency of the Polish filmmaker Julia Popławska initiated SACO6 in July, doing a teaser for a documentary in the Atacama Desert, followed as always in ISLA by educational opportunities: a review of audio visual, documentary and experimental portfolios of Poplawska’s two latest pieces, accompanied by an open conservatory for the local visual and audio visual scene (page 171). 128
The grand crater of the Valley of the Meteorites (where no meteorite has ever fallen and despite the respectable resistance of the residents of Quillagua, it seems that we should stop using that name) was the site of an intervention by the artist Ximena Zomosa, who with AnĂłnima (Anonymous), a semi-transparent female uniform, with a scale five times larger, alludes to womenâ€™s role in society. Gigantic, however subordinated and frequently made invisible. The action itself, carried out by seven women, could be interpreted as a gesture of gender solidarity, faced with historical and contingent problems (page 169). Marcos Figueroa, now in his role as an academician, proposed an intensive session as a way of expanding and updating knowledge of contemporary art for a group of visual arts teachers from the municipal establishments of Tocopilla, Taltal, Mejillones and Antofagasta. The work methodology proposed for this session, organized in conjunction with the Regional Council for Culture and the Arts, took advantage of the expository opportunities of SACO6 to bring teachers closer to contemporary production in an empirical manner and thereby encourage replicas in their daily teaching work, inside and outside the classroom (page 175). Dagmara Wyskiel
CONTEMPORARY SIGNALS OF THE LOCAL The Contemporary Art Week of Antofagasta is more than a week, in the literal sense and its implications. The diversity of activities involved in this encounter organized by the Colectivo SE VENDE, covers three months of the year and irradiates to Antofagasta and beyond, as each experience of assembly, exhibition, dialogue, coordination and camaraderie among the different actors involved, constitutes - and it is proven- a transfer of information to other cities, other countries, other scenes. Thus, each artist, curator, manager or other professional of the arts that participates in SACO is transformed into a sort of chasqui, those messenger runners that carried information from one place to another in the Inca period. That is why the news of this encounter conceived from the region has reached many ears and this is reflected in the impressive Latin American response to the first call for projects for the central sample of SACO, LOVE: decadence and resistance. This article, however, does not refer to that instance or to those territorial displacements, but to the local repercussions that the encounter is having, after its sixth version. This year, the activities In the framework of SACO, that took place before and during the international exhibition, were concentrated since
July in the set of exhibitions that formed Aluviรณn visual (Visual Flood), an evocative title of the geographical inclemencies to which the northern zone of Chile has been exposed in the last few years, and which at the same time seeks to reflect the movements and currents that arise in a city when images take places and offer an alternative or a response to the eagerness of knowledge, discussion and of reflection. Four cultural halls of Antofagasta inaugurated the same day dissimilar visual proposals, forming a route that alters, and to a certain extent subverts, the spaces and dynamics of that city. The Artequin Hall, part of the Inacap educational center, offered an exhibition tour inserted in the central topic of SACO6, LOVE: decadence and resistance. Proposing a mediator curator, educator Carolina Contreras and her team selected images from their own collection of universal art history, composed of authorized reproductions of works of all times. Thus, they prepared a narrative around different manifestations of love, such as fondness, passions, religious devotion, mysticism or ideologies, crossing epochs, authors and artistic lines. The exhibition, mounted on panels, was organized and conceptualized for the teaching and transmission of appreciation and understanding tools of the materialisation of the aesthetic experience. 131
As winner of the X Young Art Award Competition of the MAVI Visual Arts Museum, Pilar Elgueta exhibited in the Balmaceda Arte Joven hall of the Minera Escondida Foundation her video - installation 1/8 por el todo (1/8 for the whole), title taken from the definition of Metonymy, rhetorical figure by means of which a whole is designated by one of its parts, or vice versa, by relation of spatial, temporal or logical inclusion or proximity. Pilar Elgueta pointed to a fundamental issue of contemporary art such as the representation, establishing a series of metaphors about the endeavour, between heroic and absurd, trying to resemble reality through an image manufactured by the pictorial profession. Going into the scenario perhaps more unembraceable and unrepresentable that an artist could choose, the southern landscape, Pilar Elgueta documented the route by boat of a painting of hers that represented an iceberg, and how this unsuccessfully sought to head and reach its real referent. In the hall, elements such as an audiovisual record of that exploit, a large pool full of water subjected to a complex irrigation mechanism and the canvas itself, creation of the artist mistreated by the harsh weather conditions and the swell in her particular exploit, were part of a surrounding assembly, whose atmosphere was accentuated by elements such as lighting and sound. Also bringing with him a successful participation in a metropolitan event, the FAXXI Art Fair, the originally artist from Calama, David Corvalรกn, exhibited in the Mezanina
Hall of the Antofagasta Regional Library, his sculptural series Polvo eres (Dust you are), with human figures made out of sticks and phosphorus carbon. Individuals in different positions - perhaps afflicted, saddened - coexisted with some bidimensional elements in the exhibition where, through material precariousness conjugated to the great technical virtuosity, Corvalán sought to question the moulds for love, being these imposed from society, religion, the family or the state. They are fragile materials that talk about the fragility of our liberties and how the different stages of the history elaborate symbolic or economic structures that determine and dispose how to act ourselves. The coastal town of Pisagua, as referent, as a model and even as a work support, crossed the exhibition Efecto perimetral (Perimeter Effect) at the Antofagasta Station Cultural Centre, of the colectivo that makes up the visual artists Juana Guerrero, Vania Caro Melo, María Inés Candia and Catalina González. They represent four generations of women who, for different reasons, have lived or live in the Tarapacá Region. And none of them could remain indifferent to the power of that territory facing the sea, where the beauty and vastness of the landscape coexist in conflict, with the different and contradictory stages that this territory has gone through history, from economic splendour to state terrorism, deterioration and abandonment. 133
Once a city of saltpetre prosperity, in other periods of leprosarium and jail, but mainly known as one of the largest and most brutal concentration camps of the Chilean military dictatorship, Pisagua is there silent and abandoned, like a ghost zone that these four artists reuse to generate plots of significance. In a heart-rending performatic act, Juana Guerrero dug in the sand whipped by the waves suggesting an action similar to that of the relatives of disappeared detainees who transit the desert looking for some trace, some trace of the whereabouts of their loved ones. The title of her work, Necia, emphasizes the desolate tone of this repetitive action that Juana recorded in video, installing three screens at ground level, showing different moments and shots in the several days she went to the beach, shovel in hand, to carry out this utopian rescue action. Vania Caro Melo used El sonido (The Sound) to evoke, in a neat little booth in the style of public telephones prior to mobile telephones; the rumour of the sea recorded from inside the old Municipal Theatre of Pisagua, which in a hard period of our recent history housed a female detention centre. The spectator entered the compartment, adjusted the headphones to their ears and instantly moved to that space and repositioned themselves in the place of those women deprived of freedom, through the distant sound of the sea that would have accompanied their daily routine.
In her installation De cilicios y silencios (Of silices and silences), the artist María Inés Candia reviewed part of the history of Pisagua, contributing with her own research on the dyes used by the women of the nitrate period to make their clothes beautiful. On the floor of the hall, she made a sand board, coloured powders and different textures and elements from that area that she was collecting and that she exposed them to the typical busy visit of an exhibition, the footsteps of the viewers, the breeze that came through the window, like a metaphor of the territory of Pisagua, that carries an anguished history and presents itself naked and exposed to the ruin in the present time. As a complement, María Inés Candia installed on the wall a series of small boxes with a hole to watch or hear, stories, memories, images that illustrate and evoke the history of Pisagua. Lastly, Catalina González, who also installed on the floor the beautiful image corresponding to the registry of Circumvolutions, a performance that she carried out together with a group of women from Tarapacá, all victims or relatives of detainees during the military regime in Chile, moving and wandering in the territory of Pisagua, circumscribed to lines and circles similar to the geoglyphs, but which are actually marks of military sharpshooting that to this day can be found in that area of northern Chile. The audiovisual image was developed in a loop, on a metal plate with lime and plaster, which provided a texture to the scene, also embodying the feeling or idea of the desert sand. 135
At the same time of her participation in Efecto perimetral (Perimeter Effect), Catalina Gonzรกlez exhibited this one and other works regarding the territory in the Patricia Ready Gallery in Santiago. Joined by a spontaneous need to address, expose and reflect from the visuality the still conflictive and unresolved problem of the abuse of human rights in Chile, these four artists continue to complement their individual authorial processes with this collective project. The Aluviรณn visual (Visual flood) of SACO6 expresses an irruption of images in a vertiginous city, of accelerated demographic, migratory and also real estate growth. A city of luxuries on one hand, where priceless capital are managed as a result of the mining activity, opulent lifestyles, buildings that reproduce the architecture of the most glamorous beaches in the Mediterranean or millionaire residential areas of Miami. And on the other side, there is poverty, unemployment, unstable economic and housing situation of hundreds of immigrants from different countries in Latin America. Antofagasta is the most expensive city in Chile and also boasts one of the highest living costs of the continent, coexisting with it misery and garbage, as well as the unfortunate rate of lethal diseases resulting from air and sea pollution. A contradictory city, constituted mostly by the European immigration at the end of the nineteenth century and converted, over time, into a city of passing by or
dormitory-city for businessmen, executives and miners; city that does not generate a pride of origin, but that at the same time produces in its inhabitants a certain arrogance as representatives of the so-called â€œDubai of Latin Americaâ€?. In this city, capital of the II Region, there is not a university school of art since the humanistic and artistic superior studies were dismantled by the military dictatorship. This situation does not prevent that there are numerous interested, amateur and more experienced people in the various practices of visuality, from the traditional painting and sculpture, to the current expressions of experimental art and the conceptual and processual genres. The call Ven a mi casa (Come to my house) that launched the Colectivo SE VENDE for the first stage of SACO6 was aimed to these several generations of self-trained artists, perhaps the main ones responsible for reflecting and generating critical thinking in this great territory of contradictions. Nine proposals were selected to conceptualize a collective exhibition that constituted the first curatorial work of Dagmara Wyskiel, director of the encounter. At the Antofagasta Station Cultural Centre, just in the wing of the building opposite Efecto perimetral (Perimeter Effect), the nine artists from the region occupied the large hall with installation and audiovisual proposals that led us to elucubrate about how contemporary art sneaks in places and societies, even in the face of precarious formation, even in the absence of referents. 137
As if it were a desperate need in a city that lives in emergence, this generation of “emerging” local talents openly raises their own conflicts and contradictions with the place they live. The exhibition complemented the aesthetics of each one of its narratives and formal solutions with a documentalist zeal as an authentic response to the call to think about the city. Hanging from the ceiling, Gabriel Navia’s work Tapete (Tapestry) was referring to the decorative looms so characteristic from the Arab world. They were five meters of photographic image of the main landfill of Antofagasta, the plot of hundreds and thousands of scrap elements merging with the most emblematic iconography of the North American The aerial image captivated the viewer in the search for new details among the garbage, the birds that fly over it, or the tramp who pokes around in the hope of finding leftovers or an object of value. Its title proposed a double reading between the beautiful ornamental rugs and the idea of covering what society conceals or refuses to see, expressed particularly in the character lost among garbage, a homeless subject, an invisible being, who was difficult to capture in a photograph at first sight. Proceeding with the tour, the artist Patricia Díaz welcomed us to her Hospital vegetal (Vegetable hospital), a kind of on-site laboratory where she herself established a schedule to treat different plants, which inhabited and overflowed nature and, in turn, entailed a clear gesture of alertness, a cry of denunciation about the “disease” that the green world experiences today, particularly in a city 139
like Antofagasta where the native flora is replaced in places and public spaces by costly external vegetation, where since a few years ago a progressive real estate speculation, along with the paving of public spaces is being encouraged. Next to her work was Transacciones (Transactions) of the Colombian artist Claudia León, who currently resides, studies and works in Antofagasta. Given the high cost of living in this new stage for her, she was proposed to write down each of her daily expenses in a notebook. These personal and routine notes were displayed on the wall, facing the notebook itself, which for the artist took on a sentimentalbiographical value because it summarized, by means of figures, her landing in this country, and customs, tastes, activities, to which she dedicates this stage of her life. Claudia León’s notebook acquires a life of her own and gives an account of the adaptation processes that this immigrant experiences in the city, her adoption of terms such as “micro” (bus for collective transportation) or “chela” (beer) and the value of the money that constitutes a record of epoch of the space and time it represents. Next was the installation of the Francisco Vergara´s video, projected on the floor, which referred precisely to the irruption of a short-term urbanism and without much logic. The work Maritorio arises from a bold performative action undertaken by Vergara, who submerged a few meters from the shoreline, carrying cobbles on his backs to install them on the sand, as an absurd intention to pave the sea. The artist registered all his underwater operation, which he exhibited on the floor with
a fading narrative, of an aqueous movement that brought us back to certain classic forms of video art or experimental video and abstract cinema. Francisco Vergara´s work is a direct criticism of the vertiginous advance of the paving in Antofagasta, which, in fact, has diminished the coastal ranges, wondering and opening the question Who is the owner of the sea? The artist Antonieta Clunes literally “took” a corner of the old building, next to the staircase of noble woods, to create a fragment of scenography of an old house, characteristic of a bourgeois family from Antofagasta of the early twentieth century. Polvo al polvo (Dust to dust) was the title of this piece where furniture, objects and wallpaper looked deteriorated due to the passage of time and accumulated dust. Through this scene, the artist articulated a very local wink, making evident one of the serious environmental problems that have long affected Antofagasta, with devastating consequences in terms of healthiness and quality of life, without rising concern or disposition of palliative or resolutive measures on the part of the authorities of yesterday or today. For many years, the railroad carried lead to the city, without the minimum regulation, which in the medium and long term generated deteriorations and irreversible diseases in many of its inhabitants, reminding with sadness the very local denomination of “children of lead”, born with physical limitations due to this sneaky pollution.
Sebastián Rojas fully devoted to photojournalism, which he develops as a reporter for the newspaper La Estrella de Antofagasta, made as an extension of his activities, a portrait photography workshop for a group of women and men of different ages with some type of physical or psychic disability. In the classes they reviewed books of portraits of outstanding national and foreign photographers; Sebastián Rojas proposed to each one to choose the portrait that most identified him/her, and photographing each other, they tried to emulate that photographic reference. He moved that exercise to the hall of the Station Cultural Center, installing a wooden wall with very small perforations, located at different heights. The holes were illuminated, drawing a horizontal luminous map of Antofagasta. At the same time, the public could peek through these holes, in some of them reaching up, in others crouching, and could see in each of them, a portrait of the disabled people from the workshop. The work Altura de miras (High mindedness) makes us see face to face those “other ones”, subjects with different abilities, that generate us distance, that we do not know if they will understand us or if we will understand them; a work about love and empathy, framed in the curatorial invitation to rethink one’s own territory and also, very effectively, in the macro theme of SACO6, LOVE: decadence and resistance. Pamela Canales also took charge of a problematic reality of her city, echoing the names and popular uses that are installed with irony in the language, such as
“Antofa-pasta” or “Drogopilla”, which allude to the proliferation of traffic of drugs in these locations of the II Region, with its consequent dangers derived from the youth-poverty-delinquency nomenclature. The artist picked up for some time the pieces of paper thrown to the ground after containing the base paste consumed by hundreds of young people at an early age. Most of these were notebook pages, which were placed as a sample or twodimensional object on the wall of the hall. With the title Jornada completa (Full day), referring to the class schedules of these consumers, Pamela Canales installed the evidence of progressive non-responsible consumption among the population of adolescents and even children. The tour continued with the exhibition of Julio Morales with a large structure of calamines that referred to the symbolic cut generated historically in Antofagasta by the train line, making the difference between the poorest population in the upper part of the city and families with more stability or economic condition, on the plain. Morales responded to the call with the work Ven a mi casa, vivo al frente de la cachimba del agua (Come to my house, I live across from the water pipe) that redesigned the geography in a flat form, with structures found as waste, adding small social houses made out of copper, the star metal of the national mining industry.
The collective exhibition Ven a mi casa (Come to my house), concluded or started, depending on the individual tour, with the video Livinâ€™ by JordĂĄn Plaza, where he was the protagonist wrapped in a kind of routine of wandering, of letting his imagination run free or to the dead spaces of the daily workday. Engineering student, Plaza shows himself in his learning tasks or in his hobby playing the guitar, and he is interrupted and at the same time accompanied by a character that seems drawn from virtual reality and that is probably his own alter ego. Sometimes this kind of cyber doll appears tormented in a body whose epidermis corresponds to the periodic table of the elements, other times gives way to the Oscar statuette, but rather less svelte, dancing with a contagious rhythm, and returns the protagonist to his routines in a loop projection that managed to disturb and incite a second look. These nine particular and at the same time complementary proposals correspond to individuals of different generations who, most of them, do not have formal art studies. However, all come and go from this type of knowledge, everyone knows each other as they have coincided throughout their lives in all kinds of workshops that are given in the region. Connected by a vocation or by an intense interest in the arts of visuality, they submitted to this collective exercise that reflected certain characteristic ways of contemporary art, such as the editing of diverse external materialities, the audiovisual practice, the site specific, the notion of the active
viewer or the use of the architecture belonging to the exhibition space. All of them also reflected the collective sensibilities in front of the territory and the time they had to live, transmitting, perhaps, through art, the demands and feelings of vulnerability of many more, not necessarily artists, parents and grandparents, previous generations who have responded to social molds much more fixed and immutable. This Aluviรณn visual (Visual flood) brought the art of contemporaneity to Antofagasta. Contemporaries meanwhile are in their own time, imbued in the vertigo of change and at the same time, they are able to perceive it. These Chilean artists are holding the march of the Contemporary Art Week of Antofagasta towards the coming times, as a necessary observation of the local visuals in the framework of the transnational activities agenda contained in SACO. Elisa Cรกrdenas
A BROKEN MIRROR FACING THE CITY OPEN THE DOOR Ven a mi casa (Come to my house) brought together nine local artists to reflect on the city understood as a home on a macro scale, the extended home. The city segmented between places and non-places, stigmatized neighbourhoods, no longer a camp or nitre port, but rather a diverse weave, noisy and rapidly changing, from which all of us who live here are a part. Subordinate to industry and its resources, tastes, concepts of beauty and well-being, the “Dubai of Latin America” is proud and self-conscious, uncomfortable with herself and arrogant at the same time. But Antofagasta is also the domestic, intimate, private space, the space of memories and small daily rituals, of the kitchen, the yard, and the bathroom. Is there a particular stamp in the intimate area here? Anything native? ... Humble houses, apartments, huts, traditional middle-class homes, large houses, camps, condominiums. La Bonilla, Coviefi, Centro, Jardines de Sur, La Chimba, Playa Blanca, El Golf, Parque Inglés, La Favorecedora, La Miramar ... The houses build streets, plots, neighbourhoods. The invitation was to recognize and rethink the city in a shared way, like when you open your doors and say: “Ven a mi casa (Come to my house) – the city I inhabit, with affection.” In doing so, there is always a gesture of trust; clearly we do not invite everyone inside. Because there inside, our weaknesses, unfulfilled dreams, vices and bad habits are in plain view; the lack of cleanliness and precarious momentary solutions that remain forever. All the works of Come to my house speak from discomfort, scarcity or loneliness, from various arrivals and anchorage. SCRAMBLED, BUT NOT DILUTED The conceptualization and realization of the pieces featured key collective opportunities, where the exchange of experiences and convictions, from the existential and every-day, related to the city, to the artistic and formal, related to languages and media, had a significant influence in conjugating the exhibition and its museography. One of the primary objectives of this exercise was to create spaces for discussion of an emerging local scene, and the issues inherent to these instances, proposing concrete platforms for collaborating, coming together, and exchanging knowledge that arose during production. THE FRONT GARDEN Three of the nine proposals emphasized pollution, and it was no longer a call, but a cry for attention, which has historically been ignored or silenced. Dirtiness, in its semiotic diversity, traverses the water, air and rock; the skin, calamine and 147
wallpaper; everything becomes unclean inside and out - the public, private and intimate. We are contaminated; we form an impregnated part of this landscape. This is the last moment for you to regret having come close and not continue forward, without consequences. You can close the door from outside or come in. WHAT WE KEEP QUIET AND/OR WHAT MAKES US KEEP QUIET From a height of five meters, Gabriel Navia displayed a roll with continuous images, offering the viewer a wallpaper one hundred percent local, with photographs of a rubbish dump in Antofagasta, repeated as a design intended for large surfaces. In Tapete (Tapestry), among the striking shapeless accumulation of colours, only a very keen eye would find a person. A stain, a body which, from the heights of neoliberal macroeconomics, is nothing more than everything that surrounds it. From the bottom of the urban sea, exploited to death, Francisco Vergara carried out a performative action, Maritorio, (Ocean Territory) consisting of paving the sand, placing cement cobblestones at a depth of about two meters, and a few steps inland from the coastline. The video record of this action, projected at ground level, would suggest that there was a hole in the parquet flooring of the room, through which we could plunge, along with Vergara, into the postindustrial waters. Polvo al polvo, (Dust to dust), a corner that could be a stage set for a classic horror movie, was installed at the back of the Antonieta Clunes hall. Time, impregnated in the layers of wall paper, dirt accumulated slowly, a mixture of ash, sweat, smoke, respiration, broken dreams and who knows what else. It could also be a fragment of what was left of a bourgeois house after a bombing, a disaster, or simply from abandonment. Of someone who never wanted to take charge or be part of, who took advantage of the moment and then left, like the owner of a niter field, for example. What remains is what could be impregnated into the wall, leaving traces of the absent, the fragile and the destructible. Following the trail of collapse, we find Jornada completa (Full time) a collage by Pamela Canales, of cocaine paste cigarette papers, extracted from sheets of school notebooks and guides. The almost achromatic composition, a white accumulation of small cutouts, obliges us to come closer, and that is where the remains of the final content, the stains and traces of the drug appear. In looking at the packages of the substance, which slaughters disadvantaged youth in Chile, we realize what may be the ultimate use of several photocopies of exercises for the PSU (University Selection Exam). And we suspect what will be the final test, which the majority of them will not pass. Another group of those who are invisible in society, but not by their own choice, are those who SebastiĂĄn Rojas invited to hold a self-portrait workshop. â€œDisability, in visual terms, is not in those who suffer some type of physical or mental 149
abnormality, rather it is in the neoliberal ideology (...) constructing an imagery that is visible for some, and marginalizing those who see differently, which is why disability does not involve disabled people, but rather a disabling society.”3 With Altura de mira (High-mindedness.) the photographer installed a wall on which, through a series of small holes that constructed a subtle and luminous map of Antofagasta, he embedded photographs. To see them, we have to stretch or bend down for an intimate contact with each image, in order to discover and destigmatize the other, who is looking at us, hidden behind a wall - built by this society - that separates us. There are various incisions that divide, break and split up Antofagasta. The physical one, which has historically marked the city and its development is the horizontal line cut by the train tracks. The “upper” and “lower” sectors prompted different ways in neighborhood life and in the neighborhood. Julio Morales, with Ven a mi casa, vivo al frente de la cachimba del agua (Come to my house, I live across from the water pipe), a work inspired by a museographic diorama, turned the geography vertical, making it resemble a drawing without perspective, where the layers are superimposed, one on top of the other, rising up the hills. The houses below were of copper, and the hills of calamine, two metals that are part of the logic of duality between firmness and insecurity. Claudia León exhibited the vestige of the microeconomics of an immigrant. A meticulous control of personal cash flow became a tool of resistance. Transacciones (Transactions) is both an exercise in order and self-control, and a calligraphic and minimalist object. “I’m from a country where the value of the money is four times less than the value of Chilean money. In addition to that, I not only decided to study and live for a while in this country, one of the most expensive of our continent, but I also chose the most expensive city in Chile: Antofagasta. In order to watch over the money I had saved, and to start to understand how much it would cost me to live in this city, I decided to go through the exercise of noting everything I spent in a little book. At first it was a method of control, then it became an exercise of memories, in a small space where not only my money transactions were reflected but also my basic needs, my tastes, my relationships, my life, my home(s).”4 In a performative act, Patricia Díaz diagnosed and provided first aid care for plants. Hospital vegetal (Vegetal hospital) is a utopian proposal that makes us reflect on the limits of our real commitment and empathy with these living beings. Is the flora capable of generating feelings in us, like pets do? Or is our relationship with the plant world closer to objectual? Diaz alludes to both the uncertain future of green spaces in the city and their progressive degradation or paving over in recent
Sebastián Rojas, Altura de mira, Project description, 2017. Claudia León, Transacciones, Project description, 2017.
years. The emergency ward is precarious and there is not room for all the needy, occupying neighboring spaces, resembling the current conditions of public health in Chile. We end the tour with the most hermetic and at the same time playful, freak work. In his domestic space - Livinâ€™ - Jordan Plaza has appointments with different fictional characters, products fused from among his fantasy, television and Internet. The act of observing them converts the artist/character into an introspective traveler who actually shares with us a fleeting moment, those when the brain stops obeying the strictness of thought imposed by logic and necessity, and takes off every which way, making an intro zapping. In these lapses we end up pursuing coherence and allow ourselves to observe the kaleidoscope of our imagination. We refuse to name and explain what is being projected to us, because we know that in trying to do so, it would ruin everything. Dagmara Wyskiel
PERIMETER EFFECT Pisagua was an image in the subconscious, a type of symbol of the imagination of the terror in Chile that is learned as we grow up. Something that is in the house along with the thousands of stories that must be dealt with. That image is rooted in each one of us, so as we got to know each other, it seemed to me that we assumed it. That was how we were being invited one by one on a tour we didnâ€™t know where, or what it was going to become. Like any good trip, the farther we advanced the harder it was for us to return, and so, almost four years... The first tours allowed us to see much more than that ghost of the dictatorship. A site on the periphery, like many in the region, with a population mostly errant in pursuit of gathering seaweed. Few are those who have watched time pass in that place. Geography seems to have been cruel with Pisagua; like in several of the coves in the north, the coastal mountain range comes dangerously close to the sea,
making you feel a sort of claustrophobia with the pampa above and the ocean below. Or would it be the history? Getting there is difficult; you have to rent a car, have a whole day or two, and the trip is not only long but also visually unending. Luckily among the four of us there was no lack of things to talk about. So, we started to take it all in - the images, the sounds the ideas; Pisagua is an overload of information in itself, from Peru, the nitre, the Chinese slaves, the war, the tsunami, the abandonment, the military exercises, the prison that was for fishermen, the three times it was used as a detention and torture camp. The grave. It seems to me that each one was obsessed with different landmarks, but in the same way. Everything came about in a collaborative way, without a formula and perhaps without being a group in its full definition. We never defined ourselves as such; we were guided by an organic path based on love and interest in what those next to us were doing, to show what we were forming, and even changing our minds at the last minute based on how to be more faithful to what we needed to create.
We came to SACO6 with the experience of two interventions in former railroad stations of Tarapacá, the first in Pisagua and the second in Iquique. Two abandoned and dismantled stations (the first was safeguarded by an absurd and almost touching sign that said not to plunder). Now we were in a building owned by Ferrocarriles de Antofagasta, right in the middle of the Contemporary Art Week. We received thousands of questions based on the mediation, including some unfortunate comments that just forced us to reconsider the why; also beautiful stories of rereading each work, which gave meaning to it all, and as the time passed, our mediator, Paulina Contador made us arrive through all means possible. It seemed that even being close, Pisagua was a landscape too far away. Perimeter effect (Efecto perimetral) was taking on a life of its own; it was reaffirming the need to extend it to other contexts, to debate on the violence and peripheries in all possible places. We are just starting to process what participating in SACO6 meant and the other paths that will arise based on that, but we remain with the fixed idea of continuing to expand the symbol of what Pisagua is; continue rereading, questioning and reactivating it. Vania Caro Project Member Perimeter effect (Efecto perimetral) are: Juana Guerrero Catalina González María Inés Candia Vania Caro Melo
DUST YOU ARE With precarious materiality, the sculptor David Corvalán constructed his series Polvo eres (Dust you are) which is shown for the first time in SACO6, after Transparente desechable (Transparent and disposable), a set of visually attractive synthetic materials, full of bright colours, with which he won the FAXXI-SACO competition in 2016, winning over the public and selling several of his pieces in the contemporary art fair held in Santiago in April 2017. In the Regional Library of Antofagasta, David Corvalán proposes sharing an existential reflection with sculptures made of burned out matches, carried out with notable skill. In this attempt that hit the mark in going into depth on an existentialist reflection, the artist faces love, understood here as giving oneself absolutely to a higher order, filled with dogmas, leading us up to self-annulment, to sacrifice. Through this assembly, Corvalán questions the system of values imposed by the fundamentalist Catholic religion and the patriotism of war, where suffering and giving up one’s own life constitute the only road to glory and the transcendental sense of individual existence. But the threat of turning over personal freedom for 155
others to manage belongs not only to the past â€“ it remains always current, today in the form of accelerated competitiveness and consumerism. We burn ourselves out running after illusory goals. We are fragile, exposed to pain and destruction. The metaphor of Polvo eres (Dust you are) leads us to reflect on the vulnerability of our bodies and minds, but also to question to what we devote our time, our energy, and our lives. Dagmara Wyskiel
David CorvalĂĄn, a Chilean visual artist residing in the city of Calama. Designer from the Universidad de Antofagasta (2003). Two years later he earned a Masters in the Theory and Practice of Contemporary Plastic Arts at the Universidad Complutense de Madrid, UCM, and then took a Doctorate course in Space and Sculptural Form at the same university, earning a Master of Advanced Studies in that specialization in 2008. He continued to develop his abilities in contemporary sculpture and is currently performing work along that line. In 2009, he won the Santander Europe grant. In 2011 he participated in an urban intervention in the city of Santander, Spain with the work Tres caracoles azules (Three blue snails). With all the knowledge gained in Europe, he returned to Chile in 2012 and since then resides in Calama, where he won two awards in the Art Salon of Alto Loa in 2014 and 2015. Recently, he was the winner of the FAXXI-SACO 2017 competition with the sculptural series Transparente y desechable (Transparent and disposable), which has been exhibited in Calama and was part of the FAXXI 2017 Fair in Santiago, Chile.
1/8 FOR THE WHOLE THE EXHIBITION 1/8 FOR THE WHOLE POINTS AT ONE EIGHTH OF AN ICEBERG, WHICH IS THE PART OF THE ICE BLOCK THAT CAN BE SEEN ABOVE THE WATER What we are invariably missing, what we cannot take in at first sight, marks from the start our approach to the work by Pilar Elgueta. The idea of the viewerâ€™s limitation faced with the environment, the human (in)capacity to perceive only fragments of the totality of the surroundings, knowing that what is substantive is often hidden from our eyes, plunges us into the setting where the artist wants to take us. Her works starts by stating, based on its title, that what we see is not but a fraction of the situation and that this, in the case of the metaphor of the iceberg presented to us, is away from our eyes, but not from our awareness. We know that there is much more, but in order to go into depth in it, we must carry out the reflective exercise she proposes to us. Profound and simple, like every big idea, the operation suggests not dwelling on the forms of what is perceptible, but rather on experimenting at the borders of our own limits, the limits of art, and the limits of painting. We start by questioning the visible, simple reality, such as the iceberg, and then move on to a deeper sphere, of what
is felt, now in the area of fiction. In order to focus us on this process, the artists takes us to run kilometres after her illusion. She wants to demonstrate to us, (demonstrate to herself?) that the difficulty of the task proposed is not enough of an obstacle not to go after it. Like a heroine evoking a Werner Herzog film, the artist submerges us in the odyssey of moving an iceberg, her own fictional iceberg painted on a canvas, from the workshop in the centre of the city to the place where another real twin could be found, with which to contrast it. A fruitless task. Nothing is as expected, or perhaps everything is as she expects: the impossibility of recognizing in the fiction more than a few minor traces of the immensity of the surface of the ice that is displayed before our eyes. But, does she expect something else? The answer is no. And then perhaps we, as spectators of this heroic deed, will consider that the success of her feat may not be in achieving an objective, determined beforehand as a failure, but rather in the task itself. The striking image below is that of the artist in a boat, fragile, exposed, with her iceberg facing the iceberg. An extraordinary visual metaphor of the uselessness of the search for representation in art. What makes a person risk her physical safety to go beyond what is apparently rational, to deal with all types of obstacles and finally be faced with that majestic mass of ice from a precarious boat? What is absurd about the scene, the out-ofplace dimensions, taking extreme risks to obtain what we inferred from the first moment, manages to put our reasoning out of place, and it is in that subversive act where the work was able to open the gap and drive us directly to the place she wants. Just as in the work that won the MAVI Arte Joven Award in 2015, with the amazing title Tres maneras de fracasar frente a un paisaje (Three ways of failing faced with a landscape) she strips away the imminent occurrence of failure to reveal it as the engine of her action. Limitation, understood as the driving force to resume over and over again a contemporary artistâ€™s unanswered questions faced with the reality that surrounds her. The myth of Sisyphus. MarĂa Irene Alcalde Curator Museo de Artes Visuales MAVI
THE TIP OF THE ICEBERG IN THE DESERT This year I had the opportunity to be present with the exhibition of 1/8 For the whole in the exhibition circuit that is done In the framework of SACO6 in Antofagasta, thanks to the alliance for the second consecutive year between the Museo de Artes Visuales MAVI and the SACO project. It was an honour to have been a part, along with great artists, of an initiative of such importance that is growing year by year, producing an impact on an international level and strengthening the decentralization of the focal points of contemporary art in Chile. I am very grateful for the invitation and interest on the part of the Colectivo SE VENDE and the work of the SACO team, who opened their home and made it ours, having to split up among four simultaneous exhibitions in order to carry out this project. I highlight the mediation effort and the active role of the guides and guardians of the works, along with all those who collaborated in the assembly and disassembly. I want to give an enormous thanks also to the MAVI team for supporting my work, being able to move the fragile and large-sized works from Santiago, and above all for extending the life of my first individual exhibition outside the walls of its museum and expanding it to other territories. The tour of exhibitions, called Flujo visual (Visual flood) brought together artists and works in different places of the city. 1/8 Por el todo (1/8 For the whole) was in the underground space of Balmaceda Arte Joven, in the Minera Escondida Foundation building. The room had space for a delicate and complex assembly of a work that had never been shown in an exhibition hall, and that included 500 litres of water in a continuous waterfall system. The work functioned for a month and a half with water that as the days passed was oxidising, eroding and shrinking an oil painting. 1/8 Por el todo (1/8 For the whole), with its set of multimedia installations, sought to speak of the landscape and representation, but in being transferred to this context it was also activated as a temporary portal: a window toward the humid and glacial environment of the southern zone of our country, from the other end, the region where the driest place in the world is found. Pilar Elgueta Visual artist
Pilar Elgueta (1989), a visual artist residing in Santiago, Chile. She is studying at the School of Art of the Universidad Catรณlica de Chile, where she has worked as an assistant professor on several occasions. She has participated in residencies and artistic research internships within the country, in places such as Tubul, Lota and Puyuhuapi. She has exhibited in collective exhibitions inside and outside Chile; was selected for the IV Balmaceda Arte Joven University Competition (MAC) and was awarded first place in the X Competition of Arte Joven / Minera Escondida (MAVI).
THE TRUNK FROM THE PAST AS A KEY TO THE CONTEMPORARY REFLECTION ON THE EXPERIENCE OF THE EXHIBITION CREATIVE BONDS: LOVE IN ART Artequin is a space with a few months of life in the city of Antofagasta. It is still being conceived and finding its identity in this setting that is so diverse, where there are not many permanent experiences in art education. In this context, the museum seeks to be a concrete support in education in the arts, both formal (school) and informal (museum), using mediation as the key to achieve that and creating a bridge between knowledge, ideas, and art abstraction, thinking about the diverse public it contemplates. Therefore, the curatorship and design of workshops was focused on inquiring, through dialogue and the visual exploration of these works, what the contribution of Western painting has been in current visual languages and the new generations in contemporary art. How could we understand what is current without looking for meanings in the deep trunk from the past that enables us to create new artistic and creative devices? The experience turned out to be more interesting than we expected, since work could be done on the idea of love in all its concepts. The activity intended for the youngest children (pre-kindergarten to 3rd year elementary) was focused on the universal love of nature, animals and the family â€“ themes that served us in triggering a series of reflections regarding the diversity of affective cores, the importance of the environment, and the symbolic value of the setting in which these children grow up. Intermediate level children (4th to 6th year elementary) experienced the theme of love associated with popular culture, specifically the emergence of communication codes based on iconography and emotion, and how they relate to the great stories present in the universal pictorial tradition, highlighting the most popular workshop of the showing, which sought to transfer the icons from traditional works to the popular digital language of the emojis. Older students (7th to 8th year elementary and secondary school) and the adult public explored the themes of body activation, including the notion of art performance and actions, in activities held through an audio visual tour of contemporary works of great relevance, encouraging the participants to identify the discursive relations with the curatorship of the exhibition. More than 500 students from different schools, municipal as well as subsidised and private, in addition to educational and independent foster institutions, participated in the Artequin Museumâ€™s active and participative methodology, many of them visiting for the first time (90% of the participants). The great value of the dynamic design of the mediated visits was emphasized, with a very good reception of the use of audio visual material as a supplement to the activities and 163
the discursive/transversal methodology of the mediations, in addition to the professionalism and specialisation of the museumâ€™s collaborators. The visits were arranged according to the scholastic level and the interests of the teachers, which enabled doing the parallel work of building loyalty and bonds with them, making a particular effort to facilitate the arrival of groups from the northern sector of the city, along with secondary schools and schools with scarce resources and transportation problems, in order to chip away at the big gap in access by these audiences to cultural activities. Carolina Contreras Director of the Artequin INACAP Museum Antofagasta
IN THE FRAMEWORK OF SACO6
ANONYMOUS Intervention in Valley of the Meteorites Ximena Zomosa August 18, 2017 based on your performance in Quillagua, what did you think of the participative idea? What I wanted to do was an experiment, bringing an object that had been in other settings, installed in communities, in places where people live. This time it was in the space of the extreme nature of Quillagua. It has been a work that has a certain closeness and different layers of readings. People have taken photographs and have received it well. Who is the owner of this smock? What were you looking for by over-sizing the object? This work is a uniform that in its neutrality could embody different roles. Itâ€™s not as clear as in other smocks I have done. For that same reason I like its ambiguity; it could belong to a nurse, a hair dresser, a teacher. I titled it Anonymous making
the relationship with what is invisible about many women, including artists throughout history who have remained in anonymity. By scaling it up 1:5 I make precisely this condition visible, I make it inevitable that it will be seen. The material it is made of, gauze, has something to do with lingerie â€“ it lets you see and doesnâ€™t let you see. In the intervention in the crater of the Valley of the Meteorites of Quillagua you asked for collaboration only from women. Why? Well, for the same reason. We women are the ones who bear that anonymity so often present in our personal or family history. We understand that phenomenon as something that very recently, just in the second half of the XX century, has been opened to the recognition of an active and influential social and intellectual place. The same in the field of art. What do you plan to do with this material? I think I will do a similar work with a piece I have saved, that I havenâ€™t shown. Then I think I will do an intervention at an urban level, or try to collaborate with the women I would like to bring to the public, creating a conversation and relationship regarding what they would like to do with symbolism or meaning. An audio visual record could also be made to be exhibited in other circumstances.
FOLLOWING THE TRACES Atacama Desert is the driest desert on Earth, but at the same time is a life-giving source of inspiration for artists, scientists, as well as a refuge of simplicity and happiness for those who inhabit and explore it. During my artistic residency, Paleontology of Love (PaleontologĂa de amor) I visited many places in the desert. I met people linked through passion and the trade with this so particular place in the geography of our planet. I had the opportunity to work with the Polish artist Dagmara Wyskiel. I got to know the geoglyphs from Loa River Valley together with Romina Gonzalez, a researcher from the Chiu-Chiu village and go far into the desert accompanied by Guillermo Chong, Professor of Geology of the Universidad CatĂłlica del Norte All these experiences made me think about the importance of the traces left behind in the desert and the need of leaving them there. They were all linked by one thing. All of them in Atacama were surrounded by traces of the past. Some of them, artists, strive to leave such traces there. I was struck by 171
the awareness that carâ€™s traces marked decades ago could still be readable on the surface. Those traces show another perception of time in the desert. Everything left there remains perfectly preserved. Human remains, objects, traces that imply other stories, other narrations.... The geological layers completely uncovered in the desert express with eloquence the small scale of human life. Facing these traces, the artist emerges with their craft and their need for expression. Creation in the desert is demanding. Confronting with the immensity of space is a condemnation of failure, but the dialogue itself with this territory gives some hope of artistic expression. I came here from Poland, a country with a completely different climate and landscape, known for its high density of small towns, where it is difficult to find a space not occupied by industry or human settlements. That is why I strongly feel the intensity of the open space of Atacama. Experiencing inconveniences with the body: burning eyes, dry mouth and throat caused by lack of humidity is a strong experience. Atacama is experienced with all the senses in a different way than other landscapes. In the desert all the senses work differently. The sight catches small details. The nose smells minimal odours, since there is no smell. The ear hears everything, because there is complete silence. 172
Some time ago I attended two artistic residences in Morocco, on the edge of the Sahara, a completely different place, full of sand dunes and orange colours. In some way, it is a predictable space. Atacama is not. At first glance it is gray. And at second glance ..again it is gray and later... even more gray. Only when you have spent more time in this landscape, when you go far into the desert, the pastel colour palette begins to impact. I remember green, purple, blue stripes and all shades of brown. Once I sat down with a piece of paper and tried to write down all the names of the colors of the â€œgrayâ€? Atacama. The list was long, and included hues of unusual colors. like indigo, sepia. As a documentary filmmaker I was brought to this place by my curiosity. There I found a desire for a sense of freedom, very present in all those I met, people linked to Atacama by passion or trade. They are devoted to what they want. They are close to the earth, and draw energy from there. They also have some kind of space of freedom within themselves. It is what Atacama gives to an artist. I followed the desert traces left by the artist Dagmara Wyskiel in the form of her spatial works, entering into a deep dialogue with the desert landscape, with the traces, geoglyphs dating back several thousand years, explored by Romina Gonzalez
from Chiu Chiu and geological traces of the Earthâ€™s history which are analysed by the academic Chong. Traces in the desert create a different sense of time. Time hides in the geological layers, in the light of the stars that have not existed in the desert for a long time. Time hides among the grooves left by cars that transported nitrate long time ago. Time stops for us - those who live briefly - on the stones of the desert. Stones that we find constant, unaware that we only see fragments of the infinite transformations of lava into rock and rock into lava. Traces in the desert lead me to the driest place on Earth, to the crater near Quillaqua, which I want to reach in the future. The crater has a particularly strong symbolic background. According to Plato, craters were the place where human souls were formed.. The crater is the most obvious trace of the activity of nature. Our artistic traces left in the desert in front of the crater are insignificant. The crater as a symbolic expression of the action of the force of nature overcomes us, artists, creators of small traces.
Julia PopĹ‚awska Documentary filmmaker Poland
THINKING OF SACO AS AN ACT OF RESISTANCE The difference between an idea and a project is that you think about how to do a project. The first remains in the drawing from the imagination, from the illusory, and the second points at the logic of the act. How many times have we thought about the necessarily dialectic interdependence between infrastructure and superstructure, of which we as the subjects are a part. Subjects and media mutually interwoven, mutually determined until something interrupts and the circle of reiterations generates a different response, opening up a new opportunity, proposing a new paradigm. A change that must necessarily be verified at the time. Then a question that again becomes valid is whether individuals can transform their environments. Now then, a scene in the field of art is a complex weave, heterogeneously constituted by artists who have in common the same social space of production, distribution and consumption, with a certain degree of institutional development, subject to regulations and capable of reproducing itself.
As we know, provincial cultural developments in Latin America were frequently linked to factors of the economy, internal and external politics and their strategic location with the large concentrations of power in the capital cities. Those processes of centralization and concentration on one hand, and on the other the effect of the exclusion and marginalisation characteristic of the centre-periphery pair, marked common traits in our countries. That is the case of cities such as Antofagasta, which until the last decade showed degrees of incompleteness that made it difficult to imagine the emergence of a scene in a setting dominated by endogamy and the lack of cultural institutions and policies capable of producing a significant change in the medium term. But that is precisely why it is interesting to note the constructive and invigorating effect that the different actions by the Colectivo SE VENDE had in recent years. It is evident that there is a productivity in that city that is starting to be read and taking on shape due to the projects in question that were intended to influence the art system. A set of coordinated actions that address long-pending issues referring to production, education and circulation. What we witnessed there in those days of SACO6 are not occasional or isolated occurrences. On the contrary, the Colectivo conceives its actions understanding that a scene cannot be conformed, much less consolidated without attending to the education of artists and other actors with roles that have an influence on
that weave, but also the conformation of spaces of production, circulation and consumption. For that reason, a large number of projects have been developed, such as Latin American Institut of Art (ISLA, Instituto Superior Latinoamericano de Arte) and SACO (Semana de Arte Contemporรกneo [Contemporary Aart Week], which is now in its sixth edition) in order to conform a strategic plan. As part of this plan, there are also actions coordinated in collaboration with the National Council for Culture and the Arts (Region of Antofagasta) and the municipal secondary schools of Tocopilla, Taltal, Mejillones and Antofagasta, with the purpose of bringing art closer to the public. A meticulous mediation task between art and teaching, the objective of which is to collaborate in building a critical mass, getting schools interested in current aesthetic issues and discussing their potential in educational processes. In our particular case, the workshop recently held in ISLA, by whom is writing these notes, was directed toward teachers of schools and secondary schools with that purpose: to work on the relationship of art and the classroom learning processes based on an aesthetic of reception. That is, to displace the traditional concept of a passive spectator to a protagonist empowered in the construction of meaning, and to consider art not as a closed phenomenon but opening that coproduction process in which dialectic phases of sensitive and cognitive operations that turn out to be vitally important come into play. The first stage of the workshop was in a classroom, after which visits were made to the exhibitions, allowing for dialogue and reflection on the themes expressed. Finally, it should be clarified that any pretext of considering just the emergence of specific occurrences as a scene would result in failure. Actually, it would have to be seen how those successes end up being enrooted in the social fabric and projecting themselves over time. We are encouraged to think that what is being done in Antofagasta carries enormous value and its effects will be able to be seen in the medium and long term. Marcos Figueroa Artist, curator and teacher Argentina
COLECTIVO SE VENDE: A MEMORY
El Colectivo SE VENDE, Mobile Contemporary Art Platform, is a work group that arose in Antofagasta in 2004, carrying out projects along three lines of action: education, linkage and territory. With a type of network operation, focused on the dissemination and reflection on new artistic practices, they have promoted various activities, in the city as well as in nearby localities, and in the desert, marking the development of contemporary visuality in Antofagasta. Under the producer and cultural manager Christian Núñez, along with the artist Dagmara Wyskiel, with a Doctorate in Visual Arts from the Fine Arts University of Cracow, Poland, SE VENDE constantly seeks new platforms for promoting, professionalizing and making the local core more dynamic. Through exhibitions, conferences, workshops, residencies, editorial projects, transdisciplinary activities, plus the coming and going of various artists, curators and cultural producers through the area, spaces for dialogue and reflection have been opened that have also been collective or collaborative opportunities. This way they have contributed to raising signs of a local scene, placing northern Chile on the map of Latin American art, inserting the Atacama Desert as a focus of interest.
Outstanding regional artists have worked as collaborators with the Group, recently including a new generation, with artists such as Pamela Canales, Antonieta Clunes, Francisco Vergara, Angélica Araya, Gabriel Navia, Luciano Paiva, Juan Troncoso, Camila Díaz, Cristian Ochoa, and Sebastián Rojas, among others. A diversity of actions have also been situated in contexts as different as Santiago, Concepción, Coliumo, Chiloé, Valparaíso, Villa Alegre, Iquique and Punta Arenas, as well as in cities in Colombia, Argentina, Mexico, the United States, Bolivia, Ecuador, Germany, Poland and Uruguay. SACO An activity that is the focus of the operations of SE VENDE, is the Contemporary Art Week of Antofagasta, SACO. The encounter, created in 2012, has fostered key local situations, growing over time, becoming professionalized in dissemination and promoting new practices, in addition to simultaneous support from the public and private sectors, and covering areas from contemporary art to autonomous activities, international links and the field of art education. Each year, SACO has also involved reconnaissance work or residency in Quillagua, an Aymara town located 280 kilometres northeast of Antofagasta, on the banks of the Loa River, in the commune of María Elena. The program The driest place in the world has raised a laboratory of ideas and creativity there where a small community has been affected by pollution from mining and the sale of the water, as well as by emigration and abandonment by state policies.
Each version of the event in Antofagasta has had a different focus: the first was an exhibition regarding contingent topics, Art + Politics + Environment, with works from Mexico, Chile, Argentina and Egypt, presented by the Argentine curator residing in the U.S., Marisa Caichiolo and the museographer Jaime Delfín from Ensenada (Mexico), in the Antofagasta Station Cultural Centre. The next, SACO2, in 2013, was installed in the Huanchaca Cultural Park and went for bringing together spaces and independent projects from Concepción, Pedro Aguirre Cerda and Córdoba (Argentina), with the participation, respectively, of the group MóVIL (Oscar Concha and Leslie Fernández), Galería Metropolitana (Ana María Saavedra and Luis Alarcón) and Curatoría Forense (Ilze Petroni and Jorge Sepúlveda). In 2014, SACO3 addressed a problematic topic for the region: the relations between Chile, Peru and Bolivia. Under the title My neighbour. The other (Mi vecino. El otro), it involved visits by important artists, curators and researchers (anthropologists and historians) from the three countries and a series of interventions in the ruins of the former silver refinery, now a National Historical Monument. Three teams participated, led by the curators Gustavo Buntinx (Peru), Lucía Querejazu (Bolivia) and Rodolfo Andaur (Chile), who respectively invited the researchers Harold Hernández, Juan Fabbri and Damir Galaz-Mandakovic; as well as the artists César Cornejo and Elliot Túpac Urcuhuaranga, Andrés Bedoya and Jaime Achocalla, Claudio Correa and Catalina González. 182
In 2015, and once again in the Huanchaca Cultural Park, SACO4 was an opportunity for creation where artists-teachers from Ecuador, Cuba, Mexico, Paraguay, Peru, Uruguay and Chile shared mutual teaching and learning experiences, along with 84 students from the third and fourth years of high school, selected from among municipal high schools from the regions of Arica and Parinacota, Antofagasta, Tarapacá and Atacama. The context was once again an urgent topic – the lack of university art schools throughout northern Chile, and the generalized crisis of art education in the country. The artists-teachers invited to SACO4 were: Roberto Huarcaya from the Centro de la Imagen in Lima, Peru; Alejandro Turell from the Tecnicatura en Artes - Artes Plásticas y Visuales of the Instituto Escuela Nacional de Bellas Artes, Universidad de la República, Rocha, Uruguay; Saidel Brito from ITAE, Instituto Superior Tecnológico de Artes in Ecuador, Guayaquil; Fernanda Mejía from the Taller Multinacional of Mexico City; Marcos Benítez from the Museo del Barro, Asunción, Paraguay; Luis Gómez from the ISA, of the Universidad de Las Artes, La Habana, Cuba; and Tomás Rivas from Taller Bloc, Santiago, Chile. SACO5 was a wager on another important topic for the contemporary world and that especially runs through a city like Antofagasta: migration, occupying a new patrimonial space, this time the Melbourne Clark Historical Pier. The series of interventions, One way ticket brought together six international artists who are also emigrants: Ángel Delgado (Cuba/United States), Bogdan Achimescu (Romania/Poland), Paula Quintela (Chile/Australia), Johannes Pfeiffer (Germany/Italy), Alicja Rogalska (Poland/England), and Teresa Solar (Spain and with an Egyptian mother). Also participating as curators were: Flavia Introzzi (Argentina/Spain), Krzysztof Gutfranski (Poland) and Marisa Caichiolo (Argentina/U.S.). For the first time extending a call to all of Latin America, SACO6 focused on the idea of LOVE: decadence and resistance, generating interest that surpassed all expectations. From among more than 200 projects, the specialized judges selected seven, which occupied the Historical Pier of Antofagasta in August and September 2017. But this sixth version had already started in July, with simultaneous exhibitions in four emblematic cultural spaces in the city, in the curatorial framework of Visual flood, which included a call for regional artists entitled Come to my house, two individual exhibitions, one educational selection of universal painting, and a collective project by artists from the Region of Tarapacá. An editorial work in parallel had already engendered a true collection that started with the catalogue of the SACO 1 exhibition, Art + Politics + Environment, continuing with the publications that condense the experience of each version of SACO. These books are available in specialized bookstores and public libraries in Chile, and circulate internationally thanks to separate editions in English. There is also a broad spectrum of media brochures and bulletins, intended to provide the public with the experiences of the works and tours, as well as the range of 183
documentary videos filmed in each version - audio visual files that have been broadcast on open television in the Region of Antofagasta, as well as being released for reproduction on the Internet. It has been possible, based on self-management, to finance an event that is already a milestone in the cultural panorama of northern Chile and on the national contemporary art scene. It is a story of arduous, constant work, and of successive progress being made, with SE VENDE achieving links with cultural institutionalism as well as with private business, and collaborations in networks. We thereby reach the first SACO experience with support shared between Ferrocarril de Antofagasta (Raillway of Aantofagasta), through the Cultural Donations Law, and ADC & Building Bridges International Art Exchange, a foundation that promotes art transfers and exchanges between the United States and other countries, allied with an art gallery in Los Angeles, under the responsibility of Marisa Caichiolo. While SACO2 was one hundred percent self-financed, it now had the participation of the Ruins of Huanchaca Cultural Park as a headquarters. SACO3 gained shared support from private business (Minera Escondida, operated by BHP) and regional cultural contestable funds (2% National Regional Development Fund). Finally, SACO4, 5 and 6 now talk of an established Colectivo SE VENDE project, being events presented by mining through the Cultural Donations Law and the participation of the Regional Government of Antofagasta, with resources from the National Regional Development Fund, among others.
THE BEGINNINGS From the first actions in 2004, the Colectivo SE VENDE caused a public encounter, with a shift toward objectual, conceptual, experimental and ephemeral practices. The first collective interventions were located in buildings that are meaningful for the city, in architectural heritage sites or in the streets. The holding of open forums for reflecting on art topics that are crucial at a local level has been inseparable, as well as the participation of special guests, authors and academicians from cities such as Santiago and ValparaĂso. The first project, Se Vende 1, was installed in a large house on Argentina Avenue that was then for sale. In parallel to the showing, a contemporary art forum was held. For the first time there was reflection in the city on certain crucial topics, confirming especially the need to start talking about them. Along the same line, Se Vende 2 followed in 2006, occupying a building in the very downtown of Antofagasta. The third version in 2009 occupied the public space and emblematic sites of the city, such as the Balneario Municipal, the Antofagasta Regional Museum and the Dockers Union. Juan Castillo (former member of the group CADA), a key artist in the recent history of Chilean art who was born in the area and is 184
internationally recognised, also participated, who continued the itinerant project Minimal Baroque here, with a truck that toured the streets presenting videos of Antofagasta residents who told about their dreams. At that time, a poster with the words “SE VENDE” (For Sale) was a collective intervention that burst in with irony in various parts of the city, causing a very special situation in the Plaza Colón, where the advertisement was repeated 400 times across the ground. The act was considered by the local press as an anonymous protest against the underground parking project that was dividing public opinion. Another Country I and II (Otro País I y II), two exhibitions that in 2005 and 2007, respectively, brought together local artists in the Extension Centre of the Universidad Católica, in Santiago, and in the Contemporary Art Museum, MAC, of Valdivia, served as a platform for building networks and experimentation outside the regional margins, situating art from the Greater Northern region in different areas of the national territory. The euphemism of “another country” was used to symbolize the isolation in which the art and creativity are carried out in Antofagasta.
After these experiences, the Colectivo was able to bring together a format for linkage and associativity that was gaining renown. In 2009, Dagmara Wyskiel and Christian Núñez participated, respectively, as editor and field producer of the Triennial of Chile, an event with which the country started the commemoration of the Bicentennial, with Ticio Escobar, theorist and former Minister of Culture of Paraguay, as the general curator. One of the objectives of the contemporary art encounter was precisely to strengthen regional scenes and make them more dynamic, extending to Valparaíso, Concepción and Valdivia. Thanks to SE VENDE, Antofagasta was perhaps the only area where the effect of these actions transcended the temporary nature of an event for which subsequent versions were never held. For the encounter, the exhibition Another North – North Axis (Otro eje nortenorte) was the result of a clinic held by the Argentine curator Marcos Figueroa, considered by the Colectivo as a third version of Another Country (Otro país). The exhibition brought together in the MAC of Salta and the Antofagasta Council of Culture and the Arts independent artists from northern Argentina and Chile. From an accustomed north – south vertical axis due to our centralism, a horizontality was drawn that traversed the Andes mountain range.
EXPANDING NETWORKS The year 2012 was particularly intense for the Colectivo SE VENDE, in taking on lines of work previously developed as well as new formats, spaces and strategies. The project Agenda de Artes Visuales para la Sala Multiuso Biblioteca Viva Antofagasta (Visual Arts Agenda for the Multiuse Room of the Antofagasta Living library) was the focus of the majority of activities that year, including conferences, workshops, discussions and exhibitions, with national and international guests. The book SE VENDE 4 (SV4) was an editorial project that constituted a record of this group of actions. The Cápsulas de formación (Educational capsules) were workshops for emerging initiatives that resulted in six individual exhibitions, a participation in a collective showing, a debate and a series of interventions in sites open to the public. This involved an alternative program of professionalization of emerging artists who do not have access to traditional education. Among the actions intended to generate networks, contact with the public and education in contemporary art, an exhibition was held with artists from La RED and Rebel bodies: the performance in Concepción (Cuerpos rebelados: la performance en Concepción), where Natascha de Cortillas, Guillermo Moscoso, Luis Almendra and Alperoa participated under the curatorship of Carolina Lara. This was in addition to the conference by the theorist and curator Justo Pastor Mellado on the work Great South (Gran Sur) by Fernando Prats, which represented Chile in the 54th Biennial of Venice, in which the renowned national artist living in Spain also participated. In July of that year, Fernando Prats’ residency in Quillagua was inaugural and very significant, in addition to being one of the best educational decisions with two student assistants, Francisco Vergara and Pamela Canales. Prats’ residency constituted a before and after in the work of SE VENDE with the territory. The results were exhibited in 2016 in Barcelona. THE NEW TIMES From 2014 to 2016, a significant artistic project gained renown at a national level: Juego mixto (Joint Game), an intervention in extreme landscapes of the country that consisted of a golf ball of monumental size, made of inflatable material, that activated conceptual, symbolic and metaphorical relations that could range from oneiric to metaphysical, from historical to political. This large object, adrift, rolling through the Valley of the Meteorites of Quillagua, past the ALMA astronomical observatory, through Patagonia and Valparaiso, arrived in smaller size in England and was an exhibition in Poland, constituting Dagmara Wyskiel’s doctoral project 187
in that country. The journey was closed out with an exhibition in the Museum of Contemporary Art in Santiago (2016), and the Art Museum of the Universidad de Guadalajara, MUSA (2016), as part of the itinerancy of Arte + Política + Medio Ambiente (Art + Politics + Environment), that started in 2012 in Mexico and that has continued through spaces in the United States and Chile. In 2016, La RED, generated in the context of the only version of the Triennial of Chile (2009) is still alive and is strengthening with other initiatives that are currently being worked on in the north – north connection. Arte contemporáneo andino: Argentina, Chile y Bolivia (Andean Contemporary Art: Argentina, Chile and Bolivia, today) has been situated in the Museo Regional de Pintura José Antonio Terry, in Tilcara, Jujuy since the 15th of October. The exhibition, arranged by the curator Roxana Ramos from Salta and promoted by the Secretary of Cultural Patrimony of the Ministry of Culture of the Nation, was the result of a creative residency that was held from the 9th to the 15th of that month, in which 14 artists from Jujuy, Salta, Chile and Bolivia shared and exchanged experiences along with the community of Tilcara, including interventions in the landscape and public space where Wyskiel and Núñez also participated. Recently, important educational initiatives have been held in ISLA, such as the workshop Entre la forma y el molde (Between the shape and the mould), a cycle 188
of over one hundred hours of classes, focused on educational updating and creative stimulation of art professors in the Region of Antofagasta. Residencies for education and cognitive and sensorial linkage with the territory, pertaining to the Desiertos intervenidos (Deserts intervened) program were held in the towns of Paposo, (under the responsibility of Bogdan Achimescu), Quillagua, (Guisela Munita) and Ayquina (Oscar Concha). The space for reflection and the practice of contemporary art has also taken in activities such as the 2nd Seminar of media arts, Norte Medial, directed by Antonieta Clunes, and the photography project Perla nortina: Programa de acceso y difusión de la fotografía de autor (Pearl of the north: Program of access and dissemination of fine art photography) arranged by Angélica Araya, among others. Currently, ISLA is the home of residencies for artists who are the winners of applications at a national level, such as the project Traslado 2017 (Loreto Sapiaín, Nicola Mazzuia and Mauricio Toro Goya) and the student category of the Balmaceda Arte Joven biannual competition (Josefina Mellado). In parallel, ISLA promotes low-cost residency exchange programs for managers and artists such as Joaquín Sánchez and Juan Carlos Valdivia in the case of the Fundación Cinenómada para las Artes in La Paz. As a continuation of the commitment shown by the Embassy of the Republic of Poland, a residency was held as part of SACO 6 for the Polish audio visual artist Julia Popławska, who took a tour recording the Atacama Desert, along with specialists from the Universidad Católica del Norte, Guillermo Chong, geologist and Doctor in Sciences, and Christian Moni, Director of the Institute of Astronomy. With the Instituto Superior Latinoamericano de Arte ISLA, a worthy space is being raised in Antofagasta for the confluence of all these initiatives and the activation of new processes that have intensified the work with the context, the formation of networks, and above all, the field of art education. In less than two years of work, since the space opened in March 2016, artists from various regions of Chile as well as from other countries of the Americas and Europe have passed through there; art professors, emerging creators, national and international curators, expanding the borders of the city and of art itself toward significant actions with other places and communities across the desert. www.proyectosaco.cl www.colectivosevende.cl
A PROYECT BY
ISLA IS SUPPORTED BY THE OTHER COLLABORATING INSTITUTIONS PROGRAM
This initiative is financed by the Regional Government of Antofagasta with resources from the Fondo Nacional de Desarrollo Regional (National Fund for Regional Development), F.N.D.R., 2% Culture, Year 2017 approved by the Regional Council of Antofagasta. Instituto Superior Latinoamericano de Arte (ISLA) is financed by the Other Collaborating Institutions Program of the National Council of Culture and the Arts.
Managed in and from the Atacama Desert, SACO is an interdisciplinary project that links the visual arts with the ancestral cultures of the zone, sociology, ocean sciences, astronomy, history of the Andean high plateau, minerology, palaeontology, anthropology, philosophy and contemporary multiculturalism. It has its own logic in terms of exploration and linkage with the territory, along with constant mediation with the educational and community environment. It accents the development of knowledge, critical thinking and collective responsibility. SACO presents the local and international art scene to the community through the poetics generated by the insertion of contemporary art in a public and popular space, where spontaneous encounters and an experience with art that is not predesigned take precedence. The sixth version of the Contemporary Art Week proposed LOVE: decadence and resistance as its central theme, comprehending Latin America as the land of a syncretism of affections. 22 Latin American artists in 6 exhibitions and a diverse group of cultural agents, critics, journalists, sociologists, writers and curators from various countries, plus school students and visual arts professors from the region were invited to be part of this urban and outdoor territorial event, of the place and from no place. The resonance generated confirmed that it was the right move. 287 projects from 17 countries were received for the SACO6 Latin American competition. In times of crisis for affections and relationships, a moment of reflection on what is happening with the highest sentiment became a natural gesture of resistance. No less important than challenging the established systems of art, resulting in gestures of courage and rupture, is establishing a fertile link with the artists themselves and their processes. The works that were raised during the residency in August and September 2017 on the Historical Pier of Antofagasta had a notable conceptual forcefulness and at the same time were produced in harmony with the setting and its characteristics. Attractive to the untrained eye, aware of the tireless distractions in the public space, hitting the mark in establishing relationships between the volume and the landscape, intelligent, and seductive. With these pieces, the affective constellation of Latin America was constructed.