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 1973s 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 Pinochets reign.
Claudio Correas 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 MacDonalds 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 Purdys 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 Fernadezs video Stories on Deceiving Horizon
showing coloured bottles trapped in a whirlpool in the Mapocho river
(Santiagos Thames) explores ideas surrounding the impossibility
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
Rodrigo Vergaras 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.