Chile: Ojo Andino Chile

Contemporary Artists from Chile

Catalogue of the Imago Mundi Collection "Ojo Andino" (2013) by Contemporary Artists From ChileImago Mundi

A thorough look at the infinity of the fragment

To talk about OJO ANDINO Chile we must return to the Ojo Latino collection (2008), the kick off for Luciano Benetton’s greater proj- ect: "Imago Mundi". For this unprecedented curatorial project, a collection of works in small format (10x12 cm) was contem- plated in the desire to shape a compound vision that, starting from Latin America, would offer a first look at current art and its peculiarities. Ojo Latino was able to gather together 200 works donated by artists from more than 20 different countries from our region, constituting a collection of enormous wealth, both in terms of the stylistic and generational variety of its participants, as well as for the convergence of views from far-reaching cultural and geographical positions.

Francisco Javier Olea - Día y Noche, Francisco Javier Olea, 2014, From the collection of: Imago Mundi
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Francisco Javier Olea - Día y Noche (2014)

In April of 2013 Mr. Luciano Benetton and "Fondazione Benetton Studi Richerche" gave us the mission of working on a new collec- tion of contemporary art, focused on a national scale. Consider- ing the reach Imago Mundi had then, which includes collections similar to Ojo Latino, from countries like India, the U.S. and Ja- pan, among others, we decided to rethink some of the elements of this project.

Mauricio Guajardo Rubio - Untitled, Mauricio Guajardo Rubio, 2014, From the collection of: Imago Mundi
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Mauricio Guajardo Rubio - Untitled (2014)

Maite Izquierdo - Untitled, Maite Izquierdo, 2014, From the collection of: Imago Mundi
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Maite Izquierdo - Untitled (2014)

10x12 cm are the dimensions we propose this time, more than a physical space, as a virtual window through which each artist chosen can display her or his work, gesture or aesthetic. Small formatting constitutes one of the core elements of the col- lections because it facilitates the transportation of the pieces, allowing their exhibition in different parts of the world. In this way, these traveling works—a fragment of each artist’s produc- tion—are benefitted by an interaction and enrichment of views (as much for the spectators as the artists, who both come from different parts of the world). 10x12 cm is also a space with the potential to equalize spatial conditions, a priori, for each artist. In this sense, working within a reduced space, which at the same time contains an infinity of possible interventions and propos- als, is for us an essentially democratizing factor. This format has been our point of departure and that mandatory size that had to dematerialize itself was the first challenge that we presented to the artists.

Eva Lefever - Tríptico Con Unicornio I, II & III, Eva Lefever, 2014, From the collection of: Imago Mundi
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Eva Lefever - Tríptico Con Unicornio I, II & III (2014)

For some, a complex, contradictory, and even irreconcilable ex- ercise for their own work; for others, natural and preferred. The reduced measurements of the work speak to us of a fragment that in its parts forms a collective whole. In this context, not a fraction of space can be wasted nor demand more or less at- tention; it is the compound unit, through the particularity of its components, that acquires greater relevance. Just as in the hu- man body—and of course in the social body in which we live— each cell is important, both as a single entity and in the context, in and for the purpose it exists.

Paula Garrido Miranda - Untitled, Paula Garrido Miranda, 2014, From the collection of: Imago Mundi
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Paula Garrido Miranda - Untitled (2014)

ÁLvaro MartíNez Blanche - Buscando Identidad, ÁLvaro MartíNez Blanche, 2014, From the collection of: Imago Mundi
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Álvaro Martínez Blanche - Buscando Identidad (2014)

OJO ANDINO, like Ojo Latino and other Imago Mundi collections, represents the richness of fragmentation: it is about enormous mosaics where each piece is its own individual world, and which when brought together offer new connotations that prompt us to see it (and ourselves) as a whole or continuum that is con- stantly enriched by the fragments that compose it. At the same time, the journey and convergence of different perceptions about collections once again complement this aerial view that builds piece by piece, like a map overlaid with a coordinate grid, ready to be viewed from on high.

Sonia Etchart - Paisaje, Sonia Etchart, 2014, From the collection of: Imago Mundi
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Sonia Etchart - Paisaje (2014)

While a good deal of collections have been created using canvas on a frame in the traditional format, for this project OJO ANDINO Chile wanted to liberate the formatting. Thinking about contem- porary art implies thinking about production that by its nature is heterogeneous and dissimilar, which also demands thinking about dematerialization. The canvas, still the preferred format in our region, for centuries has carried the tradition and history of art, yet it doesn’t necessarily fit with the diversity of contempo- rary production, which today doesn’t always germinate in a two- dimensional white space. We have therefore decided to grant absolute liberty to the artists in deciding what materials to use and how to employ them in the virtual space given them, includ- ing the option of working in the third dimension or with volume to present figures and objects in three—or more—dimensions.

Jorge Vilches Gana - Untitled, Jorge Vilches Gana, 2014, From the collection of: Imago Mundi
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Jorge Vilches Gana - Untitled (2014)

Carla Fache - Derechos Humanos, Carla Fache, 2014, From the collection of: Imago Mundi
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Carla Fache - Derechos Humanos (2014)

Art today on a national scale: What are the boundaries—if they even exist— in which art operates today? Is it necessary to center our gaze at the national level in order to discuss a world pan- orama of contemporary art? Imago Mundi proposes this exercise without offering answers beforehand and ceding a large margin to surprise. In this way, we help to create a kind of artistic map, delimited by imaginary territorial boundaries that determine – though only in part– the culture growing in each territory, invit- ing us to imagine what takes place within each. We once again participate in the exercise of fragmentation, of the partition of a whole that we intuit exists, and nevertheless we can only approx- imate from its pieces: heterogeneous, elusive, unpredictable.

Paul Vaussane - Composición Con Bolsas De Té 4, Paul Vaussane, 2014, From the collection of: Imago Mundi
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Paul Vaussane - Composición Con Bolsas De Té 4 (2014)

It’s difficult—if not impossible and at times absurd—to think of a “national art” as such. Movements and links are, in this day and age, multiple and varied by their nature. The limits and barriers placed between different countries—and despite the conflicts that still afflict humanity in our century—have been blurred or nuanced to the point of becoming diffuse, permeable cultural lines. The movement and itinerancy of the artist and her or his work coexist alongside the development of a global culture that, while strongly marked by common dictates, also empowers and drives the appearance of other-worlds within an individual sub- jectivity hyper-stimulated by this continuous transference.

Serena GarcíA Dalla Venezia - Untitled, Serena GarcíA Dalla Venezia, 2014, From the collection of: Imago Mundi
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Serena García Dalla Venezia - Untitled (2014)

Under these premises, we invited more than 200 artists from dif- ferent generations and with different artistic trajectories: paint- ers, illustrators, photographers, sculptors, textile artists, media artists, engravers, watercolorists, and others, to participate in the project, to contribute to this patchwork or mosaic, composed of hundreds of pieces, created by people who share a distinct con- nection to Chile; contributing in equal measure to this (possible) panorama of contemporary art in our country.

Patricio Vogel - File Of Things, Patricio Vogel, 2014, From the collection of: Imago Mundi
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Patricio Vogel - File Of Things (2014)

The result is made up of 265 pieces from 170 national artists who decided to donate a fragment of their work, so that it may travel the world together with the rest of the collection.

Jacinta Besa - Untitled, Jacinta Besa, 2014, From the collection of: Imago Mundi
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Jacinta Besa - Untitled (2014)

For this publication, we’ve decided to accompany each work with a brief artist statement, with the aim of amplifying in some cases the depth of field, in others the detail, which allows us to access to this small/large window. Through these texts, we have tried to approach the creations and explorations that make up each artist's universe; to relate to the independent ecosystem of each work from an alternative perspective, and at the same time in- terplay and integrate each piece with the rest.

Andrea Barrios Aguilar - PequeñA InteraccióN #14, Andrea Barrios Aguilar, 2014, From the collection of: Imago Mundi
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Andrea Barrios Aguilar - Pequeña Interacción #14 (2014)

Carmen Aldunate - Untitled, Carmen Aldunate, 2014, From the collection of: Imago Mundi
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Carmen Aldunate - Untitled (2014)

The small format of the pieces as well as the inclusion of part of each artist’s poetics bring us to one of the themes that most fascinates us: intimacy. The demand of concentrating our at- tention on a reduced space often leads us to an exercise of unexpected introspection. A sort of double intimacy lies in the restrained pulse of many of the works: the detail, the line, the gesture offered, bring us closer to the deepest sphere of its cre- ator; it obliges us to linger and make a conscientious analysis of the space that we believe finite in the beginning but that later plunges us into the abyss, the abyss of the intimate, because in this space nobody is ever lost. At the same time, it obliges us to re-observe (ourselves) with the unrelenting attention that the details of the piece have fixed in our eye.

Carolina Illanes - Untitled, Carolina Illanes, 2014, From the collection of: Imago Mundi
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Carolina Illanes - Untitled (2014)

We have also included in this edition a section on the workshops, labs, homes and creative spaces in general of those people who allowed us to get this far by sharing with us this, their own space. Just as the very material of the works we now call art has undergone tremendous changes over time, multiplying their potential faces, the work space of those who dedicate their lives to this production may have undergone modifications with respect to the imagina- tion that traditionally accompanies them. This time, our 10 x 12 cm. format has taken us much further (or closer) to other spaces of reflection that both come together and move apart, forcing us to make a personal and collective journey from each work.

Andrea Gana - Untitled, Andrea Gana, 2014, From the collection of: Imago Mundi
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Andrea Gana - Untitled (2014)

Finally, OJO ANDINO Chile references our Andes mountains range, the cultural and geographical vertebrae of a large part of South America. The Andes mountain range traces the silhou- ette of the Southern Cone, and boasts the highest peaks on the continent. It both separates and unites Chile with its neighbors, and pushes it towards the Pacific Ocean. Imagining a view from the heights of the Andes is to think of a panoramic vista of the region’s different landscapes, obliged to contemplate the infinite particularities of the region it runs through; alternating a general picture—composed and abstract—and its fragmentation that, at the same time, become other worlds, other views, other ges- tures, other images.

Simoné Malacchini & Stefania Malacchini

curators, collection & book ojo andino chile - imago mundi

Matilde Benmayor Mansilla - Untitled, Matilde Benmayor Mansilla, 2014, From the collection of: Imago Mundi
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Matilde Benmayor Mansilla - Untitled (2014)

Credits: Story

Curation collection and book
Stefania Malacchini & Simoné Malacchini
Rosa Bianca Comunicaciones

Stefania Malacchini

Editorial coordination
Stefania Malacchini

Luciano Benetton
Humberto Maturana & Ximena Dávila
Stefania Malacchini & Simoné Malacchini

Editing and translation
Emma Cole
Michela Liverotti
Stefania Malacchini
ViceVersa Translations

Special thanks to
Soledad & Mariano Malacchini, Ingrid Velásquez, Mirtha & Luis Mura, Sebastián Gaggero & Escuela Matríztica, Marta Augusti & MNBA, María Luisa Furche, Jaime Soffia & Rodrigo Soffia
art direction and graphic design
Simoné Malacchini

Marco Pavan (Artworks)

Credits: All media
The story featured may in some cases have been created by an independent third party and may not always represent the views of the institutions, listed below, who have supplied the content.
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