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Santiago / London
Can you see us... from here?
curated by Viviana Duran & Isabel Garcia

Isabel Garcia  Marcela Moraga Millan  Carolina Ruff    
Claudio Correa  
Diego Fernandez  Claudia del Flerro
Jorge Cabieses  
Rodrigo Vergara  Viviana Duran  Caterina Purdy

May 7 – 29 2005
Opening hours Fri-Sun 1-6pm
Private View – Friday 6 May 7-9pm


Santiago / London examines the thriving contemporary art scene, in the Chilean capital Santiago. Curated by the artists Isabel Garcia & Viviana Duran, the show focuses on the great changes that have taken place in Chilean culture from a historical and macro-social perspective. These art works, shown in the UK for the first time, illustrate how the imprints of historical events have shaped contemporary Chilean art.

The artists in Santiago / London were too young to have experienced the events of 1973’s American sponsored coup at first hand. Consequently their work rather than reverting to clichéd, victim based notions of Political Art utilizes playful and seductive imagery, which both acknowledges historical events and remains suspicious of the growing encroachment of American influence.

Marcela Moraga Millan
creates photographic narratives with Playmobile toys, using the characters to subvert and comment on history, politics and the increasing uses of technology.
Jorge Cabieses makes miniature paintings based on photographs of war and disaster culled from American magazines such as Newsweek.
Carolina Ruff uses photography as testimony, creating installations that interact both with concrete spaces and spaces in the memory. In the work shown here she has filled in the missing green lawns in the main square in Santiago by collecting grass from the graves of those killed during Pinochet’s reign.
Claudio Correa’s sound piece takes snippets of the songs censored by American radio post 9/11. These lyric segments, deemed offensive by the moral majority have been joined together by Correa to form an absurd musical collage.
Isabel Garcia photographed car parks surrounding Santiago Shopping Centres and then placed these images on the billboards above the parking spaces. Her large-scale photographic documentation of this project with the ubiquitous MacDonald’s logo in the background hints at encroaching Americanisation.
Viviana Duran sculpts idealized buildings in polystyrene and glitter. These superficially naïve structures disrupt commonly held notions of the Latin American artist as either victim, folk artist or conceptualist.
Catherina Purdy’s video A New National Anthem for Chile, is based on an audiovisual file of a human rights demonstration in Santiago. She edited the sound and image track, to create a ‘re-mix’ of the national anthem.
Diego Fernadez’s video Stories on Deceiving Horizon showing coloured bottles trapped in a whirlpool in the Mapocho river (Santiago’s Thames) explores ideas surrounding the impossibility of advancing.
Claudia del Fierro documents interventions in public spaces, where she adopts different characters such as ‘the secretary’, ‘the disguised artist’ and the ‘factory worker’ to challenge existing gender stereotypes that prevail in Chilean society.
Rodrigo Vergara’s video, documents acts of hidden protest such as locking the door of a well known fast-food chain and records the ensuring chaos with his camera.

This exhibition has been supported by Visiting Arts, The Chilean Embassy in London, The Museum de Art Contemporaneo (Santiago), The University of Chile and DIBAN.

Sat May 7 2005 1pm
Santiago Calling

Viviana Duran, Jorge Cabieses & Isabel Garcia
in conversation
with Alex Michon