Monday, 15 October 2012


Biblioteca Nacional:

This is the National Library where I gave a talk about my work and had a conversation with artist Camilo Yañez. I was very happy to be in Chile for the first time, 163 years after my Chilean great great grandfather Bernabe Leon de la Barra left Chile to go to San Francisco in 1849 and ended in Mexico instead.

Centro Cultural Gabriela Mistral:

Built to serve as the headquarters for the third UNCTAD (United Nations Conference on Trade and Development) conference which was held in Santiago in 1972, and consisted of a convention center and an adjoining 22-stories building. After the conference, the building was used as a cultural center until Pinochet's 1973 coup d'état, after which it became the Ministry of National Defense. The complex was damaged by a fire in 2006 and reopened in 2010 as the Centro Cultural Gabriela Mistral refurbished by Cristián Fernández Arquitectos and Lateral architects.

Christian Silva's installation at the Centro Cultural Gabriela Mistral

Mario Navarro's house of cards sculpture at Centro Cultural Gabriela Mistral
both Silva and Navarro's work are part of permanent artistic interventions commissioned as part of the reopening of the centre. read more about it and download the catalogue here

original seventies lamps at the restaurant of the Centro Cultural Gabriela Mistral

and the original door handles by Ricardo Mesa on the main conference rooms "resembling the classic leftist symbol of a raised fist, were turned upside down to represent the Junta's repressive policies." read more about this and other incidents at María Berríos' Afterall text Undocumented Rumours and Disappearing Acts from Chile

MAC Museo de Arte Contemporaneo:

the Museum of Contemporary Art, urgently in need of contemporary art and a decent budget, exhibiting an exhibition curated by Die Ecke gallery. What would normally elsewehere would seem wrong (a gallery curating an exhibition at a museum), (but which in the other hand in many 'first world' cities is a normal practice which is not acknowledged), here is done with total honesty, but also as a way to recognize the labour Die Ecke has done for contemporary art in Chile

Felipe Mujica's abstract geometric wall painting and Johanna Unzueta's felt pipelines at the MAC

Cristobal Lehyt's wall drawings and scultures at MAC

Off Chaco-off:

great energy at the offChacoff party. offChacoff organized by Coco Gonzalez consisted on independent galleries and artist run spaces collaborating in order to create a paralel programme to the Chaco fair (not a young fair or an alternative fair), in which the art spaces continued to be in their normal spaces, and there was a series of activities and a city map where the spaces are located so the visitors to visit.

and the bandstand ready for the bands to play at off Chaco-off


outside cool artist run gallery YONO

artist Ignacio Gumucio, next to his scratched wall drawing at Yono, next to grand artist Joe Villablanca (who runs Yono), and who I didn't recognise after not seeing for 7 years. Joe who used to form part of the historical Galeria Chilena, with whom we did the now historical Condoros show in London in 2005. See Joe Villablanca's fantastic early videos here.

and Joe Villablanca's paintings at Yono

Isabel Aninat:

Exhibition of cinetic master Iván Contreras Brunet, at Isabel Aninat gallery, born in 1927, he was the first Chilean to exhibit at the Venice Biennal in 1972, lives in Paris since the 1950s and is practically unkown in Chile

Museo de la Memoria:

the Museo de la Memoria in Santiago, built to give visibility to the human rights abuses comitted by the Chilean government to its people during the Pinochet dictatorship from 1973 to 1990.
The building was designed by Brasilian architects Estudio America, who won the international competition for the design of the building.

poster of the Museo Internacional de la Resistencia Salvador Allende

documentation of a protest in the 80s, banner saying "Here Torture Happens"

Salvador Allende pop

Salvador Allende's doctor diploma

Marcelo Brodsky and Arturo Duclós with one of the mother's of the disappeared at their exhibition 'La Consulta del Dr. Allende' at Museo de la Memoria

Gonzalez y Gonzalez:

the El Barco (the boat) deco building where Gonzalez and Gonzalez is located

Gonzalez y Gonzalez, an artist run commercial gallery started by Patrick Hamilton, Jota Castro, and friends. Here works by Moris and Dario Escobar

works by Patrick Hamilton and Jota Castro at Gonzalez y Gonzalez

and Gonzalez y Gonzalez great toilet office

Galeria Metropolitana:

legendary Galeria Metropolitana, a metal shed in a working class neighbourhood founded in 1998 by Luis Alarcón and Ana María Saveedra. Metropolitana's activities and exhibition programme have become one of the main driving forces of contemporary art in Chile, doing with a very reduced budget what the state and institutions in Chile are not doing. Contrary to other countries of the Americas, Chile has a very prosper economy, but there seems to be no real interest of those with economic capital of supporting the art and cultural development of the country.

neon by Gonzalo Diaz at Galeria Metropolitana

Luis and Ana Maria (further right) and friends at Galeria Metropolitana

and art from the real life, a Christian pilgrimage musical parade passing in front of Galeria Metropolitana on a Sunday afternoon

CHACO art fair:

ex Estacion Mapocho where the CHACO art fair took place

inside the CHACO fair:

Paz Errázuriz' very hot chilean boxer series at Galeria Afa

painting by Patricio Larrain at Taller Bloc

Taller Bloc's stand with sculpture by Rodrigo Canala

chewing gum collection by Sebastian Preece at Patricia Ready

Sebastián Errázuriz, a handicapped person under a bulldozer, special project to raise awareness about disabilities and accesability, curated by Christian Viveros

launch of Cristobal Palma's new publication of photographs of the interiors of the shopping malls of Santiago with a text by Camilo Yañez, here Cristobal Palma with Johanna Unzueta

and the launch of Johanna Unzueta's new catalogue, presented by Pablo Leon de la Barra and Camilo Yañez. See more of Johanna's work here

and the Pablo Leon de la Barra award for best stand at the Chaco fair goes to Local gallery and artist Javier Gonzalez Pesce for their participatory banner project. The banner above says Chile un Pais sin Curtura (Chile a Country without Curture)

La Fuente Alemana:

and one of the reasons I will have to return to Santiago, to try the Lomo/Palta/Mayo (pork/avocado/mayo) sandwiches that i didn't have at La Fuente Alemana

With thanks to the Chaco fair (Irene and Elodie) the Instituto Chileno Britanico de Cultura and specially to Camilo Yañez and Isabel Garcia Perez for their invitation to visit Santiago, and to Manuela Viera Gallo, Felipe Mujica and Maria Berrios for all their suggestions and inspiration!

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