nicole rademacher

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Chilean Video Art RIGHT NOW!

Back in June of this year I was invited to curate a session of videos for a First Friday at Hudson Beach Glass Gallery in Philly. Jenna Efrein, the events coordinator, gave me complete freedom with the theme. I thought long and hard and decided that I wanted to show some of what I have been seeing from the video art sector in Chile, thus "Chilean Video Art RIGHT NOW!" was born. While the selection for Hudson Beach was rich, I felt there was a cohesion among the pieces that was missing, so when I was given another opportunity to show them while I was in Paris, I decided to make another call for more work - to create a stronger and more complete selection. I continued to stress the diversity of the work, because I think that is something rich in the culture and landscape of Chile that also permeates to its art. The work was well received in Paris (at an underground space), but somehow I didn't think it would go any further, that is until I read an open call for the III Festival de Videoarte Camagüey.

I was perusing open call sites, as I do at least once a week, looking for opportunities to show some of my work. Initially I was thinking about which videos of mine would fit into the festival, but then I read the call a bit more completely: If you are interested and you are an indpendent artist, art gallery or art institution representative, a curator, an art critics or anyone close to these areas, it will be a pleasure to count on your participation. We encourage you to prepare a proposal for this Festival III Edition.
When I re-read the word "curator" I thought, it's hard to find festivals that allow open submission for their curated sections - so ... why not?! I made a DVD of Chilean Video Art RIGHT NOW!, filled out the application and sent it off - granted I was in last minute mode so I did end up literally running to the post office to make it there before 6pm the day of the postmark deadline.

That was in August. To be honest I kind of forgot about it, which is really the best way to be about these things, but lo and behold Sunday morning I received an email from a Ms. Teresa Bustillo inviting my selection to be a part of La Próxima Resistencia, which is the curated area of the festival where the videos are not a part of the competition but are screened/exhibited - with pleasure I replied!!

So here we are. I am waiting for a reply from DIRAC, the department of foreign relations for Chile; they give financial support for these types of trips - the problem is: it is the end of the year = no money left in the budget, but they are looking into it and we are crossing our fingers in hopes that I can go and represent the selection and the works. Either way this is a fantastic opportunity for all involved and it reminds me that it is important to GET YOURSELF OUT THERE!!! It's easy to forget that during the day to day hullabaloo.

Below you will find my curatorial statement (in English, currently translating it to Spanish and adding to it) and image stills with the artists' info.

Chile is the skinny country next to Argentina, at least that is what Chile always was to me until I finally visited for the first time in 2007. And it is true: it is a skinny country that shares a border with Argentina, but it also shares a border with Peru, Bolivia, and (a long one) with the Pacific Ocean. Its landscape is infinitely diverse, and visually clashing. These bizarre juxtapositions are also found in its capital city of Santiago where changing political climates and economic crises have placed one story homes built in the 30s next to 20 story condos built last year. Or perhaps you will notice it as you walk down a decidedly urban street where at almost any moment you can see the gigantic snow capped mountains towering above you. The visual (and political) contradictions, and sometimes confrontations, are present in the Chilean culture and thus in its art.

While Chile is a country with one foot in the developing world and the other in the developed, video art is still quite new on the curriculum. Before it was more common for these artists (i.e. Juan Downey) to go to places in the world where the community of video artists was blossoming. Now, this isn't necessarily so. There is a rich and diverse community of makers and educators. And enthusiasm is growing.

This program aims to show you exactly what the titles says - RIGHT NOW, what are video artists making in Chile? The eight videos in the program are as diverse as the Chilean terrain itself, creating a dialogue between looming capitalism and commonplace non-violent robbery, ideas of the absurd and thoughtful meditations on landscape. What is it exactly that they are making down there in that skinny country?

Nicole Rademacher
Santiago, Chile 2010

ERRORvideo 2
(Esteban Cabezas & Joaquín Fernández)

Rafael Guendelman Hales

Terror Videos
(Rodrigo Dueñas & Francisco Schultz)

En tránsito
Constanza Gazmuri

Macarena Molina

De la serie "la hora del te"
Bernardita Bennett

Robo Sin Violencia
Luis R. Hermosilla

De Potestate Maleficarum
Pancho Schultz

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