The art scene in Santiago de Chile, by Thiago Verardi
While writing a guide filled with tips and remarks on the dynamics of the artistic circuit of the economic hub of Andean America, devising a couple of connections with Portugal was inescapable.
The cultural centre is currently welcoming an exhibition entitled Surge, by Anish Kapoor, an Indo-British artist known for his mirrored sculptures that invert the image and distort the senses, forcing the viewer to be confronted with vertigo and confusion. This crisis fuels a reflection on our presence in the world.
The exhibition, curated by Marcelo Dantas, gathers works from 1989 to the present day, including: Shooting into the Corner (2008), delving into the relationship between genders, in which the male is depicted by a cannon firing red wax balls in one of the room corners. The corner, as suggested by Duchamp, symbolizes the female. And Dragon (1992), with limestone stones covered by dark blue pigment, questions the everlasting relationship between matter and surface.
Kapoor understands emptiness as a space of transition and bears witness to the relationship between immateriality and the sacred, combining physical and psychic matters with a shamanic technique. The interaction with the works is part of a ritual whose intent is to connect us to ancestry-laden spiritual dimensions.
On display until September 8, 2019.
The association emerged in 2014 and has already established itself as an important driving force of the Chilean visual arts, much due to the philanthropic efforts of its 250 members, who weekly gather for educational dinners organized in private collections, studios, galleries and museums.
There are collectors, cultural agents and executives among the members. Old and new art lovers in search of knowledge to purchase works or artistic experiences and social interaction.
The foundation fosters the management, financing, communication, editorial and design strategies for public and private initiatives. The Chilean pavilion at the Venice Biennale and Incognitum: Circum-Navegações Contemporâneas are among the Antenna projects, the latter promoting the cultural exchange between 20 Portuguese artists, or associated with Portuguese art, and Chilean.
Incognitum was created by the curator Isabel Carlos and the artist and researcher Raúl Miranda, on the occasion of the 500th anniversary of Fernão Magalhães’ circumnavigation and, in 2020, the effort will result in an exhibition covering four areas of Lisbon, including Cordoaria Nacional. Santiago and Punta Arenas, in Chile, are also part of it.
The following are among the selected Portuguese artists: Ana Vaz, Salomé Lamas, Vasco Araújo, Ângela Ferreira and Filipa César.
It’s a commercial gallery and, yet, it has museum-like dimensions: there is a total of 2000 square meters between exhibition rooms, a restaurant and a 100-seat auditorium with free-of-charge programming.
Its roster includes internationally renowned artists such as: Alfredo Jaar, Patrick Hamilton, Bernardo Oyarzún and Cecilia Vicuña. Also, the representative of the Chilean pavilion in the current edition of the Venice Biennale: Voluspa Jarpa. Her project, curated by Agustín Pérez Rubio, is a decolonization-based exercise. Derived from an archival research, it places History as a disputed symbolic territory and questions the Eurocentric concepts applied to Latin America as a form of political, cultural and economic submission.
Among the array of emerging artists represented by Patricia Ready, these are particularly noteworthy: Adolfo Bimer, Maria Edwards, Cristián Salineros, Miguel Soto and Javier Toro Blum. The latter is one of the founders of the MOB design collective, which will take part of this year’s Lisbon Architecture Triennale, to be held in October, with an exhibition at Carpinatarias de São Lázaro.
The new headquarters of the gallery founded in the 80s, by the then philosophy teacher Isabel Aninat, is located in a business building. Part of the gallery’s sculpture collection is scattered among the gastronomic area, with 6 good restaurants.
Within the 400 meters of the Aninat exhibition spaces, we can find, among other Chilean artists, works by: Catalina Swinburn, Mónica Bengoa, the poet Raúl Zurita, the conceptual Lotty Rosenfeld and Elias Adasme. Also, the Spanish Nicolás Franco and the Peruvian Fernando Gutierrez Huanchaco.
The project Gabinete is particularly interesting: a 12-meter wide showcase conceived to display research efforts that were not materialized through documentation, videos and correspondence. The goal is to reveal the artist’s inner world.
The collection has about 900 works conceived by Latin American artists, gathered throughout a 35-year period by the architect Gabriel Carvajal and the entrepreneur Ramón Sauma. It has been a foundation since 2016 and occupies an apartment open to the public upon prior booking.
There, we have the opportunity to admire works by: Paz Errázuriz, Iván Navarro, José Pedro Godoy, Voluspa Jarpa, Prem Sarjo, José Balmes, Benjamin Ossa, Isidora Bravo, Cristián Aninat, Enrique Ramírez, Catalina Bauer, Pablo Serra, Lucas Simões, Bruna Truffa, Ignacio Gatica, Víctor Castillo, Santiago Cancino, Adonis Flores, Sebastián Calfuqueo, Amalia Valdés
On an annual basis, the patrons offer a cash prize to young artists, while also sponsoring several artistic residencies. “At this point, we are aware of what we have attained. The collection has taught us that we have a responsibility to our environment”, the collectors affirm.