The ecology of extractive practices is a poisonous one. In Chile as in Sámi areas in northern Sweden, mining activities by multinational corporations are both visibly and invisibly shaping the landscape, intoxicating water, soil and air while displacing agricultural and indigenous communities. The excavation, extraction and exploitation of minerals – justified by the promise of immediate accelerated economic growth – means that spaces inhabited by communities become ravaged by desertification, contamination and expropriation, and sites of political and environmental dispute.
‘Fragmented Dialogues’, it’s an exhibition at Austin / Desmond Fine Art in collaboration with CF-LART London that brings together the work of conceptual artist Mario Fonseca and photographer Mauricio Valenzuela. Both Fonseca and Valenzuela worked in Santiago, Chile, during the 1970s and 1980s. Despite two seemingly very different bodies of work, both artists intrinsically shared a strong dialogue around the notions of absence and prohibited identity.
Mario Fonseca is a visual artist, art critic, curator, academic, writer, designer and Chilean publisher. Born in Lima, Peru in 1948, he has lived in Chile since 1966. Fonseca enrolled in the School of Fine Art of the Universidad Católica in 1966 but dropped out of the programme to embark on his professional career in graphic design and edition. He also started to experiment with conceptual art in his artistic practice, a topic he would continue to develop for many years, becoming one of the forefront conceptual artists in Chile in the 80s. Only in 2009, did Fonseca obtain his Bachelor of Visual Arts with a degree in Photography.
Mauricio Valenzuela’s studies in Painting and Fine Art at the University of Bellas Artes, Santiago, were violently interrupted on 11th September 1973, the day the military junta toppled Allende’s government. Determined to pursue his studies despite the prevailing political climate, Valenzuela (1951) completed his visual arts education intermittently, in different art establishments, acquiring a degree in Theater Studies along the way. This unusual academic formation and a hitch-hiking trip from the island of Chiloe, South of Chile, to the Peruvian boarder, would define Valenzuela’s personal quest and sensitivity as a leading visual artist in Chilean photography.
Also on display are a selection of works by Edward Burra, Patrick Caulfield, Eduardo Chilida, John Craxton, David Hockney, Peter Lanyon, Tony Longson, Mary Martin, Margaret Mellis, Paul Nash, Victor Pasmore & Terry Pope.
Image ©Mario Fonseca“Negativo del autor / Positivo del autor” Habeas Corpus 7, 1981 Cardboard, kodalith, masking tape 28 x 21 cm each
Fragmented Dialogues: Mario Fonseca & Mauricio Valenzuela (Art and Identity in 1980s Chile)
Austin / Desmond Fine Art, London WC1B 3BN
11 May 2018 – 18 July 2018
Open on Saturday 23 and Saturday 30 June (11am-2.30pm)
Michael Yaikel is a young Chilean artist that belongs to a new generation of South American artists that are no longer looking for inspiration across the pond but find a deeper affinity with the ancient traditions and legends of pre-Columbian civilisations.
‘The Club’ (El Club) is a 2015 Chilean drama film directed, co-produced and co-written by Pablo Larraín. The film was Golden Globe nominated and has a controversial release date of Easter Good Friday on 25 March 2016.’The Club’ (El Club) is a 2015 Chilean drama film directed, co-produced and co-written by Pablo Larraín. The film was Golden Globe nominated and has a controversial release date of Easter Good Friday on 25 March 2016.
The question is to what extent does the Catholic Church cover up these crimes and indeed what happens in this country?