Opening October 1st
Visits: tuesday to friday from 2p.m to 6p.m “Confronted with each image,
what we should ask ourselves
is how (we) are looked at,
how (we) are thought of,
and how (we) are touched at the same time".
Georges Didi-Huberman Towards the end of 2011, a leader that represented people executed during the Pinochet dictatorship received information about the existence of a geoglyph in the Atacama Desert. The woman lives in Calama and the enigmatic drawing of a corvo knife approximately 2000 metres long is outlined a few kilometres from her house. What are the implications of this gesture? Is it a vestige of the intimidation that many victims - particularly women - were subjected to, even years after the end of the civil-military dictatorships in Latin America, or, conversely, does the anonymous drawing suggest a message, a clue, and a sort of confession? This event and the images it involves are the trigger for these Aridity Exercises, a critical-poetic project that seeks to challenge an improbable and impossible topography, in the conviction that there is no memory without images and that it is images that afford meanings to events in their dialectic with words. Throughout this project, the barren and naked territory adopts the character of a subject: Celeste directs her questions to it, scrutinizes it carefully and attentively even though she knows she will not be given an answer. What is the meaning of this huge, crooked knife clumsily drawn with lime in the middle of the Atacama Desert? Who is the witness summoned by this image? Aridity Exercises is a milestone in the path to articulate the complex materiality of the images with the elaboration of the memories of political violence. To do so, it employs the "politics of montage", that invaluable resource that constantly reminds us that history is not a continuous process, or an objective reality, or a causal narrative. There is no better resource for connecting the reverberations of a geography that is not only explored, even to this day, by mothers, wives, and sisters in search of their disappeared, but also the focus of the socio-environmental struggles related to neoliberal extractivism. As a paradox of fate, these Aridity Exercises are situated in Valparaíso, close to the Monument to the Heroes of the War of the Pacific, the founding milestone of the Chilean nation and the setting for the incorporation of the corvo as the emblem of the army. Georges Didi-Huberman is so right when he states that every analysis of an image has a political dimension and that the artistic dimension of such an image is always in a dialectical relationship with something more fearsome, more dangerous. Florencia Battiti