MAM 30 years old | Reality from a dream

It was 1988 when a group of friends dreamed of forming the Museum of Modern Art in Chiloé. It was only an utopia, and yet today the MMAC celebrates its 30th anniversary with an annual exhibition in which important artists participate, along with Nadie (nobody), a video art exhibition curated by Adonay Bermúdez, with Chilean and foreign filmmakers, in addition to the more than 500 artists who have passed through these halls.

A journey that Jorge Tacla, who has lived in the United States since 1981, opens with events that have marked him in both worlds, such as September 11, 1973 in Chile and in New York in 2001. Stark attacks to the moral and physical integrity, interpreted in Error de Gravedad (Serious Error) and in the series Identidades Ocultas (Hidden Identities) and Señal de Abandono (Sign of Abandonment), as an introspective exercise where he intertwines personal and collective memory, something that starts in a news event and ends in a creative experience that he himself explains: “What one sees in the canvases are the traumas and madness of the human condition. The materiality of these works refers to our own matter”. This tessitura is complemented by the use of oil paint mixed with cold wax, which can generate a surface similar to a skin that is maliciously distorted, greased and puts the observer in check, as it is like touching the devastation.

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MAM of Chiloé turns 30!

With an essay on the new ways of approaching mural painting, Ignacio Gumucio appears, with his Breve historia del sur de Chile Murales sin moraleja (Brief History of Southern Chile Murals without Morals), where for 7 days in a probabilistic action of success and error, he paints several successive murals in latex, which after being exhibited and duly recorded will be erased, making the wall a palimpsest that can be painted indefinitely.
Taking the opposite position Natalia Babarovic, makes the racconto (raconte) a visual portrait based on a photograph found in the magazine Storia Illustrata, which shows a gypsy widower burning his wife’s tent, reigns in a funeral ritual, recreated from images determined by history, in a permanent reflection on an emotional landscape, placing special emphasis on the stain. An elemental component between figure and background very representative of this artist. In the same vein, Nicolás Franco makes of La Sábana (The Sheet) a shroud where pain, violence, reparation and justice are confronted, four conjectural axes that, in witnessing the atrocities of the dictatorship, give way to an intervention that lies between reflection and elegy.

Situated far from the painful remnant, Norma Ramírez , on the other hand, presents a work where memory, history and oblivion are insinuated from the corporeal as a palpable fact within a work of silent and intimate inquiry in which she activates her most sensitive fiber.

Héctor León, on the other hand, with El Gabinete del Perro Blanco (The White Dog’s Cabinet), a polyptych of 15 paintings nailed to the wall, decides to reassemble the compositional space, letting us glimpse what the author is repeating to him as a pending subject, coming both from the painting of others and from what intimately provokes it: “To do so, I had to distort my own reality and from there start the story without the words that you see today”. In this same transition of recomposing and recreating emerge, El constante auto remixeo de la naturaleza (The constant auto-remixing of nature) by Mario Z, an experimental sound piece (site specific) produced in a residence held two weeks before this important annual exhibition.

This is how also appears Más allá del principio del placer (Beyond the beginning of pleasure) of Javier Toro Blum, and the intervention of a piece of furniture by means of geometric cuts that dislocate its own geometry, allowing the object to interact from its new possibility of re-reading. Fact that Guillermo Grez, in Pasacalle(Passacaglia), recreates this fact with a painting on the span of an imaginary doorway in which the echo of ancestral mythology resounds like a song of choppy atonement caused by the indiscriminate action of man on Chiloé, and which is represented in the proclamation: “Caleuche A sea of darkness sinks the archipelago of the sea of garbage.” A vision that in some way adds to the inclement proposal of Álvaro Oyarzún in Cuestión de ubicación (A matter of location), a series of sickly paintings where he urges us to see the pictorial fact as a symptom, where he throws on the neatness of the wall atrophied and diseased human organs, which, exceeding their clinical or aesthetic condition, reveal a lapidary diagnosis of the virulent state of contemporary art.

Finally we have Nadie (nobody), a video art show curated by Adonay Bermúdez, leaving as a central theme the recurrent devaluation of the individual, from its cancellation, objectification, instrumentalization and loss of identity by a society that gobbles up its members, many of them involuntary victims of its ferocious indifference, which makes you look like a Nadie (nobody). Unfair denomination in which the videos of Claudia Joskowicz from Bolivia with Some Dead Don’t Make a Sound, Patricia Bueno from Perú with La avería de lo cotidiano II (the malfunction of the everyday), the Spanish Sergio Belinchón with Metrópolis V2 and Eduardo Caballero with Mi nombre es (My name is), and the Chileans Bárbara Oettinger with Lejos es aquí (Far away from here), Enrique Ramírez with Travel-ling, and Juan Castillo with Ritos de paso (Passage Rites).

For this reason, all that remains is to celebrate this 30th anniversary, together with all those who challenged geography and isolation to carry forward this dream called Museum of Modern Art of Chiloé  (MMAC).

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