MEXICO D.F. / MEXICO
LA HABANA / CUBA
GUAYAQUIL / ECUADOR
LIMA / PERU ASUNCION / PARAGUAY ANTOFAGASTA / CHILE SANTIAGO / CHILE
ROCHA / URUGUAY
SACO4, Fourth Contemporary Art Week
Between the Shape and the Mould / August - September 2015 GUESTS Roberto Huarcaya / Centro de la Imagen, Lima, Peru. Alejandro Turell / Tecnicatura en Artes - Artes Plásticas y Visuales, Instituto Escuela Nacional de Bellas Artes, Universidad de la República, Rocha, Uruguay. Saidel Brito / ITAE, Instituto Superior Tecnológico de Artes de Ecuador, Guayaquil, Ecuador. Fernanda Mejía / Taller Multinacional, Mexico City, Mexico. Marcos Benítez / Museo del Barro, Asuncion, Paraguay. Luis Gómez / Instituto Superior de Artes (ISA), Universidad de Las Artes, La Habana, Cuba. Tomás Rivas / Taller Bloc, Santiago, Chile. TEAM director / Dagmara Wyskiel general producer / Christian Núñez communications and content / Carolina Lara head of local media / Christian Godoy head of mediation with schools / Fabiana Fuentes mediation assistant and head of exposition / Carmen Núñez direction assistant / Camila Díaz production assistant / Esteban Pinto head of staging / Héctor Valdebenito audio visual recording and documentary video edition / Alex Moya photographer / Sebastián Rojas organization of guides and visitors / Paulina Contador tutors and guides / Christian Ochoa, Daniela Castillo, Marcelo Peñailillo, Gabriela González, Paulina Quinteros, Nidia Maldonado y Javier Ramos design and construction of domes / Camanchaca Movimiento Creativo website / Sergio Romero mapping / Jorge Guerrero (Fido) photography / Felipe Coddou page 124 and 140, Rodrigo Pacheco 130, Rafael Silva 135, Gonzalo Santander 136 - 139, Elisa Balmaceda 141 -143, Celeste Rojas 144 - 145, Natascha de Cortillas 146, Luciano Paiva 147, 149 and 162/1 SACO4 was created and produced by the Group SE VENDE Mobile Contemporary Art Platform, in alliance with the Huanchaca Cultural Park and was sponsored by the Ministerial Secretariat of Education and Council of Culture and the Art , Region of Antofagasta. Presented by Minera Escondida, operated by BHP Billiton. Project covered under the Cultural Donations Law. We are grateful for the support from: Radio Bío Bío, Arte Al Límite magazine and Web, Antofagasta TV, El Mercurio de Antofagasta, InformArte.cl, Factor Greek Producciones, Antofagasta Regional Library, Special J.S. Carrasco School, Prensa CP Comunicaciones, Pamela Canales, Sebastián Rojas, Catalina González, Jorge Guerrero (Fido), directors and teachers from secondary schools in northern Chile who trusted in this project. edition / Carolina Lara and Dagmara Wyskiel layout / Christian Núñez translation / Kevin Hagen Publication close-out: November 2015. Edition of 750 copies. Printed in Chile. www.proyectosaco.cl 4
TABLE OF CONTENTS ART AS A BASIC NEED / 7 The shape that comes out of the mould. Dagmara Wyskiel / 9 SACO4 and artistic education: Adolescent’s words. Carolina Lara / 13 The promise of the mould, the certainty of the intention. Carlos Riveros / 16 Focus of discussion. Minera Escondida, operada por BHP Billiton / 19
LATIN AMERICAN MAPPING: ALTERNATIVE EDUCATIONAL SPACES / 21 Alternative models and questioning of traditional education in visual arts. Carolina Lara / 23 The Museo del Barro and its drifts: Students at Museum and Space/Critique. Marcos Benítez / 27 Centro de la Imagen: Cultivate Humanity. Roberto Huarcaya / 32 Brief notes on the ISA. Luis Gómez / 35 The ITAE and its 12 years of life. Saidel Brito / 40 Taller Bloc: An independent model. Tomás Rivas / 44 The impact of the Tecnicatura en Artes (Associate degree in arts) on the artistic scene in Rocha. Alejandro Turell / 47 Short testimony on the Taller Multinacional. Fernanda Mejía / 50
INSIDE AND OUTSIDE THE DOMES / 57 Toward a generational overflow. Dagmara Wyskiel / 59 Exercises to exploit the classroom. Carolina Lara / 61 Workshop 1. Conceptual art and geometry. / 61 Workshop 2. Maps and context. / 63 Workshop 3. Engraving and territory. / 66 Workshop 4. Video and recycling. / 68 Workshop 5. Photography and city. / 70 Workshop 6. Drawing and expansion. / 72 Workshop 7. Sculpture and identity. / 76 Participants in SACO4. / 80
WHAT DO YOU TEACH WHEN YOU TEACH ART? / 83 The students. / 85 The professors. / 95
IN THE FRAMEWORK OF SACO4 / 125 Symbiotic space. / 127 Residency in The Driest Place on Earth. Dagmara Wyskiel / 128 Travel notes. Mario Z. / 155 All in a month: scholarship for artists from Antofagasta. Carolina Lara / 157 SE VENDE / 163 7
ART AS A BASIC NEED
THE SHAPE THAT COMES OUT OF THE MOULD Focused each year on a different topic, the fourth edition of SACO was dedicated to building networks between alternative platforms of visual arts education in Latin America, and to interact with more than 80 young people from the Great Northern region of Chile who are interested in experiencing an intensive learning and creative residency. The encounter and exchange of production and teaching experiences among peers from Ecuador, Cuba, Mexico, Paraguay, Chile, Peru and Uruguay, was at the same time designed as a chance for third and fourth year Secondary Education students from municipal schools from the first four regions in the northern part of the country to become initiated in contemporary art. With the title Between the Shape and the Mould, SACO4 laid out a metaphor regarding the relationship between those who teach and those who learn. In the process of generating new utilitarian elements and educational systems, with emphasis on the person, the best results are obtained the smaller the void there is between one and the other, and when the way they fit is chosen by each individual, according to the time and pressure needed. During the week of the workshop, the energy released in this process of connecting and attaching spilled out of the domes, expanding throughout the city. What happened was an explosion of freedom; a conviction of the real sense of each hour of work, which disappeared some time ago in the classroom, and was taken maximum advantage of here. It could be felt in the results. The joy of creating and expressing yourself returned to its natural place in the adolescent spirit. The need to question, to propose, to discuss and to be an active part of a process, oppressed by the educational system, found its space. Sensitive subjects, aware of the reality in which they live, who are critical and creative, demonstrated that they deserve much more than being an object summarized by the calculation of a score. Between the Shape and the Mould was a creative camp, where eyes were opened to things that were not even suspected to exist, very diverse and very personal, to be heard, to be able to freely express yourself, to realize that there are others like you, for whom art can matter, and that there are people who do not discriminate, among many other discoveries. Looking forward, through the prism of those who participated, enabled us to create other expectations regarding what is to come. THE COMPLETE GUIDE Experiencing something other than what was expected and being surprised by the density and diversity of the sound environment was the experience of the concert Who I am by the artist Mario Z with the Really Contemporary Museum (Alejandro Gonzรกlez and Daniel Cerda), accompanied by five local guests. A session of experimenting in a packed auditorium, in the Ruins of Huanchaca 11
Museum, where the cracking and breaking of the musical paradigms of traditional education was heard, where many people perceived the possibilities of sound art for the first time. SACO4 started up with this activity in early August 2015. Discovering, linking and professionalizing are the three key concepts of the Escondida / MAVI (Visual Arts Museum) internship in Santiago for a young artist from the region of Antofagasta. The program, materialised between Taller Bloc and the Visual Arts Museum as part of the Contemporary Art Week, also forms part of a broad range of educational actions carried out by the Group SE VENDE Mobile Contemporary Art Platform, entitled School without school. The two versions of the contest launched up until now (2015 and 2016) have been won by young journalists from Antofagasta who now have some years of production as artists. They are not isolated cases. Why is the emerging local scene being nourished by so many devotees from the world of the media and communications? Probably, the need for encounters with others through a premeditated clipping of reality is the crossover point. Returning to what is not suspected but what nevertheless exists and waits to be discovered, which surprises and sets off new experiences, we move to the Lugar Más Seco del Mundo (The Driest Place on Earth). Quillagua is a laboratory oasis, where many of the relevant contemporary tensions are present in an impressive and extreme context. The SE VENDE Group has been working here since 2011, receiving artists and researchers mainly from outside the country to join the residency program. The interest in the call that was made in 2015 in conjunction with the Council of Culture and the Art far surpassed our expectations and also confirmed the artists’ interest in understanding the territory, and in seeking real and not prefabricated spaces. Quillagua is on the edge of reality and fiction, a Chilean Macondo. The mummies, the mummified Chinaman, the stories of Mrs. Felisa, the meteorites that left their enormous print, but never were… The border between utopia and truth becomes blurry and unnecessary. Everything can be something and can also be something else. There are no certainties, other than the starry night sky and the rocky terrain that extends to the horizon. For that, it is a perfect space for art. I have my Quillagua, and every artist who goes there has his or hers. Dagmara Wyskiel SACO Director
SACO4 AND ARTISTIC EDUCATION: ADOLESCENTS’ WORDS The Antofagasta Contemporary Art Week, SACO, is organized annually by the Group SE VENDE, Mobile Contemporary Art Platform, and each time takes on topics that seek to energize local situations. An inevitable mark is always the particularity of the territorial context, marked by centralism and extreme geopolitical conditions: more than a thousand kilometres north of Santiago, the country’s capital, on the coast of the Pacific Ocean, and with the entire Atacama Desert, the driest in the world at its back, Antofagasta is the epicentre of mining in Chile, leading the nation with the highest per capita income. However, there are no spaces in the area that allow for disseminating contemporary art. Moreover, in the entire northern part of Chile, there are no contemporary art museums or university schools of art. It involves an aridness or a void where the landscape is a literal symbol. In its previous versions, SACO was, respectively, an exposition with international artists that addressed the crossover between art, politics and the environment (2012, Antofagasta Station Cultural Centre); an encounter of projects for autonomous management of cities in Chile and Argentina (2013, Huanchaca Cultural Park); and a series of interventions in the landscape that included curators, artists and researchers from Chile, Peru, and Bolivia, reflecting on the limits and the problematic relations among the three bordering countries (2014, Huanchaca Cultural Park). Bringing current works and practices closer to the local public; workshops and mediation activities for children and young people, as well as dialogue and the potential connections among the guests that are always formed by a group that shares activities inside and outside the framework, have always been vital. The fourth version of SACO, held from the 23rd to the 28th of August 2015, again in the Cultural Park, pointed at a situation that is probably at the root of the cultural deficiencies of the region (and the rest of the country): the lack of artistic education. SACO4 included more than 80 third and fourth year secondary students from municipal schools in the Great Northern region of Chile, who participated in intensive workshops guided by important artists on the Latin American scene, who in turn are representatives of spaces or institutions in their countries that propose educational projects alternative to the official or predominant systems: Roberto Huarcaya from the Centro de la Imagen in Lima, Peru; Alejandro Turell from the Tecnicatura en Artes - Artes Plásticas y Visuales del Instituto Escuela Nacional de Bellas Artes (Associate’s Degree in Art – Plastic and Visual Arts of the National Fine Arts School Institute), Universidad de la República, Rocha, Uruguay; Saidel Brito from the ITAE, Instituto Superior Tecnológico de Artes in 15
Ecuador, Guayaquil; Fernanda Mejía from the Taller Multinacional in Mexico City; Marcos Benítez from the Museo del Barro, Asuncion, Paraguay; Luis Gómez from ISA, Universidad de Las Artes, La Habana, Cuba; and Tomás Rivas from Taller Bloc, Santiago, Chile. The students were selected through the region of Antofagasta, including invitations to students from the regions of Arica and Parinacota, Tarapacá and Atacama. They were young people, age 16 and 17, approximately, coming from the most displaced section in Chilean education, a system managed by the free market, determined by profit and marked by large inequalities. They had the opportunity to create and learn, along with artists-teachers who with experimental methodologies addressed areas such as art video, photography, sculpture, drawing, interventions and works with the place, among other topics and techniques. For five days the workshops were opportunities for creation, for collective work, and also for reflecting on new ways of assuming art in the territory or in the social context. The Huanchaca Cultural Park was an important and meaningful framework. It involves the ruins of a former silver refinery that functioned in the late XIX and early XX century, in Bolivian, Chilean and British hands, and that is now a National Historical Monument. There is a museum and auditorium in operation there, and an entire cultural trip through a broad esplanade and the remains of the old constructions that look as if they were Inca ruins. Seven domes were installed on this site, for a workshop to be held in each one. The landscape was cosmic, poetic. During the activities, the young people entered and exited the tents, toured the site, and sometimes concentrated inside for hours at a time. But the encounter between the students and the international artists went far beyond the sphere of creation. Undoubtedly, the encounter also left an impression on the teachers. Several of them had never given classes to adolescents, facing very diverse groups including immigrants and young people with special capabilities. The guests achieved expanding the objectives that were sought, carrying out formal experimentations and questioning in situ, where the students responded with works and comments that many times were unusual and very lucid regarding problems or exercises that were proposed and where the city was the important focus. In parallel, SACO4 was an encounter among the teaching centres represented. In the general forum, held on the 25th of August in the Cultural Park auditorium, each guest presented his or her respective project. All the spaces convoked are centres for teaching, creation, reflexion and research, driven by artists or institutions that teach art with their own model and outside the epicentres, even when they are situated within a university. In the dialogue, the seven guests recognized each other from a work of resistance, in a common context of precariousness, of social and cultural deficiencies, and of strong globalizing influences. 16
The evening of Friday, the 28th of August, the exposition Between the Shape and the Mould was inaugurated under the Ruins of Huanchaca, a metaphor on the relationship formed between the teacher and student, opening the domes with the results of the educational, creative and experimental processes. In 17 days, about two thousand five hundred people toured the installations, where each station was a space that gave account of the intensity experienced. The assistants from each workshop, young tutors who also joined in the experience that for all of them and in many senses was one of growth, participated as guides for visitors from schools and institutions, as well as for the entire public. When the staging was culminating, hours before the inauguration of the showing, the young people said their goodbyes. In one of the domes, covered with drawings, pasted photos, texts and objects, the teacher wanted them to tell what they thought about the workshop. One girl spoke up and said that she felt a rare combination of joy for what she experienced, for the new friends she made, and for what was achieved, but sadness for having to return to the school routine on Monday. Some of them looked at each other. Several remained silent. It is not always easy to get an adolescent to talk. Carolina Lara Journalist and Art Critic
THE PROMISE OF THE MOULD, THE CERTAINTY OF THE INTENTION For the third consecutive time, the Huanchaca Cultural Park was able to witness the magnificent relationship between creators, territory and work. This time, SACO4 became a melting pot for more than 80 young people from different cities in northern Chile, with the hallmark of establishing creative relationships with artists/teachers, learning about art and its expressive possibilities, and above all realizing that to create only requires blotting the supposed limits, understanding that the space is not delimited by others but rather is as vast as each one wants it to be. It is precisely in that space, â€œbetween the shape and the mouldâ€?, where this intellectual, visual, sensitive, productive, intense and subjective dialogue takes place. As a Museum, we know the importance of establishing creative possibilities that transcend traditional education, and we enjoy seeing how this residency evolves into new views and opportunities for development in young peope who are avid to feel capable of understanding their context, their world view, based on reflexion and an understanding of the territory that constantly moulds them. Teachers and apprentices, mutually moulding each other, in a creative lattice; some providing the experience, others providing the energy, and the surroundings providing the raw material for experimental learning of different artistic expressions that formed a corpus of work that was shared with the community through guided tours of each of the seven domes placed on the esplanade of the Huanchaca Cultural Park, linked together to form the final exposition of the creative processes carried out. The artistic and patrimonial elements are functional in that their original design was planned for maximum creative efficacy. The singularity and uniqueness of this initiative and its sociocultural importance encourage us as an institution to provide our resources and spaces so that the final work transcends its overall objective and also promotes the particular, natural and social environments of each of the young people who participated. This perspective builds enriching experiences in the conversation implied, the actual planning and the sensitive work, enabling offering the public a proposal that invites them, seduces them, and finally encourages them to co-create from their critical judgement. This way, the values inherent in identity and heritage, and the individual conditions that enable transforming contexts, people and what we understand as reality take on new meaning. In the midst of globalization, we understand that these projects that value multicultural creative heritage based on an integral, territorial and collaborative 18
vision can become reference points for all those who want to reclaim artistic and creative diversity as an essential cultural asset for the development of countries. These criteria are manifested in an image of “creative territory” where there is clearly an underlying nature of cultural sustainability. Based on diverse orientations of the artistic sense, social processes and reconstruction of imagery, it is possible to go into depth in contexts of value, image and identity of people and their relationship with their territories. This involves a dimension of awareness in which different variables interact. For example, regarding territory, distinguishing between what is one’s own and what belongs to others, between the visitor and the resident, and considerations regarding a sense of belonging. In this communication process, education plays a preponderant role for art in the conformation of values of identity, culture and territorial roots: which make something “own” as opposed to “other”. The areas that apply in a process of artistic education are of a material, symbolic, political and functional nature, and are presented in a set that integrates the social elaboration of the present, the tendency to change, and the valuing of the cultural references that supplement the formation of conscious, reflective and sensitive individuals. The natural and cultural taxonomy, assumed in its most holistic concept, is represented as a condition that has modelled the formation of local cultures and has enabled establishing the bases for consolidating human creative identity. In these assertions and in the actions linked to SACO4, we find manifestations of the complex structure of the transformative processes from a perspective that is evidently cultural and sustained over time. It is in this current field where the seeds for future development are planted, so that the concept of “artist” has a true pretext and the valuing of artists’ patrimonial potential is a concrete fact. Carlos Riveros Grospelier Curator, Ruins of Huanchaca Museum
FOCUS OF DISCUSSION For Minera Escondida, it is a matter of great importance and pride to present the 4th Contemporary Art Week, SACO4, a cultural initiative that constantly pushes us to break down barriers and reflect on complex, difficult, or little touched upon issues. Its provocative hallmark is without a doubt one of the principal and most valuable characteristics, as well as its work methodology that values the creative processes as much as the works themselves. Through intensive art workshops for secondary students from northern Chile and the exhibition Between the Shape and the Mould, with the results of these processes, the Group SE VENDE, which organizes the event each year, transforms Antofagasta into a focus of discussion on contemporary art, promoting artistic education, critical thinking and reflexion. This is the continuation of a joint effort that started with SACO3 in 2014. In upcoming years we will continue with this push, being objective in contributing to the generation of opportunities for civic participation and public debate. We thank the Ruins of Huanchaca Foundation for hosting this initiative and the Group SE VENDE Mobile Contemporary Art Platform for inviting us to be part of this innovative cultural project. Minera Escondida, Operated by BHP Billiton
LATIN AMERICAN MAPPING
Alternative Educational Spaces
ALTERNATIVE MODELS AND QUESTIONING OF TRADITIONAL EDUCATION IN VISUAL ARTS In parallel to the workshops that seven artists-professors from Latin America held in August for more than 80 third and fourth year secondary students from municipal public schools from the Great Northern region of Chile, SACO4 was also an encounter for educational spaces or institutions alternative to the official or traditional systems. Each guest represented one of these projects: Roberto Huarcaya came from the Centro de la Imagen in Lima, Peru; Alejandro Turell, from the Tecnicatura en Artes - Artes Plásticas y Visuales from the Instituto Escuela Nacional de Bellas Artes, Universidad de la República, Rocha, Uruguay; Saidel Brito from the ITAE or Instituto Superior Tecnológico de Artes de Ecuador, Guayaquil; Fernanda Mejía from the Taller Multinacional of Mexico City; Marcos Benítez from the Museo del Barro, Asuncion, Paraguay; Luis Gómez from the ISA, Universidad de Las Artes, La Habana, Cuba; and Tomás Rivas from Taller Bloc, Santiago, Chile. These involve initiatives that “diversify and democratize access to learning in the audio visual area throughout the continent. They arise in the large urban centres as well as in areas far from university centres offering a more flexible and autonomous path and making possible the emergence of new artists with great creative capacity in geographic and social territories where before there was a great void”, pointed out the director of SACO4, Dagmara Wyskiel. There is a dream among the organizers of the encounter to form an opportunity in Antofagasta to systematise education in the visual arts. In an open forum held on the 25th of August in the Huanchaca Cultural Park, each artist provided details of his or her respective project. Responding to the needs for context, a resistive but at the same time proposing effort was transversally acknowledged, involving teaching centres where creation, reflexion, research or editorializing can converge, driven mainly by artists, or institutions that even though they are part of a university, generate models typical of professional education. ARTISTS-PROFESSORS IN MOTION The fact that there are seven spaces with these characteristics in Latin America, and that we know they are not the only ones, but rather that there are various other examples, speaks of a movement that seeks to change the status of things. In our countries there are urgencies and severe shortages; a lack of resources in culture and deficiencies in the public or municipal educational system, where artistic education tends not to be a priority. Moreover, education itself seems to be a displaced area subjected to centralism, globalizing influences and the power of the free market, added to in higher education by insufficient artist education systems 25
faced with this context. The University itself receives a generalized critique. In Art, at least, there seems to be a lack of opportunities for analysis, dialogue and to perfect the links with other parts of the system, especially the public. Faced with this common reality we discovered certain similarities in the group, for example spaces within universities that have sought to address the problem of centralism and access to higher education in their countries, and at the same time being able to influence the local art scene. The ISA or Instituto Superior de Arte of the Universidad de las Artes of La Habana, for example, with free education and in processes that have reacted “outside of colonizing copies or models”, has educated generations of artists in Cuba since 1976. The ITAE or Instituto Superior Tecnológico de Artes de Ecuador, in Guayaquil, is an educational space, centre for reflexion, production and artistic research with a local sense, created in 2003 by a group of artists that drove a parallel scene in Quito, the capital. There has also been the idea of regional artistic development in the Tecnicatura en Artes - Artes Plásticas y Visuales, of the Instituto Escuela Nacional de Bellas Artes of the Universidad de la República, a course of studies that is given in Rocha, with emphasis on the students’ relationship with a particular context, in the far southeast part of Uruguay. In a context like that in this country which was catalogued as a “paradise” within the forum, where learning is free and the university in Rocha is co-governed along with the students, a special program for secondary education responds in any case to some pending needs. A project focused especially on educational establishments inside and outside the capital has been the Centro de Artes Visuales Museo del Barro, in Asuncion, Paraguay, which raised an educational opportunity based on guided visits, that have as a framework the presence of popular, indigenous and contemporary art collections, relating “art” to historical contexts, with traditions or different definitions. A program of theoretical seminars has also opened the place to joint reflexion with the public. The Centro de la Imagen in Lima, Peru has also been concerned with energizing a scene, in this case photography. In a context of deep and rich tradition, 22 years ago when it was formed, there were no opportunities for support or professional education. Based on this institutional disinterest, it has taken charge of instructing photographers with an academic level, adding parallel projects connected both with the city and the national and international circuit: two galleries, a residency program, plus the organization of the Photography Biennial of Lima and the Lima Photo Fair. The Taller Multinacional, seated in Mexico City, and Taller Bloc in Santiago, are spaces driven by artists that have turned out to be exemplifying as self-managing 26
efforts. There artists are trained under tutors, such as the case of Bloc, and even professionals from other disciplines, such as in the Taller Multinacional, thanks to the Virtual Classroom studies program. Both are also places for the production of works, exhibitions, collective work and discussion that open up opportunities for exchange through artists’ residencies. Thanks to the art and theory courses on line, the Taller Multinacional expands its activities beyond the physical space toward other points of the planet, especially Latin America. Meanwhile, Bloc in Chile has become a much more dynamic and dialoguing reference point that any university school of art. THE END OF THE UNIVERSITY All these proposals respond to that common state of things where, it seems that urgent renovations are needed in the models already known and proven for artists’ education, in the teaching of contemporary art, and even in certain art formulas that circulate in official circuits. However, they are instances that also respond to local, essentially mutable realities. The particular processes are therefore to some degree random, susceptible to change, and accommodation. So, questions point more basically at the role of technology, to new teaching methods in art, to how a graduating professional faces a problematic working system or field, and finally, on what is taught when teaching art. “Once you define what art it, it no longer exists”, points out Luis Gómez, from Cuba “and if we are going to try to introduce new generations in this field, the best way is to be as experimental and open as possible. But I don’t think we can define where the renovations are going. In artistic education I don’t think you can mathematically plan what might be effective for someone who is younger and sees the world in a different way. The only way is to learn how they see it and from there try to instruct them, to push them toward creativity… which is the way to somehow be able to transform something”. Alejandro Turell, from Uruguay adds “Many times the term art is used based on teaching what we supposedly agree that art is, giving someone the instruments to be able to decode what is a symbolic material. One of the enormous contributions that art and artistic teaching brings in the XX century is precisely to prepare a person to deal with uncertainties. Now, when paradigms are multiplied to the nth degree, art gives us the possibility to deal with ‘n’ forms of possible reality. And that seems to me to be a mental structure necessary for jumping to the years ahead… A very strong concern that clearly has to weigh in a teaching centre, and not only of artists. It must appeal to educating sensitive people who live in society”. Key in the presentations during the forum were terms such as: autonomous management (within which there were mixed financing formulas), independence, decentralization, collective, collaborative, associative and interdisciplinary work, 27
and horizontality. These are formulas experienced based on the particularity of each space, with their own dynamic, that seek to humanize teaching and relationships in a system that has tended to commercialize them or subject them to flows of power, wanting to open this educational and knowledge activity to the social context. They are modus operandi that are far from those educational models that tend toward business, toward profit, or the ostracism of the traditional university. “Thinking of the occupational field as an objective of the model is dangerous”, reflects Saidel Brito of Ecuador. “There is an internal debate. There is increasingly more talk about the end of the university as an institution or at least as we have understood it in these last 200 years. And perhaps the richness of the experience of artistic teaching, not for art but rather for knowledge and for society, is an archetype that can be reencountered in the university; the humanist education beyond the topic of different disciplines, of specialization in areas that society requires for work. In artistic education and in the production of the arts in general, a large part of the discussion of the university world finds a way in which knowledge can be reencountered and reoriented in that sense”. Carolina Lara
THE MUSEO DEL BARRO AND ITS DRIFTS:
STUDENTS AT THE MUSEUM AND SPACE/CRITIQUE
1. THE COLLECTIONS The Visual Arts Centre/Museo del Barro has been structured through various endeavours throughout more than forty years of work. The three museums that make up the Centre were born separately and subsequent circumstances caused them to be joined in one single building – a special complex in which Popular Art collections are exhibited (Museo del Barro) as well as Art of Ethnic Groups (Indigenous Art Museum) and various expressions of Urban Art from Paraguay and Latin America (Paraguayan Museum of Contemporary Art) that offer the visitor a broad panorama of the artistic-visual production of Paraguay and some other places in Latin America. The Centre relies on a non-profit foundation whose own resources are the Museum building and the collections. It manages its own funds in order to carry out its programs of dissemination, exhibition, research and education. The project was born with the Circulating Collection in 1972. Based on an initiative by Olga Blinder and Carlos Colombino, this collection of graphic works was travelling to exhibition halls, rooms and plazas. The Museum started to be constructed in 1979. In 1980, the Museo del Barro was inaugurated in the city of San Lorenzo; subsequently, in 1988, it was integrated into the current building. In 1995, after lengthy arrangements, the Museum of Indigenous Art was inaugurated. Osvaldo Salerno joined the project in the mid 1970’s, and Ticio Escobar at the end of that decade. Another of its founders was Ysanne Gayet. Both she and Blinder separated from the project in order to continue their activities in other spaces, but always remained linked in one way or another. Later, Lia Colombino and Félix Toranzos joined. Indigenous Art The Indigenous Art Museum collection presents the artistic production of the different ethnic groups that live in Paraguay. These collections were brought together for the purpose of highlighting the expressive value and the formal quality of the works more than for their ethnographic, historical and technical references, the only values that tend to be considered by conventional museums and galleries. Rural Art Seeking to give preference to popular expression of the works, the Museo del Barro supports the self-managed growth of popular forms. This is therefore accompanied by new aesthetic manifestations that arise, corresponding to the communities’ own impulses and serving to represent the new conditions that popular, mestizo, rural and suburban production signifies. 29
Urban Art The Paraguayan Museum of Contemporary Art seeks to constitute a summary of the transformation of modern Paraguayan art and to significantly mark the essential points of its direction. It hosts the only permanent collection of current paintings, drawings, etchings, mixed techniques, objects and sculptures of Paraguay, with a collection of more than three thousand works, which also include the production of Latin American and Spanish artists. While the Paraguayan Museum of Contemporary Art has sought to register contemporary visual production, it has not neglected important examples of local graphic production. Documentation and Research Department The Visual Arts Centre also promotes the documentation, research and publication of texts regarding the different aspects of indigenous and urban art and popular culture. This work is carried out through the Documentation and Research Department (DDI in Spanish), which works on collecting and distributing expressions of rural and indigenous cultures, always with the intention of highlighting the county’s multiple cultures. 2. INTRODUCTION OF YOUNG PEOPLE INTO VISUAL ARTS: HISTORICAL VISION During the 80’s, the Visual Arts Centre/Museo del Barro was an important space for the education of groups of young adults interested in learning more about plastic and visual languages with lines other that those that other centres followed. Traditional institutions continue with a more nineteenth century line of teaching. That was the case of the School of Fine Arts which had professors but there were no age restrictions or prior studies required for enrolment. There are also several workshops in Asuncion, for children, adolescents and adults. We highlight those of Livio Abramo, Olga Blinder, Cira Moscarda, and Edith Jiménez, among others. The most interesting workshops for children were held in the Escolinha de Arte, of the Brazilian Studies Centre, and in the Children’s Expression Workshop under the direction of Olga Blinder and María Victoria Heisecke. This last institution ascribed to the line of Education for Art and then became an Elementary School. Nevertheless, its workshops were very important for the development of creativity in children and adolescents in a repressive context like the dictatorship of Alfredo Stroessner, which lasted from 1954 to 1989. From 1981 to approximately 1993, the Visual Arts Centre/Museo del Barro regularly held workshops where classes were given for artists and art students of different ages. Local artists and professors such as Carlos Colombino, Félix Toranzos, Susana Romero, Osvaldo Salerno and Ticio Escobar were in charge of the permanent workshops. Short-term workshops were also held with local and foreign artists such as Judith Burns McCrea, Luis Felipe Noé, Marithé Zaldívar, Dolores Ayerza, Pedro Agüero and Oscar Manesi. 30
There was an event that was decisive in forming this space as a learning centre. In 1984, the recently inaugurated Centre for Theatre and Visual Arts Studies of the Universidad Católica closed its activities by order of the institution. Many of these activities were transferred to the Visual Arts Centre/Museo del Barro. Many of the artists and teachers that now work in the medium passed through these workshops1. In 1993, a tornado destroyed the roof of one of the Museum’s rooms, so it had to be closed until its reconstruction in 1995. With its reopening, the institution changed its policies regarding art education. A need was seen to approach art from an early age and to provide contents to elementary and secondary school institutions. A program of visits for students was created that year. In 1999, there arose the possibility of a program for students and graduates that intended to work based on art but with transversal focuses. In the year 2000, the Identities in Transit Seminar was started, which would be the embryo of Space/ Critique, a place of inscription for many people interested in art, art philosophy, literature, etc., who do not have spaces where they can contrast their ideas and readings regarding these topics. 3. STUDENTS TO THE MUSEUM In 1995, the Students to the Museum program was created, oriented toward educating students from the country’s capital, with initial support from the Senators’ Chamber, the Ministry of Finance and FONDEC (National Fund for Culture and the Arts). This program consists of a system of guided visits through the Museum’s facilities to tour the different collections of indigenous, rural and urban art of Paraguay, in addition to the pre-Colombian art collections and the temporary exhibitions. The fact that due to practical and budgetary reasons these visits were reserved for scholastic institutions from the capital area promoted a series of demands from other institutions located inside the country. These requests evidenced the need of students from different regions of the country to have access to cultural services such as these. Upon confirming this need, we implemented a project of guided visits for boys and girls from inside Paraguay, this time with the support of private companies in some cases, and with support from FONDEC in others. The Students to the Museum program has enabled us to confirm the great responsibility that a museum institution has regarding the context in which it is
These workshops that were held in those years are no longer in effect. The Museum changed its policy regarding this point, implementing two different programs the implications of which will be seen later on.
inserted, as well as its great educative possibilities. The idea of putting low income student age sectors of the population in contact with the different expressive forms that define the cultural profile of Paraguay turns out to be highly gratifying due to its results. The Museum program can help the students’ development in that it facilitates an overall vision of Paraguay’s culture and also a look at its own history through the creation of the different pueblos and the different times they constitute. Finally, the work of bringing the images, the voices and the words of the many pueblos that make up the country to the boys and girls has become especially significant in
Guided visit for children / Class with Ticio Escobar (photographs courtesy of Museo del Barro).
pursuit of a democratic project, where the debate on pluralities takes on a decisive and urgent sense. For a country like Paraguay, where the population under twenty years old makes up the majority of its inhabitants, it is essential to promote integral education that covers the broadest knowledge of the different voices that make up the country’s cultural panorama, in addition to offering an approach to its artists. The possibility of a better education constitutes one of the Human Rights pillars, and concretely, Children’s Rights. In a situation in which the scholastic institutions in the country do not even have sufficient technical means and adequate teaching resources, the comparison with other cultural systems can constitute a stimulus for energizing the learning processes and making them more complex. The Students to the Museum program continues offering its services. The staff of intermediaries has grown due to a program established with the Higher Art 32
Institute. Students in the last years of the Visual Arts course of studies take a training course that provides them with the tools to be Museum guides. At this time (2015), we are working on a program for small children with the objective of approaching contemporary art in a playful manner. There is also a project to make these visits bilingual in Spanish and Guarani, for the population whose mother language is Guarani. This project has not yet obtained the necessary budget. 4. SPACE/CRITIQUE SEMINAR The Space/Critique Seminar has had various programs including Identities in Transit, Studies on Cultural Critique, Contingency Studies, Post-Colonial Contingency and Disruptive Images. This innovative instance is proposed as a seminar in which students who do not have the opportunity to go into depth in their studies in art philosophy, art theory, philosophy, aesthetics and humanities in general in the local institutions can do so in an environment in which they discuss, debate, read, comment and express their opinions, always accompanied by professionals. The seminar is planned as a space where all the attendees are members, consolidating itself as a centre of discussion, suitable not only for incorporating issues little touched upon in Paraguay, but also to link disciplines and study opportunities that occur separately. The Seminar constitutes an opportunity for research under the tutorship of specialists, where the attendees can do small works and written texts, which in a country with little writing tradition takes on vital importance. There are few research centres in Paraguay. Researchers and thinkers (above all regarding culture and art) generally perform their work in an isolated manner. The universities are not able to cover the concerns of their students and graduates, who are obligated to work independently. In its fifteen years, the seminar has published four volumes with the works of the members. Based on applications, it has been able to be free, thanks to support from international organizations such as the Rockefeller Foundation, the Prince Claus Foundation, the Juan de Salazar Cultural Centre of Spain, and the Foundation for Art Initiatives. Nevertheless, it opens and closes according to its programs. Right now it is on standby until it obtains new funding. Work is being done on that and on the publication with the members from last year. Marcos BenĂtez (Asuncion, 2015)
CENTRO DE LA IMAGEN: CULTIVATE HUMANITY
The Centro de la Imagen was born as a pioneering academic and cultural project in teaching photography in Peru, since there was no university or institution that taught photography as a profession. As a group of photographers, we decided to fill that void and put into place the adventure of developing a professional education school that would have a high academic level and would be developing and forming its own identity. More than 22 years have passed since this project was materialised and born under the name of Instituto GaudĂ in 1993. In late 1999, the name was changed to Centro de la FotografĂa, becoming a more ambitious and structured proposal that in 2007 included the areas of design and video, so it was decided to change the name to Centro de la Imagen, as it is known today. A series of academic, cultural and commercial proposals are carried out, intended to position photography in the country, covering different audiences within photography. The academic area offers education in photography with a three-year professional course of studies, a short one-year course of studies, and a large number of workshops for a vast span of interest: portrait, landscape, digital, and analogic laboratory, among others, as well as diplomas intended for professional photographers who want to update their training, and since 2014, the Latin American Master of Photography, Maldefoco, which has brought together outstanding international professors and has had great regional acceptance. In the academic area we also have some social photography projects, where a group of former students, directed and financed by the school, hold photography workshops in marginal or vulnerable sectors of the country. We carry out these projects in association with international NGOs and/or local municipalities. Two recent examples include a project carried out in the port of Callao with a group of high risk children, and another in Madre de Dios, a complex zone in the country, dominated by illegal mining, where workshops are being held with the differentprotagonists in the conflict: illegal miners, their children, marines in charge of interdiction of this illegal activity and chestnut gatherers. The results of the different visions can be seen in an exhibition and an editorial project. Finally, in the academic area we are experimentally carrying out some visual education projects for children ages 4 to 10 associated with some schools in Lima. 34
One of the principal conclusions from these twenty years dedicated to education is that visual literacy should start at a preschool age and be a mandatory subject on a national level. Also, a couple years ago the historical archives area was created with a collection of approximately thirty thousand negatives, mainly from glass plates belonging to different archives and periods still to be studied, and where our students interested in historical aspects can be trained, and can practice and do research.
El Ojo Ajeno Gallery / Analogous Laboratory (photographs courtesy of Centro de la Imagen).
In the cultural area, the Centro de la Imagen has assumed an increasingly more open and active policy. Some examples are the activities of its two galleries, El Ojo Ajeno and El Borde, with a significant annual schedule of expositions that serve as a stimulus and influence for our students, where works by important international artists as well as professors and former students are shown. El Borde, in addition to being an exhibition hall is an artistsâ€™ residency project, where a group of artists of different nationalities have passed, sharing their experiences and processes with some of our students, enriching their education. In conjunction with the Municipality of Lima, we co-organize one of the cityâ€™s biggest events in terms of culture, with nearly 400 thousand visitors: the Lima Photography Biennial, which is now in its third version, with important exhibitions throughout the city, where it is sought to maintain a balance between the research of historical photography and contemporary photography. With regard to the art market, for the past six years we have organized the 35
International Photography Galleries Fair, Lima Photo, with great success in terms of audience and sales, thereby generating and promoting collecting in Lima and the country. The Centro de la Imagen is a private non-profit project that is financed exclusively by the income received from the academic side and from some associations with private companies. It has a policy of inclusion that allows some low income students with significant potential to be able to study with us. Payment for the studies is structured in three categories, thereby somewhat enabling higher income students to be able to finance others. We also offer scholarship options for working at the school, and finally, 100% financing of the studies in exceptional cases, where the students start to pay based on their capabilities, six months after graduating from the school. The three-year course of studies is composed of six cycles and is recognised by the Ministry of Education as a technical professional career. The objective of the school is for our students to be able to develop a critical sense, to be capable of expressing themselves with their own voice and take a position regarding the contents of visual communication. Respect for the identity and different interests and sensibilities of each student is one of the values we seek in academic education in our school. An equilibrium is proposed between three areas of education â€“ technical, theory and practice. In the first, know-how is imparted, both in digital and analogue technology, experiencing both construction processes. The second, humanistic education, has to do with theoretical and conceptual learning, the history of art and photography, theory of the image, critical analysis, and audio visual language, among others. Finally, an area that is dedicated to the production and development of projects, both group and individual, puts into practice and perspective both the technical and the theoretical learning. The education process ends with a thesis that requires a final project, with images and a research text and support. A phrase that condenses the educational identity has to do with these lines from Fernando Savater, Spanish philosopher, novelist and intellectual: â€œEducating is not only preparing employees (professionals, I would add) but above all citizens and even people who are fully and conscientiously human because educating is cultivating humanity and not just preparing to triumph in the labour market. That is the real democratic profitability of educative formation and the acquisition of that wealth is something the recognition of which must never be abandonedâ€?. Roberto Huarcaya (Lima, 2015)
BRIEF NOTES ON THE ISA The Instituto Superior de Arte (ISA), currently the Universidad Cubana de las Artes, was officially inaugurated on the 1st of September 1976. Enclaved in the residential area of Cubanacán, it was irreverently built on the old golf courses of La Habana Country Club, being designed by three architects: Ricardo Porro, Vittorio Garatti and Roberto Gottardi, who were occupied respectively in each of the areas destined for artistic teaching: Music, Visual Arts and Performing Arts. Its initial structure had three faculties, and was then expanded to include the courses of study for Dance Art and Audio Visual Communications Media Art. The ISA currently has four extensions throughout the country called Teaching Units, one in the province of Camagüey, two in Holguín and one in Santiago de Cuba. Their work covers pre and postgraduate studies, as well as a broad spectrum of short and extension courses, including the training of Cuban and foreign professors who opt for a Doctorate in Art Sciences. Since its origins, the Institute’s objective has been to provide artistic education free to everyone equally, without any type of distinction, offering everyone high level studies in the artistic sphere. Along with other academies such as San Alejandro (medium level academy2), it has contributed to the education of a large part of Cuban artists of various generations, at least since 1976 until our time. Even though the ISA has navigated through different interests and programs of logical studies as part of artistic evolution, since the majority of professors are artists in functions that approach teaching, their discussion has always been how to do teaching that stimulates creation within contemporary art, apart from colonizing copies or models. Even though it functions that way now, in its beginnings it intended to educate artists who “described” and thereby propagated, to say it that way, the achievements of a new society that built the Cuban revolution; a type of “Socialist realism”, taking as a model the Socialist Realism that was dictated in the former Soviet Union, from its beginnings until Perestroika. During that period, our university even had some Soviet professors, as well as exchanges of students who were trained in that country, who then became professors in our country, bringing with them rigorously academic methods, structures resonant with construction and analysis removed from that rare Cuban
Medium level being defined as pre-university art schools.
idiosyncrasy. Nevertheless, they offered solidity in artistic construction, at that time oriented toward academic techniques of artistic production, which later resulted in conceptual rigor. Curiously, these professors instructed young artists who were then the new vanguard of Cuban art and the new generation of professors in our University. The next decade was controversial, above all in the mid and late 80’s, due to the strong demand by the political power to get artists to reflect a reality in which many of them were not interested, that they did not see as “complete” or did not believe conformed to reality but rather ideals. This did away with discussions that not only centred on the representation or veracity of that requirement, but also that made use of that demand by the political power to show the social reality that it had left out of its ideal image, being seen as a monolithic power in which any artistic institution, as minimal or small as it may be, is part of it and responds to it. Some artists tried to dialogue or openly express their intentions, but for many others the best option for being heard and to avoid censuring was to play being a part of that power, making use of its rules to question them from inside or conforming a discourse on them. The new vanguard of Cuban art, already nearly born in the 80’s, started under a direct discussion with the establishment imposed by the political power, so it offered new challenges for teaching, above all because the protagonists of that vanguard were the professors. Some objectives of these challenges were focused on filling a void of intellectual information, especially in the visual arts; in structuring logical and effective teaching in the understanding between student and teacher based on changing art and social connections; on teaching based on discussion and dialogue and not imposed. This led to various experiments, highlighted among which is the adaptation of “On the Manner of Addressing Clouds” by Thomas McEvilley3, as a program of study for the visual arts popularly known as “the thirteen contents”. This adaptation, made during the last half of the 80’s, was able to set up an avantgarde well-informed in the conceptual avatars of art, knowing not only the details of the artistic construction but also its senses and connotations, expanding, at least for art produced in Cuba, its spheres of action, resulting in artists instructed with a convincing body of theory within the interpretive dialogue of art, and maintaining the utopic desire of art that is possible for everyone, a desire breathed by the institution from the beginning, but intending a much more conservative result that what this new vanguard offered.
Essay by Thomas McEvilley in which he proposes and describes thirteen contents of the work of art, published in Artforum, June 1984.
Unfortunately, this teaching lowered or changed its standards during the decade of the 90’s in the so-called “special period”4, a time filled with all types of deficiencies that marked the consciousness of Cubans so deeply that even now they do not believe they have gotten out of it, conforming an urgency of survival at any cost. This was a time of artistic exodus and therefore of a deficit of instructors in the visual arts and of a dissociation of the utopic platform that art had been following. Art as well as artistic education navigated between interests of collective discussion and the impositions of small groups of influence in the circles of art power, in many cases proposing disparate theories of action, undoubtedly truncating a path that while necessarily needed to be changed, could be the basis for logical development. The “return to the occupation in art”, after an intense experimental stage in concept and social orientation, was seen as the standard bearer of this new avantgarde of the 90’s, determined to be more “cynical” in order to play the game once more with the political power as a possible means of escape. A strange time, if we can define it, since this position of the young artists was affirmed, then was denied excluding some and adding others later, then today it has been slightly reaffirmed in seeing many of them return with an international presence. These ups and downs undoubtedly defined the new waves of pedagogical experiments in the ISA. On the other hand, the students who enter the ISA have to their credit an artistic instruction acquired in prior art schools called “middle level” or academies that are found throughout the country. So they bring with them inherited focuses and desires, many with a “practical” vision of the profession. This would somehow also define the direction of education since that time as well as how it is defined today. Among the artistic exodus, the tempting individual teaching projects of some renowned artists inside and outside the university field, contrasted with an art teaching system with almost no economic support or future offering, tied to education of survival brought precisely by the students and the lapses of instruction in some areas of contemporary art that the teaching program had, little by little made it necessary to propose a new strategy for teaching in the university field, diluting the classical areas of the manifestations of art. An old idea from the 80’s, but maintaining its teaching for carrying out projects, unifying all the students each year in just one class, whatever their interests were, took place under the instruction of a team of professors with experience generally in each of these zones in particular, operating in unison in the same workshop
A time after the collapse of the socialist camp, when the majority of the subsidies coming from the Soviet Union were rationalized as a political contingency plan.
and imposing a specific program prepared jointly for each year of the course of studies. These professors generally interact and divide between the presentation of projects and their realization as a critical workshop. This, which started out being an immediate response, ended up as an interesting teaching experiment in which each student has a differentiated attention, not only according to the immediate project presented but also taking into account the areas of manual arts and/or comprehension that need to be settled. Even so, it is a decentred method that in each year of the course of studies goes in many directions; and although it can be interesting, it does not have a philosophy that binds it together. They are individualities or personalities that prowl around the same and therefore similar concepts, but in many cases their implementation resorts to the old colonizing school of following the dictates and modes imposed
Photographs from ISA (Courtesy of Luis G贸mez).
by the art media, seeing models out of context as true and in their incomprehension not logically removable. Even though this teaching system, in its experimentation and also in its objective to provide equal opportunity for everyone to study art free, has obtained results and has made it possible to develop sensitivities that have enriched Cuban culture, it has always confronted the course of Cuban reality: yesterday a reality closed to an open educational system; today, a utopic system for a crude reality, determined based on an open commercial exchange. The reality of Cuban art today, a reflection of what Cuba might be in the not too 40
distant future, has stopped being that micro-policy that started in the 80’s related to power as resistance, and has today become the lackey of an announced micro economic power, where experimentation, actions of a social or political reference, and all the other topics “brushed against” by art have become a cliché that redounds in an economic purpose or a tacit agreement between powers that intend to promote a type of art that has only managed to chase its own tail since all the statements are proposed within and only for the Cuban artistic ghetto, and as we know, what we do or say in the ghetto5 stays in the ghetto . Nevertheless, the only thing the ghetto as a micro power does not accept is criticism, just like the political power, since both are just mutual reflections. In the end, our art is a satisfied and controlled art. This is the reality that new students face. Of course, it is much more complex and intricate, like any other reality. We see an example of this plot in the delay in the arrival of digital technologies, evidently for being communication technologies, creating a “technological limbo”, or when they arrive they are implemented incompletely, without the option to create alternatives, and offering an underutilization and over-valuation of digital objects, making minimal use of their functionality and maximum use of their aesthetics as a representation of social status. Our objective in creating a New Media laboratory in 2007 was to make use of that curiosity for fashion as an affirmation of any avant-garde that comes along with the young art students, offering an expressive tool within the art media that is new for the Cuban environment but already worn out outside of it, a philosophy of shared information and recycling in an environment where technology was “convincingly” vetoed, along with alternative future employment outside or within the margins of the artistic media, but also to centre the discussion of art on parameters relatively unknown to the students, where they had no cliché to express, propitiating their own creative solutions and revising our ideas of art without prejudices. These objectives remain far below the urgencies to discuss. But in this decision to “falsify”, a clean slate on which we could or try to leave out any futile egotist intention and discuss the problems of art based on our best frankness, would perhaps be a good start. Luis Gómez (La Habana, 2015)
Referring to the Cuban intellectual environment.
THE ITAE AND ITS 12 YEARS OF LIFE In the last decades of the XX century, Guayaquil experienced a cultural and artistic stagnation that extended until the end of the 90’s. In the first decade of the XXI century, a new artistic scenario has bloomed that has converted the city into the country’s epicentre of visual arts. This cultural rebirth is the result of the convergence of multiple elements that have destroyed old structures and behaviour models within the art world. Among these elements is the emergence of a new generation of artists, the creation of advanced cultural institutions, the implementation of new cultural policies, the forming of audiences avid for contemporary arts, the arrival of new professional critics, the history of art and visual studies, budding collecting of contemporary art, the resonance of the works of young artists in the country’s most important professional events, and the reupdating of salons and biennials. Nevertheless, the component that has had an especially leading role and impact on these transformations is the creation of the Instituto Superior Tecnológico de Artes del Ecuador (ITAE). The birth of ITAE occurred in the context of the deep economic crisis that Ecuador experienced in the late 90’s and that resulted in dollarization of the national economy in the year 2000. The economic crisis had direct repercussions in the art world. As a result of it, the market suffered a devastating blow: the great majority of galleries had to close their doors after many years of work; the high prices that some firms had reached were pulverized; public collections, also as a result of a lack of professional arbitrage, suffered an unprecedented devaluation. Paradoxically, this big shakeup of the cultural system allowed new actors and opportunities for contemporary artistic practices to appear. Artists who had been producing with other creative criteria and exploring with new languages since the 80’s and 90’s found space within the institutional art circuit. In 2001, the artist Xavier Patiño, former member of La Artefactoría6, called on other cultural actors to develop an institution of higher art education in the city. The architect Freddy Olmedo, Regional Director of Culture of the Central Bank of Ecuador, accepted the project and in conjunction with the Municipality of Guayaquil, presented the file for its creation to the country’s higher education governing authorities in April 2003. The Instituto Superior Tecnológico de Artes del Ecuador (ITAE) was born in the Arts and Occupations Plaza Project (PAO in Spanish), carried out in the city’s old South Civil Centre and was approved through
The Artefactoría was an artistic group that appeared in 1982 in the city of Guayaquil. Critics consider it a pioneer in contemporary art in Ecuador. The group was dissolved in 1989 with the exhibition Caníbal held at the Municipal Museum of Guayaquil.
a resolution of the National Higher Education Council (CONESUP) in February 20047. From the beginning, the Institute’s mission was to educate generations of qualitatively different artists who would contribute to strengthening national culture and directly influence the growth of the local, regional and national artistic scene, with a solid projection in the international sphere. Today, the artists educated on its premises have achieved a notable presence in the country’s most important professional competitions, but what is truly significant about these academic results is the daily construction, with the maximum rigor, of new dynamics of creation, critique and comprehension of artistic work. Currently, 4308 students are enrolled in the three courses of study at ITAE, young people who have the opportunity, regardless of their socioeconomic condition, to study art as an option in their lives, who in a few years will become fundamental actors in the city’s cultural scene. ITAE’s contributions to the cultural development of the city of Guayaquil in the XXI century have been considerable. The Institute has become a space of rupture that in its twelve years of institutional life has forged a particular philosophy on teaching art, becoming not only an educational space but also a centre for reflexion, production and artistic research. It is a space for exchange and confrontation that ends up binding together a significant body of artists and intellectuals committed to the local cultural tradition, with advanced criteria of contemporary culture. ITAE’s theoretical-methodological proposals come from different teaching focuses, originating in the ongoing and historical tension between art and its teaching. The fertile dialogue initiated between art and the teaching of art is part of the Institute’s educational processes. Students are enabled in the principal domains of their profession; they are familiarized with multiple historical focuses and cultural keys, from the start of their career, which enables them to acquire discursive capacities and vast cultural references. In educating, the ITAE strengthens the development of processes of creative self-awareness and forges critical and questioning views regarding art; it also covers traditional knowledge and techniques in its curriculums, generating abilities and skills that broaden the students’ aesthetic thinking as well
In the early years, Visual Arts was the only course of studies offered, an artistic area on which the founding project was based and the artistic-teaching proposal that marked the institution’s directives. In 2005, Santiago Roldós and Pilar Aranda, directors of Muégano Theatre, joined the project creating the ITAE Independent Theatre Laboratory, the embryo of the Theatre Course of Studies, which along with the Sound and Music Production course of studies make up ITAE’s current academic offering.
The 161 applicants who are currently taking the Placement and Entry course must be added to this number, equivalent to a student population of 591 young people.
as their understanding of artistic languages and their expressive possibilities. The effectiveness of ITAE’s Teaching Model is in the capacity that the students acquire to make use of the diverse aesthetic genealogies and for them to conform to the purposes of their artistic research. For that it is essential to understand art as a cultural construct, and to have a theoretical and critical platform that enables the student to ably handle the different languages learned, both the techniques and the ideologies that make them up. The dialogue that the ITAE initiates between tradition and contemporaneousness is manifested in the curricular structure of the courses of study and in the way in which the students, from a critical conception, work well together with the disciplines and the traditional occupations that give body to the artistic practices. Even though Joseph Kosuth conceives, correctly, of art as an activity outside the mixture of colours and the manipulation of materials or plastic elements, the Institute’s curriculums also place a special accent on that knowledge. The apparent conventionality of the school’s educational proposal is strengthened to the extent the students undermine and destroy the substantialism that those disciplines hide. One of the most important contributions of the ITAE is the conception of the student during the educational trajectory as a potential professional. It is significant that the Institute identifies the student not as a student of arts but as a student-artist. This posture could be objectionable according to certain teaching criteria that consider that a professional in arts is not formed in the formal artistic teaching systems, and that there only the basic know-how and the necessary tools are acquired to slowly become a professional after graduating; that is, the assumption that the school does not form the artist, but rather that life forms the artist. This way, the Institute crystalizes a teaching model that conceives of artistic creation as something teachable, deactivating the idea commonly held by the traditional art disciplines of art as a trade; and that based on interdisciplinary practices forms artists with a capacity to coherently place themselves in the cultural weave and efficiently choose the creative possibilities regarding a certain tradition. The artistic potential formed in the ITAE is evidenced in the complexity of thinking that reflects the works of its students, as well as in the symphony that they initiate with the research most suggestive of contemporary culture. The Institute’s major contribution to the city’s cultural scenario has been the gestation of a new generation of artists. A significant number of creators have emerged from its classrooms, who today constitute a critical mass with a leading role in professional art circuits. ITAE students have now achieved more than 130 awards and mentions in the salons and biennials of the city and the country, which confirms the academic excellence advocated by the institution. The influence of 44
the Instituteâ€™s educational processes has been decisive in the new directions art has taken in the city. The generation of artists that has been forged constitutes a significant fact for the national culture. Today, new and exciting horizons are appearing, such as the joining of the Institute with the rising Universidad de las Artes (UA), which is being carried out in the city of Guayaquil. The wager that ITAE has made for contemporaneousness and for an artistic-teaching proposal emanating from the artists themselves, grant this higher education institution a very particular legitimacy. The joining between the UA and the ITAE will enable no longer duplicating efforts in the education of artists, in a social context where the understanding of art as a profession has historically met with great resistance, and mutually consolidate processes for the sake of greater strengthening of the cultural scenario of the city and the country. In addition, this integration should tend toward something
Photographs from ITAE (Courtesy of Saidel Brito).
much bigger and essential for the functioning of higher education in the arts in Ecuador: the creation of a subsystem of national artistic teaching that involves all educational levels. This subsystem, in addition to propitiating proper and systematic teaching of the arts from elementary and secondary through university levels, would also be joined with the rest of the education system in general, which would generate a transcendental change in the nationâ€™s culture. Saidel Brito (Guayaquil, 2015)
AN INDEPENDENT MODEL The invitation that SACO 2015 made to Taller Bloc, expands on one of the most difficult objectives of our project: the dissemination or communication of contemporary art in Chile. For that reason, I would like to start this text by expressing gratitude for the invitation. As representative of Taller Bloc, on this occasion of the workshop to be held in the city of Antofagasta, I hope to be able to pass on our deepest sense of existing, the simple act of sharing. Taller Bloc is a project founded by five Chilean artists: Catalina Bauer, Rodrigo Canala, Rodrigo Galecio, Gerardo Pulido and Tomás Rivas. Installed in a former bakery in the commune of Providencia (J.M. Infante 1428), since late 2009 we have occupied and shared two ample warehouses where we produce and carry out a series of activities dedicated to the production, formation and dissemination of visual arts. During these years, this independent art space has been positioned as a place for encounter for artists and persons linked to Chilean and also South American contemporary art. Moved by the intention to be accessible and open, connected with other contexts, we have sought various mechanisms to increase exchange, not only on a local level, but also internationally, establishing collaborative relations with other art spaces and institutions: Letrasenlínea (Department of Literature in the Universidad Alberto Hurtado), URRA Art Residences in Argentina, School of Art of the Pontificia Universidad Católica de Chile, Molécula (online radio) and others. Taller Bloc offers opportunities for dialogue and reflexion regarding contemporary art, the need for which, in fact, propitiated its creation after regular “workshop visits” (discussion on the respective jobs) among its current members. BLOC was founded based on the friendship and at the same time the urgent need to support ourselves and to mutually strengthen ourselves, which motivated the creation of a new platform by which to carry out and disseminate its work and which since 2010 is part of the Annual Tutorship Program. CULTURAL JUNCTURE Currently, those of us on the project are the artists Rodrigo Canala, Gerardo Pulido, Rodrigo Galecio and the author. Together, we have the active participation of the artists Paula Dittborn, acting as tutor, and Peter Morse, who is currently a member of the board of directors. The geographic location of the building has been fundamental for Taller Bloc, since it is located in a traditional barrio of the city of Santiago, whose identity survivaldepends precisely on the strength and diversity of its cultural life. In this 46
sense, the closeness to Barrio Italia, vigorous for its resurgence as a centre of activities associated with art, design, night life, the culinary and furniture industry, turns out to be strategic since Bloc along with other projects such as the Galería Die Ecke Arte Contemporáneo, Mil M2, Taller Infante and Taller Julio Prado, among others, amplify the radius of the area’s cultural activity. After five and a half years of operation, Taller Bloc continues seeking to expand its contribution to the local and regional media in Chile. The regular meetings of the team and the board of directors obligate us to review our management model and update the way we communicate the activities we carry out. The project, in its three principal branches: 1, works production workshop; 2, dissemination of contemporary art in the form of exhibitions, speeches and publications; and 3, collective education of artists in tutorship, seeks to sustain a critical view in the reflexion regarding the production of our own works as well as the tasks that each one completes within the project. Taller Bloc is based on trust and friendship. In generating contents, the professionalism with which each of the agents carries out their respective tasks prevails. Finally, the management model is an “independent model”. Each of the members fulfils various types of management functions, such as administration and finance, management of economic resources through sponsorships and donations, the edition of contents, supervision of infrastructure and of the tools storeroom. Also, Bloc has a board of directors that decides on issues related to the institution’s orientation from the teaching standpoint, curatorial and editorial criteria, among others. The definition: SPACE FOR ARTISTS MANAGED BY ARTISTS, known in the Englishspeaking world as “artists run space”, admits greater agility in decision-making and allows avoiding over bureaucratization of cultural management. It also allows the possibility of a type of mixed financing in which both private and state funds converge through contests. Also, it is fundamental that we are allowed to develop a teaching or production model that does not strictly conform to university standards (too much imbued with the logic imposed by a scientific model, its verification systems and the Declaration of Bologna of 1999, which accredits this logic as part of universal higher education), which results in greater freedom of artistic experimentation, and in turn, dialogue with the artists from the Annual Tutorship Program. THE SPACE AND SELF-MANAGEMENT The physical space that houses Bloc is a building that was constructed in the early XX century in the commune of Providencia, which was designed for a bakery and its respective sales outlet to be installed. This origin makes the architectonic space one that has appropriately supported the change of function, since the amplitude of the spaces has facilitated the implementation of workshops 47
for artists, both individuals and groups. These premises, which previously housed industrial ovens for large scale production (at least at that time) of bread and that functioned first with wood and then with gas, have enabled not only the realization of tutorship program with infrastructure the size of which is appropriate for the presentation of works and their discussion, but has also permitted the functioning of a program of contemporary art exhibitions and speeches sustained over time. Due to the vernacular nature of the interior design and the singularity of the building, BLOC has become a work context very much appreciated by contemporary visual artists who explore the space and the place as supports for their work, and is also propitious for holding electronic music concerts, performances and the realization of works of contemporary dance. In Chile, the topic of self-management in fields associated with culture is marked by a great disadvantage: the scarce comprehension on the part of society as a whole of the importance of the arts for the countryâ€™s overall development. This has to do with very poor education in Chile. The upper classes basically receive a good technical education but a poor education in arts and humanities; while the
Speech by the Argentinean artist Pablo Siquier in Bloc (September 2004) / Space aimed at the workshop in which 4 artists work (photographs courtesy of Taller Bloc).
lower income sectors obtain a fair, or frankly very poor education in general, particularly in the area of the arts. If hours of education in the arts and humanities have been taken out of the educational system, it is clear that our authorities are not interested in encouraging critical and reflexive thinking, but rather the contrary. Our foundation, given its teaching orientation, humbly proposes to occupy a role in the sense of starting to fill this void. TomĂĄs Rivas (Santiago, 2015) 48
THE IMPACT OF THE TECNICATURA EN ARTES (ASSOCIATE DEGREE IN ARTS) ON THE ARTISTIC SCENE IN ROCHA As part of a process to decentralize teaching, the Universidad de la República de Uruguay (UDELAR) has promoted Regional Centres where graduate and postgraduate courses are given. The Instituto Escuela Nacional de Bellas Artes (IENBA) is thereby present throughout the national territory, an institution that was closed during the dictatorship and reopened in 1985 with the return to democracy. The Associate Degree in Arts – Plastic and Visual Arts, a three-year course of studies directed mainly at students from the region, has been offered at the Centro Universitario Regional Este (CURE) since 2013, with classes given by professors of the Licenciatura en Artes that is only given in Montevideo. The subject disciplineof the course of studies fosters the university study of the diversity of languages that intervene in the contemporary panorama of plastic and visual arts, not only in aspects of artistic-cultural production, but also in the educative area. Among the general objectives of the Associate Degree are the thematic integration of the different fields, which is made compatible through the academic structure of the work in teams of teachers, with interdisciplinary dialogue, practices already foreseen in the structure of the Universidad de la República by areas and in the work areas of the Instituto Escuela Nacional de Bellas Artes, which should continue to be encouraged. Curricular flexibility, necessary in university education, and the exchange with local realities and their recipients are also procured, according to their singularities and university principles in general. The course of studies is conceived not only as a technological aspect, but as the result of the social relations involved in its production, joining three aspects at the academic level of the university activity: the transmission of knowledge, the creation of knowledge based on research and its social relation through extension. The interest is in completely educating people, strengthening their different capacities so they can act ethically and with the greatest competence in the discipline and other emerging fields in society, critically influencing it, also promoting research of procedures in art technologies and practices, as well as insertion in the national and regional reality according to collective needs in terms of art production. The idea is for the students to know the medium in which they will perform, and with that, the prioritization of a solid and necessary education for adequate access, without difficulties of adaptation to the transformations of the disciplines and of professional practice, making it suitable for progressive education and for other modes of ongoing education. 49
A creator who graduates from the Universidad de la República must be capable of generating artistic products at the best level, with ethical and aesthetic values, being able to interpret the contents of diverse artistic products and relate them with their more or less explicit contexts. This involves understanding the needs of society based on the possibilities offered by the different forms of artistic production. Teaching is imparted in the framework of these general directives. In Rocha, CURE occupies a singular geographical enclave, situated in a building recently constructed by the Universidad de la República de Uruguay outside the city, on the route that connects the country’s capital with southern Brazil. It is a place completely dominated by the rural landscape, by the Uruguayan countryside with its plains and extensive pastures, some beef cattle and the subtle presence of stately palm trees. This loads the teaching experience with a sense of liberation. The fact of moving to give classes in a “distant” place in the educative imagination (200 kilometres from Montevideo, the capital), generates an interior space of enormous reflexion and projection. In the 100 kilometres before reaching Rocha, the anthropic presence on the landscape is practically nil. Almost everything is countryside, small hills on both sides of the route and some fields. Perhaps one of the first things you should ask yourself as a professor is about the destination of what you impart as knowledge. What will be the future of that imparted knowledge? In an area where art has not been mainly a source of production, the punctual attendance of students interested in their education surprises us. Their commitment is contagious and makes you happy. Their daily commute to this educational centre justifies a personal effort and they get into the collective taxi. The art teaching experience is given feedback through the incorporation of new teaching paradigms in addition to conceptual approaches that arise and that are necessarily circumscribed on the environment where active teaching is carried forward. Both the determinants and the possibilities become major tools for integral education. The local concerns, the questioning regarding the possible state of “development”, the impact and change involved for the biodiversity zone, the exploitation of natural resources, the different forms of life of the people in the region (from artisan fishermen, teachers, artisans, surveyors, etc.), make up a set of topics that are intrinsic and that are clearly reflected in the art research of a good part of the student population. As part of the activities of the Free Aesthetic-Pedagogic Orientation Workshop that I am in charge of, and that covers three years of the Associate Degree, the concepts mentioned above dynamically provide the backbone. These topics are enriched by possessing and making possible a critical, analytical and ethical view toward them. Also, knowing and going into depth in both technical and practical approaches of 50
Uruguayan and universal art enable contrasting the past and present faced with a future which in the contemporary acceleration becomes increasingly more uncertain and slippery for us. Inquiries are made regarding new art languages and research is done regarding the expressive possibilities of materials typical of the region, from the composition of certain clays found there for making ceramic pastes, to small reeds that are incorporated into the palettes that delineate traces with pigments that are also local. The different mono-print techniques and the survey of the local plants; digital photography, from poetic documentary value or as an instrument capable hybridizing other languages. This way, it is not just the motive that prevails in the analysis and generation of a visual image, but rather from its origin, the instrument that conformed it becomes a particularly important symbolic element.
Photographs from CURE (Courtesy of Alejandro Turell).
At the same time and in that same space, other professionals work who are studying, for example, human settlements in the region a least eight thousand years old: biologists, chemists, anthropologists, archaeologists, computer experts, art professors, etc., which turns CURE, Centro Universitario Regional Este, into a pole for generating knowledge and understanding of the territory with an interdisciplinary character, research and extension, a place of enormous importance and singularity. Alejandro Turell (Rocha, 2015)
SHORT TESTIMONY ON THE TALLER MULTINACIONAL 1. RECOUNT OF WHAT WE HAVE BEEN DOING. The Taller Multinacional is being built as we go; it is a product of a constant review of what we are doing. It operates from Mexico City and is made up by Miguel Rodríguez Sepúlveda and Fernanda Mejía. Eventually, depending on the project, other collaborators will be added. The first time we used the name was for the realization of Emergía in Caracas in 2007, a work by Miguel Rodríguez Sepúlveda. It started as a game, with the idea of being backed by an “institution” in order to facilitate arrangements for and therealization of new artistic ideas, pointing out the insufficiency of the artist’s name when presenting a project. During 2008 and 2009, we had the opportunity to hold Emergía in some cities in South America: Bogotá (Colombia), Quito (Ecuador), Belo Horizonte and Sao Paulo (Brazil), Rosario, Córdoba and Buenos Aires (Argentina). The trip was quite stimulating; we could see the way artists and agents work and are organized, how they relate with the cultural institutions and how they operate independently. We came back in December 2009, very enthused to start the next stage of Taller Multinacional. We started with a study group: Círculo del Ocio. During 2010, we met as a group of artists every fifteen days to address topics of common interest, and all the participants were encouraged to propose texts as well as topics to address, with the main theme being artists’ social condition. The meetings had a look of group therapy, a time to vent, to share experiences without arriving at a concrete action. For 2011, the meetings mutated into Viernes Social: talks with artists and other professionals from the visual arts. Every 15 days we invited an artist, curator or researcher to talk to us about their work. This was operating until 2013. A record of the discussions from 2012 and 2013 can be found on the following link:: http://www.tallermultinacional.org/category/viernes-social/ Simultaneously, Irving Domínguez, one of the active members of the Círculo del Ocio, proposed a new work dynamic: develop a collective process for interpreting documents, for which visits would be made to documentation centres dedicated to contemporary art. In 2011, we held Derivado, an interpretation exercise in the documentation centre of the Carrillo Gil Museum. The report can be seen at: http://www.derivado.tallermultinacional.net/ In 2012, the Círculo del Ocio was reactivated in virtual format with the topic of art 52
and education. A horizontal work dynamic was proposed, trying to collaboratively promote the proposed contents. The report is found in the following link: http://www.ocio.tallermultinacional.net/mod/page/view.php?id=231 (you need to click on “enter as guest”). In parallel, starting in 2011 we initiated the implementation of our Virtual Classroom. The objective is to provide an educational offering that enables expanding the horizon of the artistic practice. We open an annual call to receive proposals for courses. The offering includes courses on cultural management, curatorship, museography artistic pedagogy, art theory and art history. Eventhough we are an independent space and our courses are short, it is essential for us to think that we do the work of teaching, above all in virtual learning environments, so each year we perform two types of training for the tutors: an initial one, for those who join the Virtual Classroom team for the first time; and another for those who have already had experience in working with us. In this training, different topics are addressed related to virtual learning environments, for example, technical aspects on how to use the platform, what education is like for adults, what are the particularities of students in virtual environments, the importance of establishing teaching guides and learning objectives linked to activities, etc. It is important to note that not all the teachers of visual arts and similar subjects have formal training in teaching, so we find that it is essential to provide our tutors with a space for reflexion regarding their educational work. In 2012, we signed an agreement with IDARTES (Instituto Distrital de las Artes in Bogotá, Colombia) for an artist from Bogota to do a six-week residency in Mexico City. In 2012, we received Andrés Bueno; in 2013, Santiago Calderón; and in the second half of 2015, Laura Muñoz will be with us. The results of the residency can be seen at: http://www.tallermultinacional.org/category/residencias/ 2. WHAT HAS UNDERTAKING THIS PROJECT INVOLVED? In our case we have been building based on needs we are identifying. In the beginning, intuition traced a first route, but then it was necessary to think seriously about the human resources and materials available; that is, the capacity for materializing the ideas. Also, the temporary nature of what we want to do. In thinking about resources, it was essential to improve and even acquire tools for planning, administration and evaluation. In the case of the latter, more than a tool to measure the qualitative and quantitative results of projects, we consider it necessary that it becomes a custom, a habit that enables us to constantly review the purposes and the ways of proceeding. Sustaining yourself independently is a great challenge in various senses: economic, 53
emotional and intellectual. Economically, you have to find a way to guarantee the continuity of the project that does not place your equity at risk and that includes a fair payment for your work. Intellectually, you are obligated to learn new things that maybe when you started your Bachelor’s Degree in Arts an even your Masters, you didn’t think you were going to use, or you were not very interested in, such as administration or management, or any other know-how that the project demands. Emotionally, you need to have sufficient strength to continue and to find solutions to the problems that arise. The projects that economically depend on your other work and/or on grants tend to be short duration projects, where the satisfaction of realizing them goes far beyond what happens to them in professional or economic terms. In training for cultural companies given by the Secretary of Culture of the Federal District, they told us that the waiting time to determine if a company of this type will function or not is longer compared to other types of endeavours because the people linked with the culture sector are much more motivated and the desire to carry out their ideas is very strong, which leads them to work more hours for a longer time and for lower salaries. This high motivation and desire can be a double-edged sword: on one hand, if you are able to plan and objectively evaluate, you can make better decisions. On the other hand, if you are only led by the desire to realize an idea, the road can become long and frustrating. In my particular case, the experience of making the Taller Multinacional work has been very enriching professionally and personally. I have learned about administration, management, accounting, scheduling, teaching, human relations, etc., and also to value the resources we have, as small as they may be; to try to find solutions and ways to carry out the projects there are. 3. OUR EXPERIENCE IN THE EDUCATIONAL AREA. Many of the artists and graduates with bachelor’s or master’s degrees in Visual Arts are professionally trained in teaching. Some decide to continue their education with specializations in teaching for the arts. For others, their knowledge is based on empirical experience. In the online version of the Círculo del Ocio, we want to address a process to reflect on teaching activity based on empirical experience. For that, a study group structure without hierarchies was proposed, when meant a big challenge both for us in the role of organizers as well as for the participants. At the end of the cycle the sensation of having been a “nice or dear failure” hung in the air; each member evaluated and found positive and negative results. What remains for us is that if collaborative processes have an invisible hierarchical structure, the leader that organizes is not easy to substitute or replace, both for his or her capacity to organize and for the responsibility that work involves. Being self-didactic requires 54
much discipline and commitment with the learning process itself, more than when it is done in a group. The experience of the Círculo del Ocio had repercussions in the way we want to build our Virtual Classroom. We took on a greater commitment to understand education for adults in virtual learning environments. We are not only concerned with keeping a technological platform up to date but also with thinking about teaching formats for the courses and providing accompaniment to the tutors. The majority of our students are artists, students and graduates with bachelor’s and master’s degrees in visual arts and similar courses of study. Also, due to the particular nature of virtuality, we have students and tutors from all of Latin America. We do not work directly with children or a youth population, but we are interested in offering courses related to artistic education. In that sense, courses have been given on curatorship and educative museography, and theories and practices in the design and planning of artistic and cultural interventions with children, among others. 4. OTHER ASPECTS ON ART AND ARTISTIC EDUCATION. We are living in difficult times; there is a budget cut in the Mexican cultural sector that jeopardizes the programs of support and scheduling of the venues, as well as the job security of the people who work in culture. The arts course is part of the elementary and secondary curriculum but the teachers assigned to it are not necessarily the appropriate professionals. There is a crisis in public elementary education. An important point to analyse is how the educative component is almost mandatory in the cultural projects that are managed based on independence and how that mandatory nature modifies the initial intent of the project. Increasingly, the support offered by public as well as private entities seeks to benefit a vulnerable population, granting and requiring art to have a social usefulness withmeasureable results. While art makes our lives better in the sense that it help us to think and see other perspectives and views of the world and should be a basic necessity, placing the responsibility for generating social fabric and resilience on the shoulders of art is disproportionate when there is not enough governmental intervention to resolve core issues such as unemployment, social security, corruption, injustice, etc. Thinking about or planning what young people require for their education in arts involves thinking about the medium in which we develop as artists or culture professionals. We continue facing programs of Bachelor’s Degree in Visual Arts focused on educating artists without taking into account that the field of art is made up by multiple actors and a variety of needs according to the context: market 55
and cultural policies that support the production of works, spaces for art critique and theory, dissemination and promotion, approaching new audiences, etc. The problem of generating new audiences for art manifests a void in artistic education programs that is aggravated with contemporary art that is basically produced for a specialized audience: curators, art gallery directors, collectors, historians, researchers, critics and other artists, an immense minority. How much interest is there in artists, curators and agents in contacting other audiences?
AndrĂŠs Camilo Bueno - residency IDARTES 2012 / Santiago CalderĂłn - residency IDARTES 2013 (photographs courtesy of Taller Multinacional).
How important is this topic on the agendas of seminars, discussions or specialized encounters? What would be the work of artistic education in basic teaching regarding the generation of new audiences for art? How effective is the link of the museum, the university, the art fairs and galleries with those potential audiences? Some questions that indicate we still have a long road to cover. Fernanda MejĂa (Mexico City, 2015)
INSIDE AND OUTSIDE THE DOMES
TOWARD A GENERATIONAL OVERFLOW In the middle of winter, on the austere and arid esplanade of the Huanchaca Cultural Park, seven domes bloomed, within which a significant transformation process was perceived, not only with regard to art but also in a human sense. Among the ephemeral spaces that made up an art camp in the form of a question mark on the plane, everything was filled with life: shouts, laughter, looks, questions, ideas, movement. It was a festive and intense experience that undoubtedly marked a before and after in the lives of its participants and all of us who joined in this process. Many had the opportunity for the first time to share with peers from other nationalities present in the region of Antofagasta, from other communes and barrios; also with people of different cognitive capacities. We received a master class in tolerance and companionship, desirable in the adult world. For one week, 84 young people disconnected from their schools and daily duties; 36 of them coming from communes outside of Antofagasta, carried out a residency in the city. Their sole objective was to dedicate themselves to art, learning, producing and enjoying, opening horizons to dimensions other than the ordinary, real and not virtual, accompanied by teachers and tutors. These latter, mostly students or recent graduates of diverse university courses of study, fulfilled an important role, being assistants for the guest artists, monitors of the groups, and finally guides during the 17 days of the exhibition. This way, they shared everything they experienced with the audience, personal learning and production experiences. Culture workers: Christian Ochoa, Daniela Castillo, Marcelo Peñailillo, Gabriela González, Paulina Quinteros, Nidia Maldonado and Javier Ramos, today constitute a seedbed for the critical mass and emerging local scene. This intense week signified a challenge for each artist. The majority had no teaching experience in school. The young people, in turn, had no references; they did not know what a workshop meant and what was really going to be expected of them in a space where the unconventional or experimental was not just about the lack of walls, uniforms or grades. However, we realized that they adapted easily and enthusiastically to these unusual conditions, these spaces and dynamics accommodated them, awakening confidence and empowerment. Little by little, starting from the passive calm of a classroom they began to look up, laugh, express and defend their ideas, and finally taking one of the teacher’s words for it: that everything they did was fine and that there is no error that doesn’t make sense. “In silence first, like a volcano awakening…” commented another guest, surprised by the dynamic that was resulting organically and that like a plant grew day by day in front of our eyes, giving unusual fruits, rare in these latitudes and very nutritive, truly diverse, reflexive and coherent installations. The results of the workshops made up the exhibition Between the Shape and the 61
Mould, which was open to the public between the 29th of August and the 15th of September 2015. In the temporary art campus, combining seven geodesic domes designed and constructed by Camanchaca Movimiento Creativo, the young people shared with us and among themselves their talents, sensitivities and interests. They showed the community the creative process they had covered during those intense days together with the relevant teachers â€“ artists from Latin America. We closed the exhibition Between the Shape and the Mould with 2,500 visitors. The cultural revitalization of the mining capital has been becoming a reality in front of our eyes. We hope that this experimental format generates a transition, not only of artists but for all reflexive and creative individuals capable of materializing a qualitative transformation that we all want in the local as well as global context, regardless of the life buoy that each one has been able to grab onto in the neoliberal swamp. Dagmara Wyskiel
EXERCISES TO EXPLOIT THE CLASSROOM WORKSHOP 1. CONCEPTUAL ART AND GEOMETRY. In ¿Tiene la humanidad una posibilidad de sobrevivir final y exitosamente en el planeta tierra y, sí es así, cómo? (Does humanity have a chance to finally and successfully survive on planet Earth, and if so, how?), by Tomás Rivas, the work was based on the works and thoughts of the U.S. architect and inventor Richard Buckminster Fuller (1895 - 1983), creator of the geodesic dome, for which the young people set up an installation based on concepts such as sustainability, ecosystems and cooperation. A dome is set up on top of an icosahedron triangle structure that is successively sustained thanks to two types of force: compression and tension, or by an effect of tensegrity, as the Chilean artist explains. This type of construction, a sort of cupola, was used in SACO4 to make room for the art workshops in the middle of the esplanade of the Ruins of Huanchaca, serving as a topic for Rivas to creatively work with the students based on geometry, technology and human relations. The idea of tensegrity, for example, was a symbol of empathy. For that, he started out by inviting them to ask themselves about cases in the region that would not generate empathy among the population, based on industrial development and poor political decisions. So they discussed the impact of the thermoelectric plants
in Mejillones, the case of the Rocket Park in Calama (that had been sold by the Municipality to constructors) or the Events Plaza in Antofagasta, place where the National Holiday temporary installations are set up and where trees were removed. Returning to the dome and to Buckminster Fuller’s ideas from the sixties, the focus was on the organic nature of a geometric system and on the relationship with the surroundings based on concepts such as tensibility and synergy, very characteristic of the deep economy, of the definition of ecosystem and sustainability, he explains. Architecture, Nature and Technology were keys therefore, for the young people to elaborate their own vision of the planet. The Utopia. The key question, what is technology’s impact on us, also causes a view about our place in the universe, on the future of society and on the artist’s role in all this. The ideas came out in the conversations induced by the professor, very conceptual, very lucid regarding the context. Then they were “downloaded” to visual problems. Rivas then invited them to propose a new system based on a geometric pattern, on the figure of the equilateral triangle. “It’s incredible. None of them have stopped working. They have made the decisions. They invented ways of approaching the problem with very collaborative and creative work”, he commented. In finalizing the process, the inside of the dome was turned into a celestial vault, a cupula with the cosmos reflected. Paint, stickers, an entire landscape around and at eye level of those who visit the montage, painted posters with questions like “Are we prepared for the new technology?”, concepts such as “Creativity” or “Empathy”, and drawings where it could be read, for example, in dripping letters: “Carbon KILLS!”. These set up this universe with two or three dimensional geometric figures made of PVC tubing, volumes of wire and cut up cardboard hanging from the ceiling, landscapes drawn or painted on triangles. The access to the dome was also intervened with an open geometry constructed with PVC. The exercises pointed toward a comprehension and analysis of the surroundings, where technology was the central theme and the “works” were the result of exercises-questions and divergent thinking, indicated the artist: “The evolution of he collective work was started based on critical questioning. The idea was to 64
generate new thinking that would decant into non-conclusive, only open works or actions, addressing at the same time questions of shapes, materials and colours”.
WORKSHOP 2. MAPS AND CONTEXT. Derivas, Mapas y Recorridos (Drifts, Map and Routes), by Fernanda Mejía, was a creative process that started with a tour through the entire urban sector where the Ruins of Huanchaca are located in order to experiment with maps, documentation of routes and signals, where the young people reflected on the city they see and what they imagine for living. A strategy very characteristic of current art was key: the observation of the territory. The first day was a little confusing, said the Mexican artist. The young people asked, rather puzzled, so we are going to make maps?” In order to open up their senses, exercises were performed to relate their own bodies to the place, fist playing at wandering through the esplanade with their eyes blindfolded, being confronted with surprising obstacles. 65
Later, the tour around the entire perimeter of the ruins was key, going up through the empty lots, reaching a populated sector of buildings and continuing along the promenade. This whole sector is marked by the enormous presence of the Cultural Park, as well as the desert, the sea, the Enjoy casino and the urban expansion. However, the first thing the Mexican artist discovered in her students was tiredness and a conflict with the landscape, with how dry it is. â€œThey want more greenâ€? she affirmed. So she asked them to work on photos of what attracted their attention. In returning to the dome, they talked about what they had seen, immediately detecting problem: the trash, the scarce vegetation, the excessive sun, the dry space not very nice for walking, and the number of signs for properties, buildings and automobiles for sale. Several in the group were immigrants or came from other communes, with different experiences of place. The professor also invited them to ask themselves if we always had to follow the same route in our transit through the city, inviting them above all to be more aware of their surroundings.
Then, each one drew their map, identifying places, situations and problems, working with texts, post-its, cuttings and collages, drawings and paintings. They tried to recognize, reflect on and work with what is manual and visual, with twodimensional figures or volumes, to represent a process where ideas should be important and the professor barely guides but rather influences, or induces. So, by opening up and discussing, little by little they were able to express the critical opinion they have of society; the students were intervening in the dome, telling stories, talking about trips, pointing out landmarks and places through maps, but always with another type of “documents” and works, such as photos, news from websites printed on paper, a tree constructed with wire and wastes (that was situated as a sculptural object), and stencils that repeated symbols referring to the city and the pollution, on papers to carry or on the walls, signs that also pointed out the city the young people dreamed of with few automobiles, more cyclists, more green areas and more art in the streets. One of the interventions could be the epitome of this whole feeling: pointing out a red button drawn on the wall as if it were ready to be pushed, with a text that said “Button for changing the world… Nothing happened? Do it yourself!”.
WORKSHOP 3. ENGRAVING AND TERRITORY. Yvy: Taller Experimental de TĂŠcnica Adhesiva (Yvy: Experimental Adhesive Technique Workshop), by Marcos BenĂtez, based on the Guarani word, Yvy, which refers to the earth, related students with the place, collecting different types of stones, sand and soil, materials that served to generate matrices and engravings. Starting from the arid condition of the zone and the Pachamama culture of the traditions of the high Andean plateau, the Paraguayan artist chose that material for teaching them to work based on engraving with an adhesive technique, where the matrix, which is imprinted, is formed by adding layers instead of removing them. In some way, xylography and lithography were present, and in the process, other graphic techniques. From that intrinsic relationship with the place, he first invited them to recognize
where they were, touring the Ruins of Huanchaca and extracting elements such as stones and different types of soil. In the dome they were classified by colours, thicknesses and textures, pictorially occupying them on abstract designs, pasting them with agglomerated glue and varnishing. The students had to make these matrices without thinking about contents, but rather the nature
of the earth and of the territory. Then, with or without dye, they were printed on craft paper, resulting in engravings that were only texture (hollow engravings) or informalist type images, groups of weaves, stains and telluric abstractions, where the grain, the porosity, the track, and the ground were significant. In the second exercise, free images arose that the artist then invited them to cut in order to generate works based on the fragments. He thereby proposed a game of views that went from the macro to the micro, describing in detail an artistic value. The soils were also used as pigment, mixed with oil and water, in water colours, or simply adhered directly to the surface for composing. Among these materials from the place, there were also vegetable pigments that the artist himself brought from his land. The use of these elements obtained other senses of identity, history, and exchanges, with the workshop also approximating cultural, social and political senses. Thanks to a conjunction of fortunate events just then, Camila Díaz, one of the artists who belong to the Group SE VENDE that work on production in SACO4, obtained an engraving press that was used for the first time in the workshop. The machine became an important element in the montage, where the works in series were hung inside the dome, displayed over the enormous work table, as if it were a collection of laboratory samples involving different types of soil, working materials, tools and printed papers that gave account of the stages of the workshop. Conceived as a process, in the end Benítez sought to make the language exercise “more complex”; not make it so linear, including formalities of the trade such as the use of the term “artist’s proof” and of course, the creation in series. 69
WORKSHOP 4. VIDEO AND RECYCLING. Breve Introducción al Video en el Arte (Brief Introduction to Video in Art) by Luis Gómez, invited the exploration of the creative potential of technology from the standpoint of recycling, at the same time driving the students to document what they experienced in SACO. For the first time, the Cuban artist faced a group of students in the middle of adolescence. “Still in an age of playing, I thought precisely that it would be easier to learn by playing than by imposing things. I brought a very specialized program regarding video topics and their history. But upon arriving I realized that it was impossible to address it without a background in art and also in contemporary art in order to understand current discussions. So I decided that it would be best to incentivize this idea of doing it yourself or recycling”, he explained. He modified the focus, he says, based on the experience in the Universidad de las Artes, in La Habana, where they created a new media laboratory, taking on the “delayed” technology in Cuba, with edition in open source programs, with Arduino and micro-controllers, welding the plate itself, using old television sets... So work was done with the “recycling philosophy”. For artists, in recycling there is a resignification of everyday tools: “They can be converted into something else”. This occurred for example with the use of the cellular phone, where its low quality image could also be used. Gómez took into consideration the know-how that the young people already brought regarding video since it was everyday technology for them, and tried to introduce new elements based on what they already had on hand, offering them an easy to handle edition set. A first exercise, he clarifies, was a test to see who had possibilities with the media, or how he would then organise them for working: Continuous video, where the student must have an idea and plan it. “Once the camera is put on play, that idea runs until it is stopped”, he explains. The professor thereby proved each one’s capacities to set up a script, the photographic framing, the sense of time, notions of basic language. Then he invited them precisely to “work an idea” with clips of scenes from movies 70
that gave them a found footage on which to build a story based on the collage. The exercise was a type of recycling, of basic editing and also of bringing them closer to contemporary cinema. The next operation was a documentary. For that they were divided into three groups with each one guided by a “leader” and where there could be a scriptwriter, two cameras and a sound engineer. The idea was to understand that video is not an individual but rather a collective medium. The topic was what occurred at the place, the sense of the art, the other workshops, SACO4, covering it with tours, different takes and interviews with other students, tutors and artists-professors.
“It was in this work that some very funny documentaries were uncovered. They demonstrated their personalities, the commentators, and those who tended more toward organizing or directing became evident. The results have been amazing. Those who seemed more uneasy were later more connected, very concentrated on the computer”, he points out.
WORKSHOP 5. PHOTOGRAPHY AND CITY. The montage of La Carpa Mágica (The Magic Tent), directed by Roberto Huarcaya, included photos and images that resulted from experimentation with stenopeic boxes and a large dark camera that the professor built so the young people could experience the basic photography process from inside. The workshop had two objectives: give them the experience of constructing an image through technology and experiencing the situation as a physical and chemical process, where they sweat, if that were necessary, says the Peruvian artist, understanding that taking a photo is not instantaneous and requires time. “The idea was to re-link them to the doing”. For that, stenopeic boxes were constructed from shoe boxes, or rather, a large dark
camera was installed in the Ruins of Huanchaca at the edge of the beach and in the Plaza de Armas, a cube covered with black plastic that gave the same effect as a shoebox, except that here they could all enter to discover from inside how the light passed through an opening and the image from outside was reflected in the background upside down. There, a photo-sensitive paper captured in fragments the projection that measured three by three metres, an exercise that Huarcaya has already carried out with children 4 to 5 years old in Lima, and that comes from the beginnings of the photographic principle with an instrument that arose in the Renaissance and that was used by painters. Moving the contraption to another place, the professor pointed at representing the three scenarios or landscapes of Antofagasta: the natural, the marine, and one that is architectonic and urban. What is unusual was how the magic tent returned after a kind of urban intervention, where the young artists captured off and on the intimate conversations of those who passed by or who, for example, dwelled for a long while on the bench in the plaza, never imagining that they were being listened to from inside. These fragments of stories were in turn mixed with the sounds of automobile engines, the sermon of an Evangelical pastor, or the bells of a church. Based on the confinement and darkness, points out Huarcaya, hearing becomes more acute and the experience of city is nourished. So, out of all these situations there came takes of Antofagasta, of the military chapel, the sea, the ruins, people, and architectural structures, while more authorial photos were elaborated from the small box, of flowers, houses and the profiles of each of their faces. Successively, the work involved revelation, amplification and drying processes. Finally, all the images serve as a free montage where the photo gave cause for constructing their own fictions, based on the fantasy on the walls of the domes, relating them with drawings, clippings, and graffiti, such as the image of foliage, for example, that was completed with the tracing of a UFO landing, or of an entire abstraction in black and while that inspired the figure of a fish. “So they ended up creating with the idea that everything is fair, also assuming the error, painting, pasting, with everything at hand, where the image is a record of things that stimulates them or leaves them trapped”, he advised. Another objective, the artist added, was “for them to lose the innocent view, naive of the construction of the image. That is, remain clear that it is a construction, precisely, where a number of decisions, including ideologies, are made, loading them with levels of subjectivity. The image has to be read with certain suspicion and not as if it were the absolute truth”.
WORKSHOP 6. DRAWING AND EXPANSION. The showing in the dome of the workshop Dibujo, Espacio Social y Campo Expandido (Drawing, Social Space and Expanded Field), by Saidel Brito, included creative processes based on drawing and expansive proposals that made it possible to understand the work with graphics from other materials and places. The Cuban-Ecuadorian artist started showing the young people a selection of 400 images of contemporary art, where drawing is both a technique in itself and a concept that extends to sculpture, installation or toward proposals difficult to classify. They were works by internationally renowned artists, for example, sculptures by Rauschenberg, paintings by Basquiat, sketches of Christ on his interventions or the corporal drawings of Oppenheim, adding Chileans such as Claudio Bravo, Nury Gonzรกlez and Arturo Duclos.
The conventions with which the students had arrived were related to design, comics, and graffiti. The professor then looked for a way to make them play, inviting them to a group effort that broke with the idea of intimist creation: he gave them five minutes to think about a drawing in the outside space that they would then have to describe in a text. Brito kept what they wrote. Then he asked them to freely draw in twos. They pasted the drawings on the inside of the dome and commented on what was different about them and what they had in common. “The showing started to be assembled from the first day”, he adds. The exercise finally involved returning each writing for a second colleague to draw it. He points out that this proposed “an emerging collective awareness: gestate knowledge based on collective experience and dialogue among everyone. The young people started to get to know each other through those drawings. With that we set the bases for the workshop”. However, two young people with Asperger’s syndrome put the professor and the order of the workshop to the test. “I was sure they would not be able to integrate” he says. With the timely help of an educational psychologist, some basic instructions and above all with the teacher’s empathy and intuition, plus the close companionship experienced within the group, what seemed like an impediment at the beginning was then transformed into an unsuspected potential. “Freedom is understanding each one’s limits”, Saidel Brito said. The work that involved a relationship with the surroundings continued. The 75
students portrayed participants from the other workshops, from the speeches and encounters, of professors and the public, invited friends who arrived, or worked with expanded drawing, including graffiti, stencils, direct drawing on the wall, photos of objects, the use of papers and elements found around the place. In each station, the children with Asperger’s, Joaquín and Benjamín, concentrated, respectively, on what they were doing: making a human figure on the table with pieces of eraser or outside the tent with stones found in the place; or copying fragments of others’ drawings on post-its, then pasting the small phosphorescent papers over the originals, with more abstract versions. This element was transversal in the montage and even gave it a sense, with everything ending up as just one work. The texts were also inserted into the montage. There was for example, a very synthetic but precise drawing where at the edge of the flat roof of a building a small seated man is seen and over him a globe with the symbol of peace; that is, thinking or talking about that while looking down or perhaps into the distance, sustaining the equilibrium. Along with that a dated paper: Antofagasta 24 August 2015, where it reads below: “Me from when I was young on the roof of my house, aspiring how to be able to go out toward success, greatness, wisdom”.
WORKSHOP 7. SCULPTURE AND IDENTITY. In Nuestra Identidad Dinámica (Our Dynamic Identity), a proposal by Alejandro Turell, the young people arrived little by little to a series of clay heads, self-portraits that started playing at sculpting blindly. The small and fine sculptures that resulted in a sort of “selfies” in clay, implied that they rethought themselves. Already the first day the professor faced them with the exercise of moulding the clay, with an amount that adapted very well to being worked in their hands, asking each one to do a self-portrait, but with their eyes blindfolded. It was about working based on “tactile memory, of understanding that perception is not limited to what is visual, and addressing the constructs that determine our own identity”, stated the Uruguayan artist. When they took off the blindfolds, they were completely surprised at what they saw. Then they were given instructions to refine details and sculpturally work on their own faces. “There was a girl who, for example, had a hard time working on her eyes. So we realized that maybe it was because she wore glasses. We added them later… It is important to consider that the same thing doesn’t happen in everyone. The objective was to give each one confidence”. For that, he tells, the first thing really was to expose himself as the professor to a similar exercise, so they would find him equally vulnerable. “At the beginning we thought it was impossible to achieve the self-portraits. This is a teaching format that enables opening up possibilities for new generations to discover their potential, to unleash greater security at an age in which a lot questioning arises. It involves recognizing the material and constantly talking about the creative process, getting them to freely play, manifest themselves, and express their opinion. It is fundamental to give them the opportunity to learn in a context that is more stimulating for them. Sweep away preconceptions regarding teaching methodology and practice and start from there. The other ways of learning are more arduous”, he warns. A reference, he says, is the workshop in the first year of Fine Arts in the East Regional University Centre of the Universidad de la República, in Rocha. “It’s also a trigger to talk about topics related to art”. 78
The young people laughed when they discovered that they were basically working on selfies made out of clay, he comments. “And why not? We think it was interesting to build stories based on that”. The clay was an anachronic element, considering especially that it involves a generation that has technology so integrated into their daily life. “It’s an analogic tool that gave them the opportunity to surprise themselves with what they could do with their hands without anything digital interceding”.
In the process, a group dynamic was generated, where the professor did not induce but rather only gave minimal instructions, working and sharing he adds “making them understand that they never did anything wrong, that everything was a gain and that art is losing the fear… When there was something they didn’t resolve and they got frustrated, he helped them, intervening in the sculpture to resolve things jointly. From uncertainty there arise different possibilities where they decide”, he affirms. Carolina Lara 79
PARTICIPANTS IN SACO4 ANTOFAGASTA REGION ANTOFAGASTA TECHNICAL PUBLIC SCHOOL OF ANTOFAGASTA Marie Claire Gutiérrez Restrepo Nicole Gutiérrez Restrepo Francisca Javiera Delgado Ortiz Frachesca Priscilla Murillo Lillo Javiera Leticia Muñoz Gutiérrez
MAYOR GENERAL (E) OSCAR BONILLA PUBLIC SCHOOL Pedro Aníbal Castillo Rodríguez Ronald David Ospina Taborda Ricardo Ignacio López Araya Ignacio Javier Villegas Olivares Bayron Ignacio Henríquez Mundaca
MARTA NAREA DÍAZ PUBLIC SCHOOL Sofía Salinas Cortés Karina Belén Jara Pérez Gabriel Alejandro Pantoja Cárdenas Melany Esther Pereira Valenzuela Ivania Lorena Matus Cortes Constanza Corintia Herrera Tapia
LA CHIMBA SCIENTIFIC HUMANIST PUBLIC SCHOOL Kevin Alejandro Cortés Fuentes Tomás Alexander Farías Román Iván Leevan Valenzuela Vicencio Paulo Isaac Aracena Tillería Joaquín Matías Cruz Soto Macarena Andrea Gutiérrez Richard’s
LA PORTADA PUBLIC SCHOOL Luis Ignacio Mora Fuentes Carlos Ernesto Pérez Irarrázaval Luis Alexander Arias Lema Ricardo Jesús López Pizarro DOMINGO HERRERA PUBLIC SCHOOL Isabel Patricia Campillay Díaz Denisse Araceli Molina Gallo Valentina Dennis Tapia Araya Harlem Cristina Bani Rivera Moreno Ayleen Andrea Torres Castillo ANDRÉS SABELLA PUBLIC SCHOOL Iván Sebastián Tapia Tirado Daniela Andrea Devia Veas Fernanda Constanza Salfate Munizaga Antonella Monserrat Caramello Riveros Ignacio Andrés Armijo Castillo Josefa Antonia Montoya Yáñez Valeria Alejandra Núñez Low JUAN SANDOVAL CARRASCO SPECIAL SCHOOL Luz Meily Flores Zarabia Benjamín Daniel Pereira Valenzuela Yessica Elizabeth Garate Álvarez 82
LOS ARENALES POLYTECHNIC LYCEUM Josué Jacob Segobia Suárez Esther Noemí Mujica Delgado Leslye Dayan Jara Araya Claudia Andrea Véliz Inostroza Daniel Esteban Henríquez Farías Diana Aurora Heimpeller Guzmán Javiera Paz Rouse Hoyos Olivares CALAMA FRANCISCO DE AGUIRRE PUBLIC SCHOOL Luis Diego Leiva Leiva Eduard Albert Cabrera Tabilo Jeannette Antonia Anza Cruz Anabella Karen Anza Cruz JORGE ALESSANDRI RODRÍGUEZ PUBLIC SCHOOL Ximena Andrea Espinoza Espinoza Reinaldo Iván Morales Olivares Nickolash Andrés Castillo Orellana Kathalina Amanda Salinas Molina
IQUIQUE REGION MEJILLONES
JUAN JOSÉ LATORRE BENAVENTE EDUCATIONAL COMPLEX Francisca Demis Brockway Pizarro Sandra Elizabeth Rodríguez Contreras Katherine Marcela Torres Figueroa Maríapaz Osiris Fernández Contreras Bárbara Elizabeth Dorrego Ortiz Geisy Jorgette Llanos Santana Marcos Antonio Joffre Godoy
VIOLETA PARRA PUBLIC SCHOOL Aleysa Gabriela Ventura Ventura Nicolás Javier Hidalgo Araya
DR. JUAN NOÉ CREVANNI ARTISTIC LYCEUM Nathalie Nicole Laurent Salinas Viviana Constanza Ramos Ríos
JUAN CORTÉS-MONROY CORTÉS PUBLIC SCHOOL Samantha Karolayn Castillo Núñez Johan Andrés Plaza Sepúlveda Javiera Alejandra Geraldo Ordenes Manuel Harrison Villalobos Araya Krishna Nikal Tapia González Yanina Alejandra Cerda Avaria SAN PEDRO DE ATACAMA LIKAN ANTAI C-30 RURAL PUBLIC SCHOOL Wildo Antonio López Vilca Constanza Andrea Hontmeier Pinto Ailin Jesús Riquelme Riquelme Rubén Alejandro Flores Campillay
ARICA AND PARINACOTA REGION ARICA
ATACAMA REGION COPIAPÓ ALEJANDRO RIVERA DÍAZ COMMERCIAL INSTITUTE Diego Andrés Riveros López VALLENAR JOSÉ SANTOS OSSA PUBLIC SCHOOL Felipe Ignacio Cortés Jorquera
TOCOPILLA DOMINGO LATRILLE LASTAUNOU PUBLIC SCHOOL Loreto Verónica Albornoz Campusano Suy-Yin Kuy Lam Anch Rodríguez Karina Fernanda Riquelme Lisoni Camila Daniela Díaz Ortega Christian Bastián Jara Rojas 83
WHAT DO YOU TEACH WHEN YOU TEACH ART?
THE STUDENTS DIEGO RIVEROS LÓPEZ (17 years old) Instituto Comercial Alejandro Rivera Díaz, Copiapó Workshop Drifts, Maps and Routes, by de Fernanda Mejía (Mexico) Well, this experience really seemed fabulous to me, to get to know people who are in different arts, get to know people who have the same thoughts as you do when they see art, a nice way. Thank God I was in an excellent group; we all worked well and always in a good way, getting to know good people who, let’s say, have capacities for doing what is not expected very much.
Could you explain to us what the workshop consisted of? The workshop of maps and routes is how you see yourself in daily life, the routine of walking to a place like we all do, how to make that something entertaining and didactic by changing your route, seeing how society can get away from always doing the same, from the constant routine. That’s a little about the workshop I was in. 87
How do you think this can serve for your personal life and maybe if you have one, in your personal artistic goal? It is going to serve me a lot, because really that is my thinking, change the routine, get out of the routine and make it entertaining, and inviting. There are people who do very pretty things and the truth is that I was in just the right workshop, the one I wanted, because it talked about getting out of the routine, so it was a good workshop. Had you ever been to a contemporary art workshop before? No, itâ€™s the first time, the first time. EDUARD CABRERA TABILO (16 years old) Francisco de Aguirre Public School, Calama Workshop Our Dynamic Identity, by Alejandro Turell (Uruguay) Tell us what you had to do in the workshop, what has happened, what you have liked. The workshop consisted of making a self-portrait of ourselves in clay, with our eyes blindfolded. We thought about it with our eyes blindfolded. There were two classes with our eyes blindfolded and then another, with finer traits that we had to do without the blindfolds, and it has been very interesting and very dynamic. I was motivated because I didnâ€™t know anything; I had never done it, and the professor
told us that everything we do is fine, nothing is going to be bad, so I was motivated and decided to participate more. The faces in the clay portraits are very likeable, as if they have some identity. Tell us a little about that. Sure, at the beginning you do it, and as you continue working with the clay, the professor helps you and the faces start to be familiar, and a good job by the professor too. Had you done any workshop like this? Does it relate in any way to what you want to do in the future with an artistic scholarship? No, I have never done (anything like this) in my life. I didn’t think I was going to do it either, and actually I don’t plan to continue with this. Even though it was a nice experience and all, I don’t plan to do something related to sculpture. FELIPE CORTÉS JORQUERA (18 years old) José Santos Ossa Public School, Vallenar Workshop Brief Introduction to Video in Art, by Luis Gómez (Cuba) I work in personal development, I do interviews, motivation. The workshop in which I am participating is audio visual. I chose this workshop because I wanted to know what characteristics were needed to make more professional videos, because the ones I have made are not very professional. That is, even though I have been evolving, I wanted to know what programs are needed in order to edit like a professional. From the art standpoint, beyond the qualities or possibilities that video has, because video has many possibilities in life today; it is everywhere. So, from the standpoint of expressive possibilities, what have you been able to learn? What have you learned from what the professor has shared with you? I think that what the professor has most instilled is that in order to do anything, whether a video, or a project, it needs to be step by step, you need to be working constantly, be looking at every detail. Because he said “don’t bite off more than you can chew”, which is a saying, that if you try to do too many things you won’t do them with quality. So the professor makes us understand that and the expression of the video would be as detailed as possible with things, with the credits, with everything that the video contains. And with regard to how the work group has been, what do you think about the group you and the other colleagues have been able to form? How has the cohesion seemed to you, the group work? Very good. The group work strengthens all the people’s capacities. Because when we work individually we don’t have the connection with others, of having different points of view, of forming a better quality project… 89
Collective… Collective, sure. We don’t have only one point of view, we have everyone’s opinion and with that you achieve better work. Then that supports us. Also knowing how to relate. Working in a group is vital for working in companies or for all of our future. And now that you know a little more after all these days, what have you understood contemporary art to be from this? What does it consist of? Of course, sure. With all the professors we have been learning from, the conferences they have given us, I think there is a before and after in the life of all the students and all of us who are here. Because they taught us how to reflect, think, how to realize that art is not just making a work but also involves management, dissemination, a creative process of years, the motivation and definition that art doesn’t have, or rather, that art can be different for each person.
NICOLE GUTIÉRREZ RESTREPO (16 years old) Technical Public School of Antofagasta Yvy: Experimental Adhesive Technique Workshop, by Marcos Benítez (Paraguay) In the workshop we have learned the different types of soil, the colours there are, and to experiment with them in the matrices. What things have you done? Now we are doing this (showing a work) with the soils we have collected right here, in the ruins, to play with the colour tones of the soil. What do you think about this? Have you enjoyed it? Has it been a great experience? Tell us a little about what you have felt. Being in SACO4 is an awesome experience between we learn many different types of things, of art and its things. What country are you from? I am from Colombia. Tell us about this novelty of the workshop, because it is not just the workshop but also the opportunity to participate in this Contemporary Art Week. Maybe you hadn’t heard of this concept, of contemporary art. Tell us about all that. I had not heard about this; I didn’t know it existed, until my technology teacher included me in this so I could participate. But it seems like an awesome opportunity for adolescents. I would even like everyone to be able to participate, but not everyone can, because they select them. 90
How was your professor? The professor is great, very cool and very patient, because sometimes, for example, I got confused doing my work because I put too much glue, too much stain, but he is patient and explains to me how to do it. And who are those who are with you here, the rest of your colleagues? Some of my colleagues come from Taltal, or from other places; they are not just from Antofagasta, they are also from other places and we have different ages, from different courses, but as a group we get along well.
WILDO LĂ“PEZ VILCA (17 years old) Likan Antai C-30 Rural Public School, San Pedro de Atacama Workshop Drawing, Social Space and Expanded Field, by Saidel Brito (Ecuador) I am a Likan Antai descendent, from an ethnic group there, and in the workshop we are drawing, projecting, getting to know how we are. The professor gave us the freedom to express ourselves in the module and to exhibit what we want, with our imagination and nothing else. From what you have been able to see, what are the strengths of drawing in contemporary art, what the professor says about extended or expanded drawings? One of their strengths is that human beings can express what they want in drawings, either ugly or pretty. They express it as they want and I think that has a big influence on history. Thanks to that we are who we are. We started with drawing and then moved on to literature. And how do you think the synergy within the group has been? Is there an energy when you are drawing, when you are expressing yourselves? How does that work? We all share a passion for drawing and thanks to that fanaticism, that hobby, we have gotten along well. There are guys who have other talents, other focuses or who have other areas, to say it that way; they have different capacities in drawing. They complement each other and between everyone a good fiato is achieved. What are you doing now? Now we are working individually, some in groups; me, individually. And your colleagues who are there in the back, what are they doing? They are doing a mosaic and a branch, a tree, and each student is going to express what they want on that branch. 92
Tell us about the professor. The professor is tela, cool. He lets us be who we are; lets our talent flow so that we are expressed in the module, so that we make ourselves known. The 4th Contemporary Art Week is perhaps a rare concept, maybe some people don’t understand it, but you, what have you been able to capture of that concept? The truth is that I don’t understand it much, but it is making public what art is. There are different types of art. And I believe there are still more arts. There aren’t just seven, there could be more. KEVIN CORTÉS FUENTES (18 years old) La Chimba Scientific Humanist Public School, Antofagasta Workshop The Magic Tent, by Roberto Huarcaya (Peru) Our workshop is about photography, with Professor Roberto Huarcaya, and what we have been doing these four days is inserting ourselves into a pinhole (stenopeic camera) that on one end has an opening that is covered. Where we point, an image is projected. For example, if I point over there and the professor is there, inside there is a white screen with the opposite side and his image is projected. Later when we have the projected image, everything self-sensitive, it comes out in the negative. And during these four days we have been doing all types of revelations. The other day we went to the beach where the military church is (Our Lady of Carmen Military Chapel) and for example, you can see the cross of the church; there is the Virgin. I don’t know what else I can say. Could you comment more on the work? Since the paper is inside, it is sensitive, it is exposed to the light. How did you achieve it? I am going to explain these two images here. Yesterday after lunch when we arrived here, they had the brilliant idea of exposing the photosensitive paper, one in the shade, another in the sun, and another between the sun and the shade, placing objects, and here in this image, a glass was superimposed directly in the sun. In more than five minutes, the glass was marked. I don’t know if you can see it well. In this other one we have here, the guys placed stones; Joan put JP. It was exposed for more or less time, but there is a difference in colours more than anything. Tell us about what has caught your attention the most. What has caught my attention the most is seeing the camera. What is outside, when we insert ourselves into a camera, is the representation of a tent. Inserting ourselves and being able to project the image and at the same time reveal it. It has been a very attractive process, because I didn’t know it. Neither did I know that 93
this type of cameras called pinhole or something like that existed, and it has very much caught my attention because there are things about photography that I didn’t know and there must be many more things that you can learn about the process in the little time that is left. You don’t need a good cell phone or a bad cell phone. With the apparatus you can make a good photo and it is going to be expressed on its own, regardless of what we take it with. It could be with a GoPro, with the same camera that you are using to record me. I think the photo is going to be expressed on its own, and if it is good it will be noticed.
MACARENA GUTIÉRREZ RICHARD’S (17 years old) La Chimba Scientific Humanist Public School, Antofagasta Workshop Does humanity have a chance to finally and successfully survive on planet Earth, and if so, how? by Tomás Rivas (Chile) This project tries to bring together young people from different regions, from Arica to Vallenar, where they have brought us to propose a project by different artists, 94
where each group makes decisions. We can choose the purpose of our project. Ours in particular is related to the criticism we young people have regarding what is happening in our region and the problems that affect us, such as the pollution from the shed here in Antofagasta, the destruction of the foliage, and address the topics through art. So, it’s like saying that through art, or with a mixture of various techniques, you can show a little of this truth, this reality. First we got together with the professor to talk about the subjects that interested us and we started to set out things such as whether technology was in fact helping us or destroying us, if people knew how to use technology, how they had to do it, or whether we were not taking advantage of it and that was hurting us. Then, based on all these inferences and hypotheses, we arrived at our project and started to ask ourselves why we are not doing anything if this affects us. So our project tries to attract people’s attention, not telling them what they have to do, or what they have to leave clean, but rather call their attention and start to get the people themselves to ask what can I do in order for this to change. And what results do you hope to achieve? Because we have seen intense work these past days, everyone participating side by side, doing different jobs as part of a common project. What do you hope to be able to achieve the day of the inauguration? We are very nervous because we put a lot of enthusiasm into our project. And we have a lot of things left to finish. We hope that on the day of the presentation, which is Friday morning, we can fulfil our purpose and that the project makes people start to question; that the message we want to send with this project actually works. I am going to ask you what contemporary art means to you. I see contemporary art as we the young people being the future, so it’s like art teaches us how to express ourselves, how we are, and now to start projecting ourselves and creating a world that seems better to us and continue improving it more and more. Have you participated in an activity like this before? Actually no. I have never had the chance to participate in an activity like this. It seemed fun to me, and also the fact that we got together with other students who are not from here, and we shared with each other. We have other artists who teach us, and on our part, we not only came to work but also to learn values such as empathy, putting yourself in someone else’s place. So we came not only to do this but also to be educated personally as well as artistically.
THE PROFESSORS ALEJANDRO TURELL (Uruguay), Workshop Our Dynamic Identity: “(Artistic education) is providing tools to students so they have the opportunity to get to know themselves” Alejandro Turell (Montevideo, 1975) has a Bachelor’s Degree in Art – Plastic and Visual Art (2006) from the Instituto Escuela Nacional de Bellas Artes, Universidad de la República (UDELAR), Montevideo. In 2012, he entered as a candidate for a Master’s in Anthropology from the Cuenca del Plata Faculty of Humanities and Education Sciences of the UDELAR. Currently, he is professor of Drawing and Design Communication in the Multidisciplinary School of Dramatic Art (EMAD in Spanish) and adjunct professor of G3 Free Educational Aesthetics Orientation Workshop in the Associate Degree of Arts – Plastic and Visual Arts, East Regional University Centre (CURE). Since 1997 he has participated in several collective exhibitions, reaching countries such as Argentina, Germany, the United States and Poland. In Montevideo, he has held the following individual exhibitions: Trofós, Dodecá Cultural Centre, (2005); C14, Montevideo Town Hall (2006); Rerum Thesauri, French Alliance (2007); D.E.N.C. project, Department of the Natural State of Culture (2008); Anecúmene, National Visual Arts Museum (2011); in addition to Obra Gráfica, Vasseur Institute, Santa Lucía (2001); and Naturellart Frankfurt, in Villa Mothesius, Frankfurt am Main, Germany (2008). Artist-professor invited by the Latin American Centre, University of California Los Angeles (UCLA), U.S.A (2005). His work included the Uruguayan submission to the II Biennial Mediations, Poznan, Poland (2010). Curator of the submission from the EMAD to the Student Section PQ11, Quadrennial of Prague (2011). Artist invited to Manifesta 9, Belgium, and to the Museé de la Ville, Macedonia (2012), as well as The history of graphics in Uruguay, Mérida, and VALOARTE, Costa Rica (2014). http://www.naturellart.blogspot.com/ Alejandro, could you explain to us what the workshop you held in SACO was about? The workshop is a proposal and arises based on the conceptual framework of the mould and the shape. It is a workshop of initiation to the perception of visual arts and consisted of a work premise from the first period of fine arts. And what we tried to accomplish was to link the students based on sensations caused by volume and not by sight. The proposal was to generate a self-portrait of the student in which they had to work a good part of the process with their eyes blindfolded. What do you teach when you teach art? One of the first concerns I have as a teacher is precisely what I teach when I teach art. It is a question that we all must ask and I deeply believe in providing students with the tools for them to be able to get to know themselves, their environment, 97
to free them from any preconception and to point toward a sensitive experience with the subject, its production, and with whatever that person wants his or her legacy to be at this time. How do you feel that the education system in your country instils an interest in the arts? Is it that way or not? Once a process is experienced that has changed in recent years, everything that has to do with design, artistic teaching has been incorporated into the second level. This makes studentsâ€™ sensitization for art grow at a much earlier age than in the past. The cultural policies that have been implemented have produced an interesting development in the subject, and through the art faculties it is represented in the different artistic disciplines. Uruguayans have been much sensitised regarding culture. Can anyone be an artist? What do the academy and the title mean? I believe that anyone, any human being is creative. It is a potential that is also interesting to think about. I believe the conflict is in what art is. The most valid question is whether we can all develop it. Society provides us with the possibility to develop ourselves as persons and it turns out to be anecdotal whether a person becomes an artist, if he or she already has those creative tools. The phrase that â€œevery human being is an artistâ€?, is little bit designed for effect and it seems to me that all human beings have potential that we must develop. What significance have your professors had in your artistic education? For me, the people who helped me learn and to whom I must be grateful for being able to learn, for what I am, have been very important and I hold them very fondly in my memories. I am grateful for their generosity, for the potential they awoke in me and my teaching. And that way of being generous with what I give and how I give it, I owe to them. What do you think should be the perfect model of training, of artistic education? It seems to me that models are applied that can sometimes turn out to homogenize the career and what is artistic. I think that what is best is the potential for a student to have different teachers and I believe that not all professors may be the best for a student. I think it is more important for a student to tell the professor to be his or her maestro. The last is about the workshop you are holding; how would you evaluate the experience here and the contact with the young people? Yesterday we were witnesses in the open forum in the auditorium, when you brought the young people out. We saw you get emotional at one point and it was very nice. How do you summarize the experience up until now in SACO? Yesterday I was very moved by the students, because just one day after having made contact, and them being so young, they had the courage to clearly state their opinions, with my support, and knowing that I was there for them for 98
whatever they needed, and at the same time the fearlessness of youth was moving for me. I think we can really give future generations tools for them to rise up as spokespersons for the next generations. What do you expect from now until Friday, with the inauguration of the exhibition in SACO and what the young people will be doing? I expect much joy, much happiness, a sensation of pride and of having seen them generating the best they could. The device that we use is not used up in the final result and the students take away the best part of the whole workshop, and that is the most important capital there is.
FERNANDA MEJÍA (Mexico), Workshop Drifts, Maps and Routes: “One of the problems is that the subject of visual arts is seen as more of a craft and not as a thinking process” Fernanda Mejía (Bogotá, 1972) studied Plastic Arts in the Academia Superior de Artes of Bogota (ASAB), Universidad Distrital Francisco José de Caldas. She took specialized courses in Virtual Learning Environments in Virtual Educa, in an arrangement with the Higher University Studies Centre of the Organization of American States (OAS). In 2007, she and Miguel Rodríguez Sepúlveda founded the Buró Multinational Workshop of Contemporary Art Projects in Mexico City, where she has been the coordinator of Viernes Social and Círculo del Ocio (instances for dialogue and the exchange of ideas among artists and art professional), and in charge of the Virtual Classroom since 2011. In 2012, she founded Círculo A, a web platform for the dissemination of contemporary visual arts, where she is contents coordinator. As an artist, she has four individual exhibitions: Yo sí estuve en México, Mexican North American Institute of Culture, Monterrey (2005), and in the French Alliance of Oaxaca (2004); Exhibición, Gilberto Alzate Avendaño Foundation, Bogotá (1999); and Instantáneas, ASAB Exhibitions Hall, Bogotá (1998). Highlighted among the collective exhibitions are: Emergía project, in collaboration with Miguel Rodríguez Sepúlveda, exhibited in seven Latin American countries between 2007 and 2012; México 70, Casa del Lago, Mexico D.F. (2005); Preferiría no hacerlo, Centro de la Imagen, Mexico D.F. (2001); and El salón regional de artistas de Bogotá, Colombia (2001). In 2003 she received the ENTEL III Award Salón Internacional de Arte SIART - Bolivia 2003, Vice Ministry of Culture, National Art Museum, La Paz. www.tallermultinacional.org http://www.circuloa.com/ What does the workshop you are doing consist of? The workshop is about maps, drifts, and routes, so the purpose is to reflect on the environment they are living in, starting with the daily route. We did a tour of the area since most of the young people don’t live in Antofagasta. So in some way this is not an everyday context. We did a tour behind the ruins and above the ruins. We went behind, where the buildings are being constructed over by the promenade. Then the exercise has been to identify, based on a very simple question, what catches your attention about this whole tour? They have been identifying the problems they see, that there is little vegetation, there is a lot of trash, that the urban space is not very pleasant for pedestrians, there are shadows, animals in the streets uncared for, that do not have owners, the climate. That type of things affected them. Then it has been a process of becoming aware based on that tour that there are problems they can identity based on where they live. Now we are taking photographic information that illustrates the purpose of the workshop. They are portraying things, more than thinking about a final product. 100
What do you teach when you teach art? Well, that’s a difficult question. What we (Taller Multinacional) and I do in the workshop is directed at people who have already decided on art as a profession. So what we offer are things that are more delimited, or that have to do with certain voids we see in professional education in the city. In the courses on line there are students from all over Latin America. So there are many things related to cultural management, curatorship, museography and other art theory topics, but that are focused on personal research. There are many topics related to anthropology and arts, or psychology and arts that contribute to this research, but we are not really dedicated to teaching children or young people, such as a process of introduction to the arts or approach to the arts. We are also interested, among the offering we have, in courses on teaching and arts, and there is precisely one that is about educative museography, which has to do with how we bring those contents in the museum closer to the public. How do you see that the State instils an interest in the arts? There is the curriculum, such as the subject of art, but that depends a lot on what type of school it is. It could be said there is a crisis in public education. I think the same is happening here and in many other countries, the topic of teacher evaluation and the teachers that are trained to teach their subjects. Because it is not just a problem with the arts, of the way they are taught, but also of other subjects. So I think that one of the most important problems is that sometimes the subject of visual arts is seen as more of a craft, like recreation, and not as a thinking process that helps in bringing you closer to the world and to questioning what is there, realizing what is happening. So it is a big question, not just for the arts. It is also for other subjects. Suddenly you don’t have philosophy because education is thought of for you to be a technician, a worker. It’s just about labour. Anyone can be an artist? Does that make sense? As human beings we all have creative capacities. That is undoubtable. Now, art is a construction, a human designation, and the art world has some rules. So I think not. A distinction has to be made with the creative activity you can have in the world. That is something we can all experience or we can resolve immediate things in daily life, the way in which we relate to each other. Artistic activity as a professional field is something else. They are two different things. There is: we can all be doctors, or we can all be historians, or we can all be in the military. That has to do with another type of decisions that can even have to do with productivity, what is going to be your livelihood, or how are you going to live your life in the world. We can all be what we want, but let’s say that also has its peculiarities. What type of relationship do you have with your teachers? I am quite dishonest with my teachers, well with some in particular or who I would thank in particular. I think my interest in studying art at that time was to express myself. But you find that with art you can say things directly, I think it’s like 101
something therapeutic. There were many teachers, even the teachers that you don’t respect very much and that make you waste your time influence you. So you can question many things that are close, like how you want to access knowledge. So, yes, they obviously have an influence, they are there. But I think you have to be responsible for your own knowledge process and your own sense of learning. So I don’t know which your teachers would be. It could be one I never met; it could be Marcel Duchamp. What would be your perfect model of artistic education? The truth is that I don’t have that perfect education model. One thing we have detected is that being art teachers is an empirical experience. As you go about doing it, without formal training in teaching, there are a lot of teaching models. Many times we see alternative education projects. It’s almost like discovering warm water. There are a lot of teachers thinking about education problems or about the learning process for children, young people and adults. How experiences make knowledge difficult, what those previous experiences are like, how they are formed, how we make knowledge significantand for learning to be significant. So I think that a perfect model would be a commitment by the people dedicated to teaching and do a little more research regarding the abilities for teaching things that have already been invented. 102
How has your experience in SACO4 been? Well, I am surprised by the landscape. It is my first experience in the desert. Well, desert in a city where everything is built. So it is something else. But while subjectively the fact of being in the desert is something that impresses me very much, it is quite pleasant. I donâ€™t know; the children do what they want, there is a longing for vegetation. That attracted my attention. It has also been very pleasant to meet with colleagues, with the other artists, exchange opinions, ideas, see what others are doing, and tell them what you are doing. These encounters are always very fruitful; they are very nutritive to use a word, such as meeting with others and seeing what they are doing.
Luis Gómez (Cuba), Workshop Brief Introduction to Video en Art: “Anyone can be an artist based on an approach toward creativity and enjoying what you are doing” Luis Gómez (La Habana, 1968) graduated in 1991 from the Instituto Superior de Arte of La Habana (ISA). He is currently head of the New Media Laboratory Course in the same institution. His works have been exhibited in the National Fine Arts Museum of La Habana, in the 49th and 56th Esposizione Internazionale D´Arte of the Biennial of Venice (2001 and 2015); in the Samuel Dorsky Museum of Art, New York; in the Ludwig Forum für Internationale Kunst, Aachen, Germany; in the Barbican Centre, London; in Art Basel and Maastricht, in the branches of the FRI (Foreign Relations Institute of Germany); and in the Biennial of La Habana organized by the Wifredo Lam Contemporary Art Centre. He has participated in various residencies for artists granted by institutions such as The Mattress Factory, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania; Universidad Europea de Madrid; Arizona State University; and Ohio State University, Ohio. His work forms part of collections such as Ludwig Forum, Aachen, Germany; the Arizona State University Art Museum; the Cincinnati Contemporary Art Centre, Cincinnati, Ohio; Galería Ninart (currently Nina Menocal), Mexico City; National Fine Arts Museum of La Habana; the Van Reekum Museum Apeldoorn, Holland; and the Wakita Museum of Art, Japan. He has curated and collaborated in exhibitions in La Habana, such as Update & Download, Casa de México (2004); La Palabra que Falta, Galería Havana Club, Museo de Ron, Collateral to the XIX Biennial of La Habana (2006); Arth-Goth, Galería La Casona (2007); Data, Galería Servando (2009); and Open Score, XXI Biennial of La Habana, 2011. http://obraluisgomez.blogspot.com/ As I was telling you, our intention (in the Instituto Superior de Arte de La Habana) is to try to focus more on creativity than on traditional education in the arts, which is based on following a pattern that is already made, or following the example of some specific maestro, for example, you find a student who paints or who tends toward Dalí and you show him a figure by Dalí, and he follows it, follows the white rabbit, continues to develop from there. I think this vetos the expressive possibilities of each place and what it does is install a standard medium of what art can be. For us it is more important to lay out a challenge, raise a question and they find their response. Of course this type of education is very flawed, but I believe in the end it has worked, because even when they find coincidences in the future of what was already done, they arrived at that result by their own effort, by their own decision and their own research, and not already coded, compacted by extra information. Also what happens, I believe, is the concept of “art” would somehow have to change, because for many years, for a long time, it has been a concept of a core of power. First, there were the first world countries and now the men that have certain economic power, who decide what is art and what is not. I believe it is a very 104
European concept, very particular to an area that has been “universalized”. I believe that creative production, which is what we should somehow call it, everything we see today, is broader and can have other uses, other meanings and other intentions. How would you evaluate the educational system in your country? Does it instil interest for the arts or not? In my educational system yes, or supposedly it does. The Cuban educational system does instil an approach to the arts; what happens is that the approach is, of course, twenty years behind regarding what we understand as art today. They understand something else as art. They understand art as something that no longer interests contemporary artists as art. So the figures or examples that they propose for us are very backward and that popular encounter with art, or that encounter with the arts prior to art schools lacks what is new. Sure it is a dream of artists as such, that everyone understands it, that everyone approaches art. I believe that art, or what we call art, is such a bourgeois concept that a certain quality of life is first needed in order to approach it and sometimes in our countries we don’t have that quality of life, or the philosophy of life is a philosophy of work, money, and endless consumption and that quality is not invested in anything not of the same cycle. What sense or importance do the academy and the title have? Do you agree with the statement that anyone can be an artist? That is a very ambiguous question because in theory anyone can be an artist based on an approach toward their creativity and enjoying what they are doing. What happens is that the requirement for what we call art is something else. What we think or want it to be is one thing, and what this social group called intellectual decides and calls on to define as art is something else, and it is defined in such a way that not anyone can be an artist. You have to have a genius defined by some of them, you have to have a background, there must be many details, titles, degrees, etc. And in your education, how important have your teachers been, whether in the university stage or much earlier, in workshops, in schools? What I can tell you is that my teachers have been so important to me that I intended or said that I wasn’t interested in teaching and for being grateful I went into teaching and it trapped me in a spectacular way. I believe that what I am today is thanks to those teachers. I come from a barrio that before the revolution was a very poor barrio, and taking account of my life, it could have been completely different, diametrically opposed to what it is today. So I think that in my gratefulness for that, I started giving classes and fell in love. I have been doing this for ten years. What is your perfect model of artistic education? Does it exist? Do you have one? What would it be? I believe it is like art: if you create a model, it is no longer perfect; it is now 105
something that will be repeated. We had a program in the ISA that started as a very creative, very good program. Once it started to be repeated, it lost all its grace, all the charm, and was the program that the student most rejected years later. So I believe it is best not to create models; it is best what we are doing here, which is exchanging those possibilities that we have as educators or those proposals we have as educators, and is a way of enriching. Because I could tell you that my model is spectacular; but Fernandaâ€™s model helps a lot, and so does Huarcayaâ€™s. And I believe that what is ideal would be the conjunction of all that, but that is humanly impossible. This week maybe is different for you, because you give classes at the university in Cuba and are now giving them to children. How do you assess this experience and how has the encounter been with the students you have had? The truth is that I expected something else. Due to their age I expected children who were more immature, less focused, and I have found a spectacular group. It is a group that helps each other a lot, which seems important to me. And they are also very focused on what they want. There will always be one or the other who is more fun, but the response I have had from them is very impressive to me, really very encouraging.
What do you expect as a finished work on Friday? How is the process progressing? What do you expect from that? We are not expecting anything clear. We have the exercises and we are going to show all of them. For example, yesterday we did an edition with stills with found footage that turned out spectacular. We made three because they are groups of four. We have three computers and they had a lot of fun using the silent film and it turned out spectacular. And today we are doing a group of interviews that we are going to edit tomorrow. I hope the result is the same and we want to show them all, from the found footage, the first exercise, which is the continuous video, through this interview. Maybe you couldn’t see all the things you would have liked, it’s quite complex. Ideally, I did a forecast and brought things that are very theoretical and very much of the art in order to explain video art and then I realized that no, it didn’t work that way and wasn’t important. What was important was to play, create and use that mobile apparatus that they have and give it other uses that are maybe a little more creative. Talk to me about the value of the exercises, more than of the apparatus. What I was telling you was that I had brought very technical things in the art, and in the end I decided that it would be much more creative, much more of a game if they could use that apparatus that they have with them, that they have practically been born with, use it in a little more creative way, the cell phone as a camera and as a specific addition as something that they can use later.
MARCOS BENÍTEZ (Paraguay), Yvy: Experimental Adhesive Technique Workshop: “It is important to keep in mind that everyone, students and teachers, learn from everyone” Marcos Benítez (Asuncion, 1973) was educated in institutions in Asuncion, such as the Instituto para el Desarrollo Armónico de la Personalidad (IDAP, currently ISA or Instituto Superior de Arte), the Instituto Cultural Paraguayo Alemán (ICPA), and the Centro de Estudios Brasileros (CEB), among others, taking Visual Arts courses with Olga Blinder, Engraving with Livio Abramo and Edith Jiménez, Art History with Dorothee Willert, a Workshop in Cinema and Video Realization with Juan Carlos Crematta, and one in Multimedia and Art with Mickey Wella, in addition to workshops with foreign artists such as Luis Felipe Noé, Nuno Ramos, José Resende, Joao Rossi and Oscar Manesi. He also took Communication Sciences courses at the Universidad Católica and participated in the seminars on Identities in Transit and Cultural Critique with Ticio Escobar. He is currently a member of the Carlos Colombino Lailla Foundation (registered name of the Museo del Barro Visual Arts Centre), and directs the Cabichui Engraving Workshop. He has participated in collective showings in Paraguay as well as on an international level. Highlighted among his latest individual exhibitions are, in Asuncion: Impenetrables, Visual Arts Centre, Museo del Barro (2014); Mutaciones, Migliorisi Foundation (2008); Proyecto Prana, Citibank Cultural Centre (2006); Proyecto Aregua / Mutaciones 1, CitiBank Cultural Centre (2005); Taller de Grabado, Visual Arts Centre, Museo del Barro (2002); Circuito Interrumpido, Cencar Cultural Centre (2003); Entre / vista Nº 3 Scappini - La Marca, Hacer y deshacer la vida cotidiana (1999). In 2015, he participated in the 10th Biennial of Mercosur, Porto Alegre, Brazil. www.portalguarani.com/41_marcos_benitez.html www.museodelbarro.org What do you teach when you teach art? Wow! What do I teach when I teach art? It’s very broad… Well, I have to think about what I teach when I teach art. Really, my first objective is that it depends on each group. In this case, a group of adolescents, and the first thing that leads me, that stimulates me, is that they connect with each other, that they enjoy what they do and that they connect with their soul, in this case. But I like to work with the majority of people of this age, let’s say. Okay, to relax the interview a little, could you tell us what you are doing in the workshop? My workshop is called “Yvy” which means “land” in Guarani. I come from a bilingual country, where there are two official languages: Guarani and Spanish, and I decided to give the workshop this name because we are in an area where the land has no water, since this is the driest area in the world and I liked to work with the land. So we are working on something experimental, 108
seeing the textures, the colours. We are going to work with natural pigments extracted from the land and form adhesive layers. It is a workshop on adhesive techniques, an experimental workshop; that is what we are doing in my dome. How would you assess the role that the school educational system plays in your country? Does it instil in interest in the arts? My country is a country that had 35 years of dictatorship, where it was prohibited to think, where it was prohibited to express an opinion and live or think differently. So that is very rooted in our culture and is still in school programs, but is gradually leaving. And there is a difference for those who have a public education that depends on the Ministry of Education and the government; unfortunately, they have less access to the area of creativity due to a lack of preparation of teachers, lack of budgets for materials and access to the children or students. On the contrary, private schools have more access at this time. Moreover, parents are under pressure due to the high costs they pay for these studies, where there are workshops of art, expression, yoga, relaxation, of everything you want. They even have a nutritionist. But there is that big gap between private and public. Anyone can be an artist? Do you agree with that phrase? Does the academy have any sense? What role does it play? In my country, specifically, emerging artists at this time come from a fine arts 109
school, they come from workshops. One that is currently emerging the most is a doctor, with a high level position in public medicine, who is developing a very interesting work, and took art and art theory workshops. There is education in schools, and in the Instituto Superior de Artes and Bellas Artes, which are the two that exist. But the most representative artists did not come out of those schools, which is relative for me. How important were your teachers that taught you your trade, the university, or the informal workshops in your professional development? I come from those artists who were not educated in the schools of fine arts, because in the first place there weren’t any. As I said before, they closed all the humanist courses of study, so obviously I didn’t take arts or fine arts. So I studied communication sciences. In parallel I took workshops with artists and they were key for me, they were my inspiring teachers, my formative teachers and that is what has helped me find a real path. I feel privileged to be part of those workshops. Many of them are no longer there, and the new generation of artists or students don’t have them anymore, but they were very important. In synthesis, what would be your perfect model for artistic education? Can you think of one? In one of the seminars in which I participate, which is directed by Ticio Escobar, we use the theory of the ignorant teacher a little. I believe that is important, apart from having academic support, the curriculum, the grade point average and all that, also keeping in mind that we all learn from everyone. That gap between students and teachers, from the top down, that vertical question, as something more horizontal, in which we can all contribute something; I bet a little on that. And regarding your experience here in the 4th Contemporary Art Week, the encounter with your students, experiences in this workshop, how would you assess it? The truth is that I was very pleasantly surprised, above all yesterday when we had the encounter with all the students, with very interesting, very bold questions. You could see that these young people who came to participate were very stimulated. But there was also a small degree of disconformity with some of them. For example, one in particular said to me: “Ah, I thought we were going to do drawing”, and I had to explain what the workshop was about, so I told him that we could draw, but that this is not a drawing workshop. So he was somewhat disappointed, since he had come and it wasn’t what he had thought, but that is 1%. In general they were super enthused.
ROBERTO HUARCAYA (Peru), Photography Workshop The Magic Tent: “If they are not capable of taking extreme risks when they are being formed, the less they will do so when they are performing professionally” Roberto Huarcaya (Lima, 1959) studied Psychology at the Universidad Católica del Peru, Cinema and Photography at the Universidad de Lima (1990-1993), at the Instituto Gaudí (Lima, 1993-1997) and at the Centro de la Fotografía, now the Centro de la Imagen (Lima, since 1999) of which he is founder and director. Artistic director of Limaphoto (2010 - 2015) and co-director of the Photography Biennial of Lima in 2012 and 2014. His work forms part of the Maison Européenne de la Photographie in Paris, the Fine Arts Museum of Houston, the MOLAA Museum of Latin American Art of California, the CoCA Centre on Contemporary Art of Seattle, Lehigh University Art Collection, Museo de Arte de Lima, the Museo de San Marcos in Lima, the Fundación América in Santiago, Chile, the Centro de Arte Contemporáneo Wilfredo Lam of La Habana and the Museo de Arte de Lima, among other institutions and private collections. He has participated as a conference speaker and guest portfolio reviewer in PhotoEspaña 2009, in Mexico City; Latin American Photography Forum of Sao Paulo in 2007, 2010 and 2013; Open Photograph Encounters of Buenos Aires 2002, 2004, 2006 and 2008; Andaluz Photography Centre in Almería (2008); Ecole Nationale Supérieure de la Photographie d’Arles, in 2005, 2006 and 2007; Foto América Chile 2006; FotoFest 2002; and 10 Jornadas de Fotografía 2014, Montevideo, among other. http://www.centrodelaimagen.edu.pe http://www.robertohuarcaya.com What does the workshop you have been realizing this week here in SACO4 consist of? The workshop here in Antofagasta has tried to involve these young people 16 to 17 years of age in the experience of seeing how the image is constructed through a physical process, and detach them from that digital automatism that they all have in their small cell phones for taking more and more photos. In other words, of going back in time in little in terms of ontogenic identity of the image and seeing how it naturally surges in almost any space. And through this device, which is a pinhole tent, a stenopeic tent, put them inside of it as if they were getting inside of a photographic camera, and they have kind of a magical experience. From there they return to a somewhat contemporary technology and approach it differently after having gone through that experience. And along with that, a factor that seems determinant to me in general terms, regarding creation, that they start to see the concepts of time involved in these processes, that the processes require time and that the immediacy of digital is not necessarily the best accompanist in creative processes.
We interviewed a boy who was really very enthused and indicated more or less the same as you just said. I believe they understood it. What do you teach when you teach art? Regardless of the tool, the technologies, the different formats and all these historical layers that have been “evolving” in terms of technology, where I like to teach the full span, not just one of them, probably the most important has to do with trying to give the young people some coordinates in terms, first, of the idea that the process requires time, that it requires research, that they learn to generate research projects and then include them in their creative and formal processes. That they learn that this has to be handled under some parameters of honesty and authenticity because otherwise it could end up emerging in the pieces, in the works. And above all, probably, that they take risks, that they learn to take extreme risks. Simply, and even more so in the education period, if they are not capable of taking extreme risks when they are being formed, the less they will do so when they are performing professionally. And finally, what things they have to say, or what are their interests. If they don’t have content and don’t have anything to say, even though they may have marvellous technical handling, the contents are not going to take them very far. So it is this type of joint support of all these ideas, concepts or intentions. Take risks and propose topics that are more of an existentialist style, in the sense that they are weightier. Weighty or what their position is regarding the world, what things they have to contribute to us and what are their fears, their desires, their wanting to fight; in other words, having a critical position and something to contribute and say. From that point of view, how do you assess the Peruvian educational system in the task of instilling this interest in art with that aspect that is also critical? I believe that the Peruvian system at this time, in general terms, above all based on myself or talking a little about the state education system, is almost the antisystem in terms of what I propose, since it is still basically a rote system in terms of information and collection of data and contents. In that sense, more than a structure that develops thought and position, with very little reading also, which is one of the big problems we have when the students come to school, the little capacity they have for analysing and generating synthesis regarding readings that are a little more complex; I believe that is a huge problem. I believe that in the last two years there have been attempts to improve and change this, but they are still in progress. And suddenly something is happening in the country that will make a huge difference; I suppose that in other regional situations this must be being partially or totally duplicated; that there is a very big difference between private and state school education. There is huge development in private schools, while state schools are running in slow motion. And when I say private, I am not referring only to middle class or upper middle class schools, but also to a very curious and interesting proliferation in the popular sector 112
that by their own initiative and self-managed, generate proposals in parallel to state education, but with a level of academic solidity that is much clearer. Anyone can be an artist? What significance, what sense do academics and the title have? I don’t believe that artists in general, or people who try to communicate something, whether in written or verbal terms, song, formal, sculpture, installation or visual and video, photos, want to; but rather that we practically can’t do anything else. So it’s almost not a question of wanting to but rather the near impossibility of doing anything else. If you actually decide to do this as an option among a lot of things and it makes no difference to you whether you do this or the other, I don’t think you will last very long. Finally, these are life options, they are positions with respect to things and I don’t think it’s about whether you want to or not, but rather it’s about a type of link that is much more basic and that becomes almost a need. It doesn’t have to be converted. It is a need to be translating in some platform, through some media, what we have inside in order to express it and communicate it outside. So in that sense, if someone asks am I going to be or not going to be, and doesn’t have that, at a certain time, almost as a life option, I see it difficult for something to grow there. Probably ten years later, different social or maturation processes may be detonated in that same person, but I think at that time when they occur, they are clear and there is no discussion or problems. That doesn’t necessarily mean that later the person wont’ have the qualities to adequately translate and communicate this in a clean, direct, honest and potent form. But many of these things are also learned; we must also learn what platform to use, and through which media we are going to direct ourselves. I am a disaster at painting; I couldn’t have done it even for two steps. Obviously, we also need to have a certain awareness of our comparative advantages and our limits. Have your teachers been important in your education? There are some people who have made me think and others who have stimulated me to throw myself into what I do. I was educated first in children’s psychotherapy. I worked with children and families in a private clinic. I was interested in film, I did a couple of shorts, but I was involved in my profession, what I studied for. Until I got into a photography workshop with a friend, Eduardo González, who unfortunately is no longer living. I was injected with a passion for fixed image photography. Like fireworks that were bursting in my head, they opened up a universe for me and the fixed image I had never had, that was so strong and so potent that a month later I was closing my office and resigning from my job in a private clinic, and two months later I was looking for where to study photography, detonating with such force that it turned around my life when I was 30, my life option, what I wanted to do with my life. In that sense, I feel more influenced by some people from curiously different backgrounds, some filmmakers, more than photographers, some theorists, more than by the photographer’s development, due to the Iink with creation in the broader sense of the spectrum. 113
Do you have any reference for what artistic education should be? No, I have no idea. But for me, the closest is somehow what we gradually try to do in the school. Without becoming heavy, more than many times due to specific contents and for generating a sequence of growing in knowledge I think that somehow it should end in parallel; it seems more interesting to us to have the vision, the link, the experience, and the relationship with people who are doing important things, making that production visible. So, regardless of the medium in which you are working and your political position in general, this selection of authors is more than specific contents; it is a line that generates a very particular link and is better quality. Finally, what do you think about the encounter with the young people here in SACO? How might you assess this week? The group seems interesting to me, dissimilar, not because of their interest but for their own personalities. It is a little difficult to analyse after such little time, but in general what I have liked is everyoneâ€™s commitment, of getting involved a little in the process, putting themselves in the position of getting out of the daily rat race and moving to another period, another time, another pace, and try to live that experience and conceive an image of the visual representation as an element, a construct where a series of elements is taken before, and then in doing, it fits, it is composed, it is chosen. All this is confirmed. It is not casual, it is not objective, but 114
rather all this load, this weight of the selection if not brought closer to that view, there is an innocence that in that historical time is almost shameful. I think that for me there is an imbalance of time; what I brought prepared perhaps needed another day, and it starts a little bit from the device of the tent. It has taken more time than I thought to set it up, go to the sites and return. Those times stolen from the workshop in terms of moving and setting up, have taken away space to see other things that have to do not only with making the image but with the content of that image, which is what I want to finish doing now, moving the assembly. I have asked them to bring magazines, newspapers and a series of things where we are going to finish constructing a kind of recreation of images of Antofagasta, their personally based view, and there make the connection regarding the subjectivity of the image that we are talking about, and that they lose that when they accept any image as true and valid without that being the intention. I expect two things: one, that in their imagery there is a representation of the image anchored to a physical fact, and I insist on some interesting image; and the other, that they lose respect for the photo; that they know that there is someone behind who is giving intention to that photo, to encourage you to consume, to positions that, in short, we are even liars and that they have to look at us with few words.
SAIDEL BRITO (Ecuador), Workshop Drawing, Social Space and Expanded Field: “Art is a place you can inhabit and can exist in a different way” Saidel Brito (Matanzas, Cuba, 1973) studied in the National Arts School of Cubanacán and in the Instituto Superior de Arte (ISA) of La Habana. He has lived in Ecuador since 1998. He has a Master’s in Higher Education from the Universidad Casa Grande de Guayaquil. Since 2013, he is pursuing a doctorate in Art Sciences at the University of Arts in Cuba. He is professor at the Universidad Casa Grande and Rector of the Instituto Superior Tecnológico de Artes del Ecuador, ITAE. Highlighted among 16 personal exhibitions are: Ruinas del relato (2011) and Habeas Corpus (2004), Galería Dpm, Guayaquil; Ni de allá ni de aquí, Galería Habana (2002) and La historia es una gata que se defiende boca arriba, Museo Artes, Quito (1999). He has participated in more than 70 group exhibitions in Asia, Europe and America, including: New art from Cuba, Whitechapel Art Gallery, London (1995); Tras la pérdida de las colonias, Ponce Art Museum in Puerto Rico, Museo Extremeño e Iberoamericano de Arte Contemporáneo in Badajoz, and Cultural Centre, Manila, Philippines (1998); Andén 16, Count Duke Cultural Centre of Madrid and the Metropolitan Cultural Centre of Quito (2005); Waiting List, Mestna Galerija Ljubljana, Slovenia (2005); Biennial of Valencia, Encuentro entre dos mares: Otras Contemporaneidades. Convivencias Problemáticas, Spain (2007); 5th Biennial The(S)files, El Museo del Barrio, New York (2007) and 90´s apelando a los archivos de la memoria, Modern Art Museum of Cuenca (2011). In 2009, he received an award at the X International Biennial of Cuenca. www.dpmgallery.com www.itae.edu.ec www.deskafuero.itae.edu.ec Could you tell you basically what your workshop consists of? We are working along with the young people in, let’s say a major way, on a drawing workshop, Social space and expanded field, and we start from the most basic idea of drawing: pencil, line, point paper, up to the use of drawing in an expanded sense of space, also expanding the idea of the material, of the limits of the drawing discipline itself and relating that wager with a vast sense of the medium, the context, and the physical space where we are located, the locality, the history; we would say, with the psycho-geography of the site. And we are already in the production stage. The students, the young people, the participants have had practical encounters with exercises I have guided, as well as more theoretical talks regarding contemporary art in the last 50 or 60 years, where drawing has taken part of this new logic that the workshop recovers. So now we are in tune with the teaching proposal we laid out. Those variants that you just pointed out, are defined as extended drawing? Yes, it has to do with drawing in the sense that contemporary art has of expanded field, or the expansion of the artistic field for all languages is one of the determinants 116
of the differentiating elements of artistic practices post 60’s. Of course drawing has a key course, it has a fundamental role. For example, in the separation that is done in conceiving the work, in the production process, drawing has a key element, drawing as a record of a project outside the artistic space, outside the world of art, outside the gallery. Drawing in the practices of the 60’s and 70’s occupied a very important role, somewhat determinant we would say, defining the new notion of art that is given in the contemporary statute of culture. And, what do you teach when you teach art? When I teach art it’s very important to me that the students enjoy the knowledge, that they reach a point of understanding… When you teach art, are you teaching how to think… When I teach art I teach how to think, I teach how to approach art as an activity plus social body. It’s important in the teaching experience to understand that art is not elevated for any purpose, nor does it respond to a creative demiurge 117
or to a subject different from other practices of knowledge and human activity; that is, art is an activity that needs discipline. I teach that, to work. Through art I teach new ways of relating, establishing and initiating new relationships with the world. If I had to choose an element that organizes the idea of artistic teaching it would be to offer the student colleagues the opportunity to establish new relationships with the world, based on industriousness, and understanding, on understanding knowledge as a collective process, a process that is constructed, that needs generosity, that needs critique, responsibility, and that art is a place you can inhabit and can exist in a different way; that is what I teach. The next question has to do with the educational system, in this case in Ecuador, not in your native country. What influence does it have in instilling an interest for the arts in the students? Does it work or not? What is your assessment? I live in a country where art is normally subject to social austerity. Art is not really defined as an important activity. I also come from a city in which artistic practices have historically been undervalued until a very short time ago. Art was not even defined as a profession. Luckily, that has changed. The work that a group of artists, myself included, has done to develop excellent and rigorous professional artistic education processes has helped to transform the artistic, cultural and social scene and a different environment can now be appreciated. It is an environment that also coincides with a change in the city, urbanization, etc. done by the city of Guayaquil, but also in Ecuador, in a social transformation process that is also very interesting. And in that context, culture occupies a totally different role. And it is a wonderful opportunity to be able to participate in these good times in history, at these precise times in which art, thought, and culture are embodied differently in the peopleâ€™s experience. There is a saying that anyone can be an artist. Do you agree with that? What sense do the academy and the title have? Well, that is an argument of Beuys. That is part of Joseph Beuysâ€™ ideo-aesthetic, the idea that art is in any elemental activity of the subject, that any person with certain capacities can produce art. That is also an aesthetic tradition today, a postulate of art in our time, almost a maxim, but it also needs to be critically reviewed. Education is important, not necessarily formal or academic education, but self-imposing curiosity in the face of thought, tradition, historical references, and the problems of our time. You canâ€™t approach art today with naivety. That is increasingly farther away from creative possibilities and the production of knowledge. The topic of education, titles, etc. is another chapter, because the artistic system has been added to university systems and of course that has also resulted in crises and paradoxes. But based on the experience I have in this case as a teacher faced with young people who are looking for a way that is not so long and taking much more itinerant and shorter routes to achieve a stage of artistic production, of understanding artistic phenomena, of course the school is very important. 118
How important were your teachers? What can you tell us about that, whether at the university level or in workshops. My teachers, my few teachers, who somehow constituted what I later was, who opened up paths for me, who marked the fundamental guidelines, are intellectuals, artists, and teachers to whom I am eternally grateful. I have a list of five or six professors from the university process because the times of childhood, secondary school, etc. have a role and occupy a different place in your education and life, and of course they are important too. But at the university level I had the luxury of having marvellous teachers, who I not only respect and not only admire, and not only to whom I am eternally grateful, but also who I love. Do you have an artistic education method or model that could be considered perfect? Do you believe in that? No, there is no perfect artistic education model. Even when at the level of the work methodology, of curricular proposals, you can realize how in the same site, at the same time, with two different groups, the processes are totally opposed, dissimilar. So, no, it doesn’t exist. I believe that art has to take charge of the here and now, and artistic education has to be attentive to that here and now. Normally, art is far ahead of teaching and artistic education processes. The scheme, the model, the “perfect methodology” would be that the asymmetries between artistic research and artistic educating are not too big. If you could shorten the stretch between artistic education and artistic avant-garde, I think that would be the recipe, if the term fits. It is a wager that from my viewpoint is more interesting and more productive. Finally, how has your experience been here at the 4th Contemporary Art Week, specifically with your workshop and in the encounter with your students? Extraordinary, really surprising. When I started the process I didn’t imagine that I was going to be enjoying it as much as I enjoy it today. We have all worked brutally hard. But also with enthusiasm, and desire. A really marvellous collective process has been developed. The guys have been able to very quickly tune in to concerns that are complicated, they are not simple processes. Nevertheless they have assimilated them in a very fresh but at the same time very critical, very fun way, and they are working a lot. It’s not done, there is still nearly half left to do and at this point I am very happy. We have also had students, a pair of young people, with special capacities, who have other learning processes with which I was not accustomed. I was very worried the first day. We worked on it, we have had external support from one of the organizers, from the colleges and from these boy’s schools and we have had help. The teacher who has come has given me tips and has been able to help me. And now, today in particular, which is where we have been able to produce at 100% we were working all day, collecting what was done the first two sessions. Today was an eruption of ideas, it was an internal bombardment. Even what I had initially proposed has been dynamited in a very rich, very productive way, and frankly I am very happy with the experience we are having in the workshop. 119
For Friday, when the domes are supposed to be opened for the community to be able to visit them, what do you expect to have achieved with this workshop from now until that day, with the rest of the process? I hope to achieve two things: first, that for all the participants, myself included, but above all for the young people in the workshop that what has occurred this week will be a lasting memory; that it will be a truly memorable experience for them. For me it will be, I have no doubt. And second, that the public can come and also the public from the other groups that are here, also the families, everyone who arrives from the middle of Antofagasta can find curiosities, intelligence, and belonging here, on the part of the young peopleâ€™s work, a different approach to art, different even from the medium of drawing itself, which is so close to the experience of the subject in general. That is the second thing I would like to achieve. Hopefully it will be. I donâ€™t know, but we are betting, we are working hard so the visitors can feel as we do that we are facing a different experience.
TOMÁS RIVAS (Chile), Workshop Does humanity have a chance successfully survive, and if so, how? “What we are generating is an interest in finding out, in knowing” Tomás Rivas (Santiago, 1975) is an artist and professor; Master in Fine Arts (MFA) from the University of Notre Dame, Indiana, United States; Postgraduate Degree in Art from the Pontificia Universidad Católica (PUC) of Santiago. Other studies and residencies in institutions such as the Department of Design of the National Gallery of Art, Washington D.C., and the residency program LUX Art Institute, United States, and RIAA, Argentina. Since 2007 he has been professor of the School of Art of the PUC. Currently, he is also director of the Macchina Gallery of the East Campus and Head of the Extension of the PUC School of Arts. In 2009, along with four other Chilean artists, he founded Taller Bloc in Santiago, a space dedicated to the production, education and dissemination of visual arts. In 2012, he gave classes in the Master of Fine Art Program at the University of Notre Dame. He has exhibited individually and collectively in Chile and abroad, reaching instances such as the Art Museum of the Americas, Washington D.C (2011); Saatchi Gallery and Philips de Pury, London (2010); Museo de Arte Contemporáneo de la Universidad de Sao Paulo (MAC USP), Sao Paulo (2010); Espace Culturel Louis Vuitton, Paris (2010); Museum of Art and Design, New York (2009); Museum of Visual Arts, Santiago (2009); Margaret Lawrence Gallery, Victorian College of the Arts (VCA), Melbourne, Australia (2009); Haifa Museum of Art, Haifa, Israel (2008); Galería A Gentil Carioca, Rio de Janeiro (2007); Centro Cultural Matucana 100, Santiago (2007); and the Museo de Arte Contemporáneo (MAC), Santiago (2006). www.tomasrivas.com www.tallerbloc.cl www.dieecke.cl/tomas-rivas/ What does the workshop consist of? In resolving or dialoguing on a series of questions regarding the future of humanity, of the human species, and testing or surveying the interests of the students from third and fourth year secondary school who participate in the workshop, to see what they discover about the future, speculate about the future, and to see how they can propose some improvement. What do you teach when you teach art? I think that what I teach is not to be or to realize objects of art. What some professors who share a similar philosophy, such as that shared by my colleagues at Taller Bloc, try to teach is the development of artistic thinking. That thinking has thousands of ways of manifesting itself from a technical viewpoint, and what we try to do is develop a concrete interest in a question, on an issue, or a problem and that real interest is then converted into a work. 121
How would you assess the educational system regarding instilling an interest in the arts? There I would divide the educational system into two fundamental stages: the first is elementary and secondary education. I think that in that aspect we are quite indebted to our students in lyceums, schools, and the educational system in general. My evaluation is quite negative regarding what is practiced and done in lyceums and schools in Chile, above all in receiving first year Bachelor of Arts students, which I have realized. And the second area is university education, where we are still anchored and subject to problems and academic basics that have maintained a rigor and too much limitation on artistic education. I believe that process is improving. The universities are proposing new ways of educating art students and there I have higher expectations, especially if artists continue to be in charge of those academic programs and not cultural agents or people who do not have a commitment to more concrete education. Anyone can be an artist? Do you agree with that statement? What sense do the academy and the titles have in saying, I am an artist? Everyone can be artists. I know great artists who are self-taught. Every norm on art or every dogma we could think of is destroyed in the first example we can find around the corner, and the truth is that I have never believed in any type of dogma or the need for a specific requirement to be an artist. So, clearly, everyone can be one. 122
Please refer to the importance that your teachers had, whether teachers from formal or informal workshops in the university itself. Have they had any impact on your work, your development? Yes, a very big impact. Especially teachers and professors I had the advantage of having during my school years. I believe they deeply marked me because they taught me, for example, to think about the drawing or to think with the drawing, as very simple things that were very useful to me in developing myself as an artist and also to be a good art student, motivated, interested and curious. I believe that I owe them a good part of my vocation or interest as an artist. Then, in the university, you start discovering paths and professors that help you in different stages and clearly there have been very important stages. But perhaps the last stage of my master’s is the one that marked me the most, with a professor who understood or was able to see in my work as an artist a possibility for carrying out a very important academic project, and I felt that my work finally had an objective, precisely to create a type of thinking, create a different way of facing problems, and in that sense, this professor named Robin Rhodes helped me a lot. We would like you to tell us about your perfect model, if there is an ideal artistic education model for you. What do you think it would be, or what would be your proposal in that regard? Thinking about a perfect model is maybe like utopia. An ideal model starts with a kind of ideal student. We at the university work with entrance and graduate profiles; that is, with what profile you receive a student or expect to receive a student, or that ideally a first year student should have, and what would be the profile of a fourth year graduate. We could develop that example. The ideal entrance profile is a student interested in knowledge in general, in learning, in knowing; a student with a very high level of enthusiasm, with a very high level of humility, then, there are few from a generation meet that objective. But we do know that a high percentage end up being artists. So maybe it isn’t necessary to have that ideal entrance profile; everyone can develop and become good artists, working with discipline and determination. With regard to the ideal graduate profile, that profile is of an artist who wants to continue learning, who understands that the stage in which an artist is at in his or her career is only a stage, and that many other stages of learning will follow, hopefully more study, more perfectioning. Because the truth is that I don’t have the slightest idea and we don’t know the principal requirements there could be for an artist in ten or twenty more years. The education of an artist does not end at graduation, so clearly we see how those capacities are transformed into an important will to be an artist and to develop in the field of art, and how all this is unknown. The truth is that the only thing I have regarding the graduate profile are doubt and questions that will be resolved in upcoming years. In the case of SACO, of participating in the 4th Contemporary Art Week, how has your experience been in the realization of your workshop and the encounter with these young people? 123
This could be defined as an ideal condition or an ideal context, because what we do in a week generates such a big difference compared to what they do the rest of the year that the level of attention and enthusiasm and the questions and curiosity they have for realizing these workshops is enormous, just for the difference, for the distance from daily life, what they normally do, what each one does in their place of origin. So that difference generates an ideal condition for developing a compact, intense program in which they live together and learn a lot about themselves from their peers. I believe the best we can do is to generate or catalyse certain ways of thinking and encourage them to continue ahead during four or five days. But what they are learning is actually from their colleagues and that, for me, is the ideal situation; that is an ideal condition for an artistic workshop. What do you expect as the final result of the objects the students are working on? I expect them to feel happy, for them to feel proud of what they have done, of what has happened this week. Not that they feel they did good or bad. I believe we are trying to generate a very concrete emphasis on the process and for that they have to be building a memory of what they did these four or five days, and from the experience of that time they will then be able to assess this process as something productive and important for what they want to do later on. We are not forming or instilling artistic values to convert all of them into artists. I at least believe that what we are generating is interest in finding out, in knowing.
Interviews held by: Camila DĂaz and Alex Moya. 124
WITHIN THE FRAMEWORK OF SACO4
SYMBIOTIC SPACE Within the Framework of is a collaborative space of SACO, generated in 2014 in response to the interest shown by various autonomous, private and state actors in participating and getting involved in different ways in the Contemporary Art Week, nourishing the public and generating resonance, experience and production in and from the region of Antofagasta. The inclusion each year of a selection of professional opportunities, coherent with the curating of SACO and self-financed, enables generating a heterogeneous schedule and behind that, networks, encounters and new ideas for crossed actions. The local public not only enjoys the annual event but also Within the framework of SACO, they go to a concert, learn during a workshop, express an opinion in the discussion, or participate in an art contest. The SACO organization also offers interested projects local and national dissemination in virtual and print media, local organization of announcements, logistical support, pre-production and production of events (concerts, dance shows, performances, etc.), preparation of equipment and spaces according to specific requirements, audio visual recording, complete organization of residences in The Driest Place on Earth a finally, presence in the SACO video and annual book. The relationship that is established has a symbiotic nature and strengthens all those involved. In 2015, we have included three opportunities in this format in SACO4 that are very different from each other: the concert and workshop by the visual and sound artists Mario Z, along with the Really Contemporary Museum (Alejandro Gonzรกlez and Daniel Cerda); the second edition of the MAVI/Escondida contest for a working visit by a local artist between the Museum of Visual Arts and the Taller Bloc in Santiago; and an intensive national residency for ten artists in The Driest Place on Earth, in coordination with the Council of Culture and the Art.
RESIDENCY IN THE DRIEST PLACE ON EARTH LONG HISTORY OF A GREEN SPOT IN THE DESERT The average annual precipitation in Quillagua, depending on the source, ranges between 0 and 0.2 millimetres. The oasis is the driest place, in the driest desert in the world. NASA scientists perform tests there of artefacts that will fly in space. Microbes are in a lost position; before the organic material can begin to rot, it dries out. Everything is turned into dust. The clouds that appear in the sky once in a while do not provide shade, and the omnipresent sun enables understanding why it was considered a god in all the religions of the Andean high plateau. The giant figures, geoglyphs, dispersed in the hills, reach up to 30 metres in length. They date from between the X and the XV century B.C. and their concentration in this area between Maria Elena and Quillagua, is the largest on earth (approximately 400 drawings). There are probably signs of devotion to the god Inti, or perhaps served to indicate the road for the caravans that travelled through the desert. There are various hypotheses related to the meaning of the reliefs, however up until now there are no exhaustive investigations on their meaning. So the possibility remains open that the Chug Chug set of geoglyphs does not constitute a sacred object, as tends to be thought, but rather a pre-Colombian visual communication system, promoting the village, which had always lived from commerce, bartering and agriculture. The oldest evidence of the existence of the oasis goes back to the VII century B.C. For more than a thousand years, the location of the pueblo was strategically attractive: on the Inca Trail, on the bank of the only river that crosses the desert and halfway between Los Andes and the Pacific. Quillagua was a place of rest, food and an important centre of cultural and material exchange for the pueblos that lived in the territories that now belong to Bolivia, Peru, Argentina and Chile. Lieutenant governor Pedro de Valdivia, named by the Spanish conquistador Francisco Pizarro and responsible for the colonization of the lands currently belonging to Chile, visited Quillagua in the year 1540. He was probably the first European to reach the oasis. After suffocating the resistance of the indigenous pueblos in almost the entire southwest territory of the continent (the AraucanĂa was the only territory in America not to be occupied, or at least not in the times of the conquest), he received the title of General Captain of the Realm of Chile. The principal interest of the Spaniards in the XVI century was concentrated in the southern part of the Viceroyalty of Peru. During that period the majority of the principal cities of this area were founded (Lima and Potosi, among others). And the desert, so difficult to control and with its unbearable climate, remained for some time with the status of formally conquered territory, but unoccupied. It was just 130
with the War of Independence and the creation of new States that the situation changed radically. In 1841 Quillagua became a border town between the Republic of Peru and Bolivia. Like before, it was a place of conflict and friction between the Atacameña and Aymara cultures. Now two flags and different uniforms appeared on either side of the Loa River. The War of the Pacific was another point of inflection in the history of Quillagua. This time, the Atacama Desert was incorporated into Chile; Peru lost a large part of its territory in the south, and Bolivia its access to the sea. The oasis on the river did not stop being a border, no longer between countries but rather between regions, within the Republic of Chile. In the second half of the XIX century, the saltpetre rush broke out, a phenomenon comparable only to the gold rush, and caught up a broad range of European capitalists. Mostly British businessmen and investors got on ships destined for Valparaiso, willing to take on the challenge of populating the driest desert in the world with the working masses in exchange for the expectation of quickly generating very lucrative international businesses. This new embodiment of the conquest attracted other investors – banks, railroad, and electricity supply. The Europeans no longer had to struggle to dominate the lands, crossing the infinite space on horseback; now they received the rights of the State. Chile, at the beginning of the last century, became the biggest exporter of saltpetre in the world. The vision of work and a better future attracted tens of thousands of immigrants from the poor, rural south to the Atacama Desert. The British introduced the Charleston and the habit of having tea to the desert, but also the extreme exploitation that bordered on slavery. Unequal rules of the game between the Europeans and Chileans paradoxically ended with the discovery of synthetic saltpetre, made by the Germans for war purposes before the Second World War. The history of the saltpetre works continues to be an important element in the construction of the identity and the rooting of the inhabitants of northern Chile, over these infinite plains of dirt and rock, baked by the sun. And even though the routes have changed and the new roads left Quillagua outside the most trafficked routes, customs control, which opens access to the Iquique free zone still operates alongside the town. Few travellers choose this road through the middle of the desert when they can travel north and south along the coast. The indigenous cemeteries were sacked. The wave of destruction was started by the treasure hunters, who quickly became smugglers, followed by illegal collectors and their vendors, and finally, the villagers themselves who in the 50’s and 60’s of the last century exchanged the last mummies for powdered milk. 131
RESISTENCE, STARS AND AMULETS As a result of the pollution of the Loa River by the Codelco state mining industry in 1997, the number of Quillagua inhabitants decreased from 1,200 to 500. The loss of crops due to the absorption of heavy metals in the soil forced the majority of the farmers to migrate to the cities. A few years later, those who remained were victims of a swindle by the State, losing a major share of the rights to the water from the river. Currently, during the harvest, from December to March, the Loa River basin dries up. A water truck brings potable water to Quillagua from the town of Maria Elena, two hours away. At night the oasis, where 120 people live, is lit up by the stars and lanterns. In the search for a way to withstand, to call for public attention regarding the dramatic situation of the oasis and to put pressure on the local political scene, in 2007 thirteen families from Quillagua legally registered as an Aymara indigenous community. Now some are trying to find their roots, going back to believing in Inti and the Pachamama, reviving abandoned rituals, making sense of the words and objects, recovering the language that was almost completely forgotten, with the hope that the resurrection of the native identity will constitute a shield or amulet in the fight for survival.
OASIS LABORATORY The accumulation of climatic, anthropological, political, sociological and other factors caused the Group SE VENDE to choose the oasis as the centre of operation and of the residencies The Driest Place on Earth. Since the year 2012 we have received more than fifty visits and fifteen residencies, mainly from outside Chile. The majority have been visual artists, curators, photographers, and culture journalists, but also ethnography and anthropology researchers, filmmakers, and in general, people who look for and believe in the frontier zones of different areas. Quillagua is a laboratory, it concentrates and does not distract. It is where many of the important contemporary tensions are present: the loss of water, of identity, abandonment, internal divisions, and the destruction of heritage, in an impactful and extreme context. It would seem impossible to conjugate so many global problems in a small oasis in the desert. At the same time, Quillagua is sufficiently far away from our urban and semi-modern reality. In order to investigate it you have to look from outside, because in some way it belongs to another world. It also tells us something about ourselves. A residence in the oasis necessarily becomes an introspection, where you are face to face with yourself and your issues, regardless of where they come from.
EXPERIENCE IN FOUR LANGUAGES In June 2015, a national call was opened for Chilean arts, held thanks to the agreement between the National Council for Culture and the Art and the Group SE VENDE. From the areas of visual arts, dance, photography and new media, more than a hundred artists from all over the national territory passed through the admissions review. The interest in this contest that was held for the first time far surpassed the organizers’ expectations. From the 6th to the 12th of September, Elisa Balmaceda, Rainer Krause, Natascha de Cortillas, Julio Escobar, Celeste Rojas, Luciano Paiva, Francisca Gazitúa, Gonzalo Santander, Rafael Silva and Camila Díaz carried out an intense residency, both for the conditions inherent to the place as well as in a personal sense and in direct relation to the surroundings. The historian and researcher, Damir Galaz-Mandakovic, specialized in anthropological, migratory and sociological contexts of lands in the Andes and the Andean foothills that today belong to western Bolivia, southern Peru, northern Chile and northwest Argentina, accompanied the residents during the first two days, providing them with context regarding the territory, its past and present, and guiding visitors to the heritage sites and going into depth on each one’s topics of interest.
Quillagua has triggered questions that the noise of the city normally keeps quiet. Artists from Punta Arenas, Puerto Montt, Concepcion, Santiago and Antofagasta toured the oasis and its surrounding areas, felt the singularity of the north, its sky and its land, getting to know a part of Chile the existence of which perhaps they had not even suspected. Body, sound, light and time were the main focuses of the processes that were experienced. The Sloman Dam, an abandoned industrial heritage site and national monument from the beginning of the last century, 30 kilometres from Quillagua toward Maria Elena, was the space chosen by Francisca Gazitúa, Gonzalo Santander and Rafael Silva to perform their research and carry out some interventions that were born from a space that has been forgotten, covered in dust, that still tells of a project that was ambitious for that time – illuminating the pampa with electrical energy. In a proposal corresponding to the world of dance, made up of three independent acts performed consecutively in one night, the artists took over the administration entrance hallway (Francisca - dance and Gonzalo - photography), the first room of those premises (Rafael), and the main machine room (Francisca and Rafael). Silva’s intervention was accompanied by a video of a mirror that broke repetitively, and overlaid the corporal proposal, confusing the projection with the artist’s movements. The two remaining scenes were theatrically illuminated by Julio Escobar with sodium light bulbs. 135
The plastic flowers, used in all the interventions by Rafael Silva in Quillagua, colourful and synthetic, caused a pleasure, a profound attraction, both for the colour and the false expectation of life, evidencing that at times only the illusory is possible and how what is artificial is easily imposed on the natural context. The duo of GazitĂşa & Santander performed multiple interventions in the area surrounding the oasis. Francisca, with the movement that oscillated between explosion and silence, between desperation and a self-ordered calm, strongly erupted on the landscape, evoking fear, anguish and the eternal imbalance between remembering and forgetting.
The complete results of this work are available in the format of a photo book: http://issuu.com/gonzalosantanderastudillo/docs/quillagua_portada__2_files_ merged
â€œWater Mirrorâ€? is a video record that brings together poetry in the image, dance in the movement, memory in the sound and above all a watchful eye over our water resources. This artistic project takes the body and its composition (water) to intervene in the desert as a container of life, strength and projection, to make the arid space bloom symbolically. In this instant, the materiality helps to construct the lost, forgotten landscape, where the paradoxical is presented through what is artificial. The plastic takes on importance in accompanying the body, water that intervenes in the arid land creating artificial blossoming in places where there only existed some spring that enabled life around it. This way, the valuation of the surroundings forms what constitutes a basic principle, which is the quality of life, to make room for something more complex and permanent, which the natural patrimony and cultural heritage of our territory should be. Rafael Silva
Walk, travel, exploreâ€Ś. The movement and the photo are already starting to fragment, as they create times, colours and images expressed in a body, but that will never be repeated in the same way. Living from what is forgotten reflects how the geography of the space, in this case the desert, creates the corporal and physical paths, in the mobility of the bodies, the history and narration appear in them. Through the images, visual puzzles appear that reflected the corporal maps. Wind, cold, heat, solitude, hardness, lines, wrinkles, salt, fragmentation, miningâ€Ś The body relates and expresses. Between the modern and the ancestral, the geographic dichotomy produced by the place itself is reflected. 139
Magical spaces that are fragmented and invested by human beings and their “urban growth”. The abandonment of the internal and external physical space, the materiality and the oxide appear on the skin and the land mobilized by feet, hands, fingernails… body. The melancholy of the desert and its solitude let the body take on symbolic prominence, contrasting the place’s infinite tonalities. The wind resonates, creating constant melodies and pauses, leading into corporal stimuli that with the passing of time are represented in the place’s sequence and narrations.
The temperature and its extremes make clear the salt, the maintenance, being there and at the same time petrified without being able to move or mobilize. Walk to get to know, walk to explore, walk to discover. Living from what was forgotten was our own story of Quillagua, our geographic travel through the space; a place that is present and inhabited, that lives awaiting a past. Francisca GazitĂşa Gonzalo Santander 141
An illusory eye of water or mirror that reflected the luminous sky from the bottom of a big crater in Quillagua, was the work of Elisa Balmaceda. Thermal rectangles covered the rocky surface, contrasting with the surroundings. The universe was reflected and reconnected in the lowest point of the Valley of the Meteorites. A certain type of celestial symmetry versus the axis of the horizon, a little presence of one in the other, like yin and yang, alluded to equilibrium, not only visual.
The artist’s second intervention was related to the electric fields and electromagnetic radiation resulting from the research she performed before the residency. The initial project laid out the action itself, carried out below the cables that cross the desert, consisting of making visible the electrosmog, where “fluorescent light tubes are used to capture the ‘invisible’ energy that circulates in the air and emanates from the high voltage towers”. The video in black and white that was the final result of this intervention formed part of the 12th Media Arts Biennial of Santiago that was held in October 2015 in the National Fine Arts Museum.
Celeste Rojas framed the small crater with a white circle, a graphic, fragile and ephemeral gesture, but at the same type potent for its simplicity. It divides the infinite, encloses a point, a hole in the plain. Elisa Balmaceda ran along the edge of the precipice, in an act without beginning or end, round and round, challenging the limits of the body itself. In the rural school of Quillagua, which has 22 students between kindergarten and elementary, Celeste carried out a research exercise, asking the children to draw the river, its representation in space. The works became an allegorical series or an imaginary diagnosis. “I was interested in that symbolic construction of something like a ‘map’ of their territory, thinking about future meanings of my work there”, the artist explained.
A body walks and runs in circles until it gets tired - from and to its own limits, around a crater located just a few metres from the urban area of Quillagua. The body falls due to exhaustion and in raising itself draws a line around â€“ its mark on the earth, the signification of a space from the route, from the time that passed, with lime and salt, elements that represent the area in reference to the history of saltpetre and what was employed to construct it. Celeste Rojas
Rainer Krause toured the desert in long and solitary walks, accompanied only by his sound recording equipment and the omnipresent sun of the desert, which turned the Germanâ€™s white face into an intense red. The Sloman Dam, the river, the bottom of the crater is where they saw him; who knows where else he had walked. The contact microphones appeared in different places such as on the railing of the stairs in the machine room at the dam, tracking something secretive, probably between the vibration of rusted metal and a nostalgia of a stairway in disuse covered in dust for several decades. Rainer Krause, Rainer Krause, Rainer Krause, repeated one by one all the participants in the residency, in front of the microphone, contributing with their voices to a sound project that the artist was developing in parallel.
In the world of artistic exploration of Natascha de Cartillas, food far surpasses the need to feed yourself, taking over symbolism, identity and politics. Based on visual arts, her culinary actions and interventions â€œarticulate local production systems, open markets and culinary identity being inserted as an organic weave that recovers the community exercise in artistic activity. The projects Desterritorialidades Culinarias, Chile amasa su pan (Culinary Des-territorialities, Chile kneads its bread) and Sobremesa (Table Talk) are three parallel focuses of exploitation and visual representation that address different aspects of these organic-culinary relations, using photography, video, and installation as visual support languageâ€? she pointed out. With Natascha, we rediscover the rituals of preparing, serving and sharing, processes that are contemporaneously automated and deprived of reflexion. The artist converts what takes away our time (peeling, dicing, frying, cooking, seasoning, mixing) from doing supposedly more important things and turns it into an act that is valuable in itself, regardless of the final result. The process is now the work, or at least a part of it. A shared rite, unhurried, in this case with two Bolivian cooks, with who recipes are exchanged, but also life stories and experiences that go beyond the pot and frying pan. The night of the 11th of September, a significant date in contemporary Chilean memory, remembering the military coup in 1973, we all shared a dinner Sobremesa, where the flavours and products from southern Chile shared the space with a typical Bolivian menu.
In the big crater, dressed in a white apron and a black handkerchief on her head, a bakery worker construed a mourning rite with her body. In her barefoot dance on the rock she evoked the Mapuche connection with ancestors, the divine, the earth and death. The circle drawn with stones condensed the deep pain over those who are no longer here, literally or symbolically, for those who were detained and disappeared, and for the native inhabitants of Quillagua. Mrs. Felisaâ€™s bread was connected to the earth in the form of a cross, marking lines of feeling. Finally, the bakery worker stopped her dance and left, becoming little by little just a point in the emptiness.
Relational, in a formal view, is Luciano Paiva’s way of working. However, “relational” sounds hard and technical. It doesn’t fit with Luciano. It makes noise, makes you feel uncomfortable. His work is in the human fabric, which goes much beyond “relating”. The greeting, the smile, the look; the first encounter with each inhabitant of Quillagua becomes a warm and authentic moment that opened the doors of homes and of people. Each approach, flavoured with respect, attention and the necessary time. The concept of neighbour was resuscitated from the dust and the handling, not to evangelize but to listen, to accompany the elder’s solitude for a while. In a pilgrimage from house to house, he heard testimonies, lifted spirits, gave advice, and shared a cup of tea, among tears or laughter. And he took photos. Luciano is a psychologist who proposed to make souls visible.
Based on sound, Camila DĂaz installed herself at the bottom of the medium crater where she found an excavation, a vestige of unfruitful explorations, in search of fragments of the mythical meteorite. There for two nights she built a camp, to record and experiment with the sound characteristics of this extensive and pronounced hollow, along with SebastiĂĄn Rojas. The empty rectangular space fit and two powerful speakers, 500 watts each, were buried and invisible. The audio record compiled in the cascade of the Sloman Dam served as raw material for the creation of a sound piece that reached our senses from below the bottom of the crater. The spherical shape of the void strengthened the sensation. A dusty substance rose, inducing clouds of dirt, resulting from a vibration caused by the low sounds.
The final intervention in the crater had powerful lighting collaboration from Julio Escobar, who based on his experience in performing arts conjugated the sound with the visual, converting, along with Camila, a night in the desert into a unique and incomparable experience. A very powerful warm sodium light insinuated the opening of an immense depth downward, a threshold to the other side, unknown, terrestrial, or apocalyptic, but at the same time very attractive. Julioâ€™s work converted the investigations in situ of the sound and corporal, respectively, of Camila DĂaz, Francisca GazitĂşa, Gonzalo Santander and Rafael Silva, into staging of great strength and coherence with the place. The light was transformed into a vehicle for each work that enhanced and poeticized it. His capacity for understanding the search for the other contributed to the collective experience and enables going into the processes experienced by artists from diverse disciplines.
His personal work called on not only the residency team. On a cold August night there were also some residents of Quillagua present, when alongside the train station an old pepper tree with its branches falling to the ground was gradually transformed from a dark spot in the landscape into a vibrating object of surprising texture. Like a meticulous drawing, each branch marked a line on the yellowish background. With this lighting from within, there appeared the contour of an old gate pasted on the trunk of the tree, invisible in daylight in the dry bush. And with that, there awakened a thousand stories among the branches, all possible and all fictitious.
The residency in Quillagua in September 2015 was “a work process, visual exercises and experience in territory, with frictions between the dance and the visual arts, the sound and the scenography”, said Natascha de Cortillas. They were intense days of individual processes of getting to know, choosing and acting; night sessions of sharing each others’ previous works and processes, joint research that arose based on what was experienced there and spontaneous collaborations. The process of digesting, rethinking, cleansing and editing is just starting. We thank Sebastián Rojas and everyone who enriched and supplemented this record with their personal file: Luciano Paiva, Felipe Coddou, Natascha de Cortillas, Elisa Balmaceda, Celeste Rojas, Rodrigo Pacheco, Rafael Silva, Gonzalo Santander and Francisca Gazitúa.
TRAVEL NOTES a) Empirics The experience of travelling, of going from one place to another, the â€œuncertaintyâ€? of the unknown or the anxiousness to enjoy it are elements that make travel a motivating and provocative experience. In travelling you acquire knowledge but you also move yourself to others, to another context. That shock and mixture of information that is produced would constitute an additive result; beyond the pretentions placed in the result, the process/move is an experience of knowledge. A traveller records information based on the places or feelings of greatest interest. Seeing, hearing, smelling, tasting and touching become perfect forms of translation and reading languages outside of the landscape visited. Each landscape can be seen and studied, presenting itself to use as a big exposed library, full of textures, sounds, colours, stories, beliefs and customs. Classifying this diversity of information and transforming it into experience gives us tools to be able to generate analysis and unknowns. b) The cross Who I am? Glorious rhetorical lies on the luminosity of sound art is a project laid out based on three aspects: - Talking, its classifications and practices. - Listening, its devices and forms of perception. - Sound and its relationships with an image in motion. Formulate a series of live presentations of the project as an audio visual show and propose doing it in different parts of the country as a tour, intending to take the travel experience as a process beyond the workshop or home studio. Take the finished art product to other formats that enable expanding its closed reading producing new spaces, fissures and relations. In this sense, hold a workshop or rather an encounter with local artists and subsequently include them in part of a concert as an improvisation exercise, justify absolutely the idea of travel as a process, as a formation or deformation experience, as a platform for mixing and remixing, of capturing and reinterpretation (travel as sampler).
c) The information SACO4, as an educative and creation platform in Antofagasta, enables the information transfer experience to be strongly transversal, for travel to become an experience loaded with perceptive formation. The city and its inhabitants, the desert and its history, would be stimuli, vehicles of desired information. Landscapes, both visual and sound, not only talk about a mining history but also of the political and social changes of the high immigrant population, of the ecological problems related to pollution, of the non-places (malls and big stores) and their habits of empty fascination. MZ, septiembre 2015 (On 3rd and 4th of August 2015, Mario Z and the project The Really Contemporary Museum, made up by Alejandro González and Daniel Cerda, held a sound art workshop in the Huanchaca Cultural Park. The 6th of that month in the same space, the artists presented an experimental concert that reached about 120 people who filled the auditorium. Also participating were those who were part of the workshop, authors who in Antofagasta work based on visual or sound, such as Camila Díaz, Francisco Vergara, Jorge Guerrero “Fido” and Erick Oviedo Hanssen “Vamsick”, as well as art professor Manuel Araya and opera singer Paulette L´Huissier).
ALL IN A MONTH: SCHOLARSHIP FOR ARTISTS FROM ANTOFAGASTA In the framework of SACO4, this year the 2nd version of the MAVI / Minera Escondida Residency was held for an artist from the region of Antofagasta. Thanks to an alliance arranged for SACO3 with the Santiago Visual Arts Museum, the annual program seeks to support emerging talent in the context of a centralized country, with an entire northern area where there are no university art schools. The 2015 winner was presented on the 28th of August in the Huanchaca Cultural Park during the inauguration ceremony for the exhibition Between the Shape and the Mould. Among the applications received, the young journalist Roberto Polanco was recognised, who has already developed a work based on photography and video, also addressing interventions in the public space and landscape. The nomination involves a residency during January in the Visual Arts Museum and the Taller Bloc, plus an individual showing in the exhibition hall of the Minera Escondida Foundation and a workshop for secondary education students in San Pedro de Atacama. This latter seeks precisely to decentralize the repercussions of the project within the region. Participating in the evaluation and selection process were: local artist Camila Díaz as commissioner; Dagmara Wyskiel and Christian Núñez as evaluators and in charge of SACO4; and as judges, María Irene Alcalde and Arturo Peraldi, curator and producer of MAVI, respectively. 159
For the curator, the interest in generating this scholarship in Antofagasta is for various reasons, among them, “Minera Escondida’s interest in establishing a cultural focus in the area where it is situated and the desire shared with MAVI of supporting the cultural development of the regions. Also, since there are no art schools in Antofagasta, the artists that come from different disciplines need outside support that at the same time connects them with the Santiago circuit”, she recognizes. Alcalde points out that the quality of the applications received would give account of the development of the local scene. Among the conditions that winning artists must have, she adds are having demonstrated a minimum body of works (for which they are asked to send a dossier). It is desirable that they are working on a project and are adaptable to different situations, since the practice situates them in different departments in the museum. CONCEIVING #GARMO Francisco Vergara was recognized in the first version of the MAVI/Escondida residencies program in SACO3. The journalist with a degree from the Universidad Católica del Norte in 2014, was in Santiago during January of this year. The artist remembers that when he was an adolescent, a first opportunity for alternative education was the collective work he had with the audio-visual project Cámara en Mano (Camera in Hand), directed from the Mario Bahamondes Public School by Paulo Figueroa (Film director). He also remembers the Artistic Education Capsules (SE VENDE 2012 project) that awoke his more creative side, he says. At that time, he covered the Anchor on the hills of Antofagasta with cloth, an action that become iconic in local history. The next year he exhibited the work Margen Hundido (Sunk Margin) in SACO2, an aquarium where you had to submerge your face and use aquatic lenses to see a video about the seabed of Antofagasta. How was your experience in Santiago? The scholarship included the option to get to know the functioning of the museum, the execution of events linked to the space, to appreciate the staging and intervene in some of the procedures set off by these activities, among others. I also had the opportunity to go into depth in the Interface Method – MAVI of the Educative Area that designs the plans for providing access to the contents of the showings, where emphasis is made on the promotion of three focuses: educative, cultural and social. From the most practical focus, the working visit gave me the opportunity to perform artistic research that strengthened my creative potential. Taller Bloc gave me tutorship in this process, by accompanying the artists Rodrigo Canala, Gerardo Pulido, Tomás Rivas and Rodrigo Galecio. The “coaches” first discussed the possibilities of a work, considering the little time I had, putting emphasis not on a particular work but rather on personal knowledge and the need to drive my own method, prioritising immediate experimentation, documentation, free expression, and the discussion of those advances. The sessions were held twice a week, 160
anchored in the generation and domination of techniques and software characteristic of the language of video art, special effects and the construction of scenarios for digital post-production. What work resulted from that? What consequences has it had on your trajectory and production? MAVI, Taller Bloc, visits to the museums, galleries and the range of artistic options I have attended have of course nourished the work-context relationship for creating the video #GARMO. Regarding the intensity and particularity of the working visit, it would have been ideal to extend the period to strengthen the learning even more. Accordingly, the consequences or results have undoubtedly fostered my desire to continue working. What has happened grants visibility and dissemination to artistic practices in the northern part of the country, a motiving element that corroborates the artistic potential of young people from the north. This year, #GARMO was shown in the launching of SACO4. It was very strange; I hope that what they saw has done something in the students that attended. In what exactly did #GARMO consist? #GARMO is presented as a game of experimentation, a test-piece process that depended on an intense and short time. I have a thing for Atlantis, life along the seashore. Are we a lost civilization? Is there really that lost world? I am currently working on that, looking at the possibilities of the sea as an aesthetic and stimulating source to go into depth in the urban issues of the cyber world. We can confirm that there is a symbolic world in the Internet. #GARMO is an orgasm, a release, like it is harboured in the network where the most ample information abounds and flows; the fantasy of man submerged in the digital fabric, connecting with an errant road, without any fixed direction, sometimes calm, lulling you to sleep. Due to the excessive use of technology during the last two decades and the high mesh of contents accumulated in that system, the idea of eliminating the past ceases, leaving everything as waste and derived product. What artistic projects are you currently working on? I took a more digital path, but concentrated on reliving or recreating spaces that fluctuate between real and fictitious. I am currently working on a video installation that retakes figures or forms from the modernist style constructions of Antofagasta; I play with the apocalypse, the terrestrial and the plastic. Also, along with Pamela Canales and Natalia Mascar贸, we are in a project circulating local movies and short films, Cine en tu Cancha (Cinema on your Court). I also want to formally continue my studies in visual arts. What is your opinion of what you are developing in Antofagasta (spaces, circuit, new artist, works, etc.)? What is being developed is an achievement. SE VENDE of source does its own thing and that is a great effort and commitment by many. Officially there are no halls for showing contemporary art. The language continues to be unknown for the 161
institution. Neither the Culture Council nor the universities are willing to create a space where the artistic practices that are followed in Antofagasta are valued. What is needed is a career that professionalizes this field. Despite that, there are many people working on what they do, in various dimensions; they exhibit in Balmaceda, in the Multi-use Room (of the Biblioteca Viva), or on a wall in a street. But the point is that there are things happening and that must be rescued. The discrimination, the topics regarding contaminants from mining companies, or even the literature of AndrĂŠs Sabella are the topics that stimulate local creators. I believe there is acceptance on the part of the public of street intervention. That is, the performance is allowed only if it is done by a well-dressed and pretty woman. Some time ago, MarĂa Basura tried to do her work (based on post-porno) and ended up scared off. Antofagasta was bad for her, she was constantly persecuted. Now she went to Spain and became an icon who increasingly distances herself from this so prudish context. Carolina Lara
SE VENDE The Group SE VENDE Mobile Contemporary Art Platform, is a work group that arose in 2004 in Antofagasta, developing projects in three lines of action: education, linkage and territory. It involves a type of management in network, focused on the dissemination and reflexion on new artistic practices through residencies and activities that have used both the city and the desert, and that have marked the entry into Antofagasta of what is contemporary. Under the responsibility of the producer and cultural developer Christian Núñez, and Dagmara Wyskiel, Master in Visual Arts from the Fine Arts University of Cracow, Poland, SE VENDE is constantly looking for new platforms to promote, professionalize and make the local core more dynamic. It has installed spaces for dialogue and reflexion through exhibitions, conferences, workshops, residencies, editorial projects, and trans-disciplinary activities, in addition to the coming and going of various artists, curators and critics through the area. It has joined its strategies through autonomous and collaborative arrangements, in order to strengthen the indications of a local circuit and insert the Atacama Desert as a focus of national and international interest for artists and researchers. Step by step it is raising and activating a territory that wasn’t on the map of contemporary art in Chile. SE VENDE has therefore played a fundamental role in conforming a scene in northern Chile, still being delineated, still to be strengthened. Outstanding regional artists have passed through the lines of the group, with a new generation entering recently, including artists such as Pamela Canales, Francisco Vergara, Izak Mora, Camila Díaz and Jorge Guerrero. The platform has demonstrated that contemporary art is strengthened in the regions thanks to the will of a handful of actors who have learned to link more effectively with cultural institutionalism and private enterprise, with a generous, open and dynamic attitude being crucial, that always includes the participation of other actors and those linked to the community. A diversity of actions that have also been situated in contexts as distinct as Santiago, Concepcion, Coliumo, Chiloe, Valparaiso, Villa Alegre, Iquique and Punta Arenas, as well as in cities in Colombia, Argentina, Mexico, United States, Poland and Uruguay, and if we add the participation in collective exhibitions, SE VENDE has also been in Beijing (China), Jakarta (Indonesia) and Krasnoyarsk (Russia). BEFORE SACO Since the first actions in 2004, the Group SE VENDE has caused the public and “traditional” artists to face the perplexity of objetual, conceptual, experimental or 165
ephemeral practices. The first collective interventions were located in emblematic buildings, in architectural heritage sites or in the streets of the city. 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. The first project, Se Vende 1, linked creative production with architectural heritage, being installed in a mansion 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 reflexion in the city in this regard, confirming especially the need to start talking about it. Along the same line, in 2006 Se Vende 2 continued occupying a building in the very centre of Antofagasta. Special guests from Santiago came to this second event, the artist Carlos Montes de Oca, plus the academicians Pedro Celedón and Gaspar Galaz, who participated in the weekly forums that achieved high attendance. In 2009, the third version of Se Vende occupied the public space and emblematic sites of the city, such as the Municipal Spa, the Antofagasta Regional Museum and the Longshoremen’s Union. It also had the participation of a key artist in the recent history of Chilean art, born in the area and internationally recognized: Juan Castillo, who continued the itinerant project Minimal Barroco here, with a truck that travelled the streets presenting videos with residents of Antofagasta who told about their dreams. The author, who in the 70’s and 80’s was one of the founders of the Colectivo de Acciones de Arte, CADA, also headed special encounters with young artists from the area. As part of forums, the academicians Alberto Madrid and Fernando Balcells, this latter also formerly of CADA, arrived from Valparaiso. At that time, collective intervention was a poster that carried the words “SE VENDE” and that was installed as an irony in various parts of the city, causing a very special situation in the main square, where the advertisement was repeated 400 times throughout the environs. The act was considered by the local press to be a protest by anonymous authors against the underground parking project that was dividing public opinion. The artists thereby burst into the city’s fabric, inciting the attention of the local media. With two exhibitions in 2005 and 2007, respectively, Otro País (Another Country) brought together local artists in the PUC Extension Centre, in Santiago and in the Contemporary Art Museum (MAC in Spanish) of Valdivia. The project was a platform for network construction and experimentation outside the regional margins, with a free interpretation of the concept of “another country” pointing out that the Great Northern region of Chile actually turns out to be another country for Santiago, and for the rest of the national territory. 166
After these experiences the group was able to bring together a format for linkage and associativity that was gaining notoriety. 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 the Paraguayan Ticio Escobar as general curator. One of the objectives of the contemporary art encounter was to strengthen regional scenes and make them more dynamic, extending to Valparaiso, Concepcion and Valdivia. Thanks to the group, Antofagasta was perhaps the only area where the effect of these actions transcended the temporary nature of the Triennial. At that time, the exhibition Otro Eje Norte - Norte (Another North – North Axis) was the result of a clinic held by the Argentine curator Marcos Figueroa, considered by the group as a third version of Otro País. It was not named the same only because the Triennial board asked that it not be. The showing brought together in the MAC of Salta and the Antofagasta Council of Culture and the Art independent artists from northern Argentina and Chile and three groups: LA PUNTA (Tucumán), LA GUARDA (Salta) and SE VENDE (Antofagasta). From an accustomed north – south vertical axis due to our centralism, a horizontality was drawn that traversed the Andes mountain range, resulting in the creation of LA RED, a platform that brought together these groups that since then work together with projects that cross borders. INTENSE YEARS The year 2012 was particularly intense for the Group SE VENDE in taking on lines of work previously developed as well as new formats, spaces and strategies. The book SE VENDE 4 (SV4) was an editorial project that constituted a record of this set of actions. The project Agenda de Artes Visuales para la Sala Multiuso Biblioteca Viva Antofagasta, (Visual Arts Agenda for the Multi-use Room of the Biblioteca Viva, Antofagasta), financed by Fondart (Council of Culture and the Art), constituted the backbone for the majority of activities that year, including conferences, workshops, conservatories and exhibitions, with national and international guests. Also added that year were other actions produced by the Group or works developed by visiting artists, such as the recording of a chapter of the documentary series Territorios Imaginados: 6 Ciudades en la Mirada de sus Artistas, (Imagined Territories: 6 Cities in the View of their Artists) by the documentarist Rodrigo Cepeda and by Productora Almagico Films, supported by contestable funds from the CNTV (National Television Council); and the residency of the Colombian artists Luis Fernando Arango, by the Colombian Ministry of Culture.
Here in detail are several of the 2012 activities: - Educational Capsules, a workshop of emerging initiatives that resulted in six individual exhibitions, a participation in a collective showing, a debate and in intervention in the public space. This involved an alternative program of professionalization of emerging artists. A new generation was configured. The diversity of support and concerns related to the context were characteristic of a repertoire that did not pass unnoticed, inciting the attention of the press and even awakening controversy, such as occurred with the photographs painted with blood by Pamela Canales, or the graffiti of Izak in the street, showing the body of a mutilated women that was erased by indignant neighbours. - Among the actions intended to generate networks, contact with the public and education in contemporary art, the journalist and art critic Carolina Lara brought to the Biblioteca Viva hall the exhibition Cuerpos rebelados: la performance en Concepcion, (Rebel Bodies: the performance in Concepcion), where Natascha de Cortillas, Guillermo Moscoso, Luis Almendra and Alperoa (Álvaro Pereda Roa) participated. In addition to photography, video and photo novels with records of performances, the showing included the in situ participation of two of these artists. A speech was given in parallel where the expert addressed the topic of curatorship and a workshop with local culture journalists. - An encounter and collective showing of LA RED in the same hall brought together along with SE VENDE, two spaces from northern Argentina with whom they worked since the 2009 Visual Arts Triennial: LA GUARDA and LA PUNTA. - The Program of Residencies The Driest Place on the Earth zoomed in on Quillagua, and Fernando Prats, a Chilean artist residing in Spain inaugurated the cycle. During four years more than thirty national and international artists have passed through the oasis. - The conference by the theorist and curator, Justo Pastor Mellado, on the work Gran Sur (Great South) by Fernando Prats, a monumental intervention in the Chilean Antarctic that marked his participation in the 54th Biennial of Venice in 2011, was held after Prats’ residency in The Driest Place on Earth. The lecture left open the question regarding what is beyond the evident geographic oppositions between his works: Gran Sur and Acción Quillagua. Mellado then shared his vision on the indications of a local critical mass. - In parallel, there were projects developed beyond regional and national borders, marking the presence of SE VENDE in spaces in Santiago, Concepcion, Chiloe, Colombia and Poland, with projects for creation, circulation of the work and the generation of networks: the action Cultivo de tiempo (Time Cultivation) in three Colombian cities (Museo del Barrio in Manizales; Casa Tres Patios in Medellin and 168
Laagencia in Bogota); the work Polonus Populus, which occupied the principal hall of the Contemporary Art Museum of the Universidad de Chile; and the installation Cuida tu jardín (Take care of your garden) in the 3rd Ars Polonia Biennale. Around the circuit of international events, actions of an interregional nature were carried out, starting in CasaPoli (Coliumo, region of Bio Bio), where the interventions and records of Tres Bordes de la belleza (Three borders of beauty) were held along with the Polish artist Halina Chmielarz, continuing with visits in the Solariega Mansion in Villa Alegre and in Caja Negra Visual Arts of Santiago, including various instances of dialogue and exchange of editorial material. - Actions were also taken related to artistic education, which involved the Liceo Experimental Artístico (LEA) (Experimental Artistic School) of Antofagasta and the Colegio Artístico Salvador (Salvador Artistic Public School) of La Florida, Santiago. During the exhibition Polonus Populus, by Dagmara Wyskiel in the MAC, in May 2012, the workshop Ejercicios simples para evitar la pixelación de la memoria (Simple exercises to avoid pixilation of the memory) was held with students from Santiago. With the notebook Docencia Artística en Chile, dos visiones (Artistic Teaching in Chile, two visions) and the exhibition of works of young people with non-conventional supports, both in LEA and in the Salvador Artistic Public School of La Florida, Santiago the encounter between the two educational establishments concluded, organized this year thanks to the National Fund for Artistic Education. Teachers and students from Secondary Education in Visual Arts, Theatre and Music participated. In 2013, activities continued with intensity. In January, SE VENDE participated in the encounter of independent contemporary art projects Local+Visita, organized by Móvil in Concepcion, and that added to members of groups from Valparaiso, Santiago, Temuco and Concepcion. The nine projects invited also included an exhibition in the Corporación Cultural Artistas del Acero composed mainly of file material such as photographs, publications, posters, videos and conceptual maps. In September of that year, SE VENDE was in the section Pop-Up Spaces of the 5th version of Ch.ACO, the Santiago Contemporary Art Fair. Thanks to the invitation from its organizers and support from the Antofagasta Regional Government, five emerging artists were given the chance to feel the other world of art, the existence of which they perhaps did not suspect; one that was more glamorous, international and commercial. Highlighted among the new generations that have worked with SE VENDE and that have been part of the group’s exhibitions and activities, is Pamela Canales, who in Ch.ACO exhibited her work Pasas para la Memoria (Raisins for Memory), a map of Chile, formed precisely with raisins, who at that time was studying Photography Direction in Buenos Aires; and Jorge Guerrero with a work in performance and who in the inauguration of SACO2 presented Concreción Septaria (Concretion Septaria); and also Francisco Vergara, who for the Education Capsules exhibited a 169
photographic work, Esquema desnudo (Nude scheme), and also carried out the intervention Ancla (Anchor) on the city’s hills, nullifying the city’s symbol with a gigantic cloth that covered it for a few hours. He also participated in the residency of Fernando Prats in Quillagua in 2012. The editorial projects of SE VENDE also include the 2012 catalogue of the SACO1 exhibition, Arte + Política + Medio Ambiente (Art + Politics + Environment) in 2013, the book with the record of SACO2; and in 2014 and 2015, respectively, the bilingual publications of SACO3 and SACO4. This is in addition to a wide spectrum of mediation pamphlets and fliers, planned to facilitate contact by the local public with conceptual art. It can be said that in ten years of work, the Group SE VENDE has brought together a small but significant group of artists for the city, putting together school without school, and at the same time occupying established places and other new places, from the street and unconventional spaces to the Multi-use Room of the Biblioteca Viva Antofagasta, the Cultural Living Centre, the halls of the Antofagasta Station Cultural Centre, the Huanchaca Cultural Park and the Regional Library, adapting to the context and transforming it, building utopias that become reality, such as the program of residencies The Driest Place on Earth in Quillagua. It involves insistent and resistant work that has converted the Mobile Contemporary Art Platform into a reference point in northern Chile, with networks inside and outside the country. All this despite the fact that its actions were marked by the big NOTHING there was very far north of Santiago, in the Atacama Desert.
A PROYECT BY
The Contemporary Art Week is gradually being converted from a fleeting and solitary event in its beginnings to a broad, diverse and collaborative platform. After four years of arduous work, SACO is a magnet that now questions and extends all the limits and definitions proposed when it was founded, consolidating its own and attracting outsiders. Having lasted a little more than a week in 2013, in 2015 they were seven, with a territorial prism that has incorporated each time more outside, fresh and curious views. Collaborations of all types, interest by public schools and the commitment of local culture workers have enabled strongly impregnating it in the northern fabric. SACO4 was welcomed very fondly by companies, the media, and most importantly by the public. An intensive one-week residency with 84 students from 3rd and 4th year secondary education from the entire Great Northern region of Chile, with seven international guests was the unquestionable highlight this year. The art camp is a format that should be replicated in other parts of the country and abroad. Three important opportunities were also added to In the framework of SACO4, which diversified the cultural offering to the northern audience. All this makes us think of SACO as a platform and not an event, like a table that is set instead of a plate of food, or a lecture hall more than a single book.