EN LA OTRA CUADRA /Diciembre-Enero 2013. Santiago, Chile

Este proyecto es una investigación artística sobre la vida de los habitantes del barrio cívico de Santiago. El proyecto se llevó a cabo en tres etapas: la primera consiste en una serie de entrevistas con transeúntes, trabajadores y vecinos de la zona, quienes voluntariamente realizaron imágenes representando sus ideas, sentimientos y recuerdos de lugares específicos en este barrio. Seguido de una segunda etapa, que consistió en la producción de una gran imagen mural en la cual se unieron en la galería todos los dibujos realizados por nuestros colaboradores. Finalmente se realizó un acto público que consistió en una caminata encabezada por los colaboradores, donde se habló sobre cómo la gente de la zona se relacionan con la ciudad y otros habitantes. Al mismo tiempo que se reflexionó sobre cuáles podrían ser las consecuencias culturales de estas relaciones.

“En la Otra Cuadra” (On the next block) is an art project created by the artist collective Conversación de Campo (Field Conversations) in Santiago de Chile at the Gabriela Mistral Gallery from November 2012 to January 2013. The landscape that surrounds the gallery is heavily charged by social tensions and historical context where every day life is interwoven with poverty, business activity and a strong police presence that bounds the use of public space. In front of the gallery runs the main street in Santiago, the spinal cord of the city from mountains to the sea, the high street Alameda. Also it is one of the mayor subway stations, where a large number of people pass by everyday. It is the heart of the commercial district, the government and also a hub of connection where people from different places commute to work. It is an open area surrounded by high buildings mainly from the 60s that create a sense of contained openness. The pedestrian side is highly populated with street commerce, movement and noise. The gallery then appears as an island, at slower speed and isolated from the bustling street sounds just outside the gallery doorstep. The "En la Otra Esquina" project takes as a starting point the location of the Gabriela Mistral gallery as it stands on the core of this landscape, a node that will structure our perceptions in relation to this context. The first process of collaborative landscape imaging took place during November 2012 and we interviewed local people -a mix of passers by that work or lived in the area. Each of them was asked to draw their favorite place in the neighborhood. This is to say, how they position themselves as part of the context rather than separated from it. The second stage of the project was about creating a full view of those drawings. The challenge was to create a palimpsest of meaning, a collective narrative that combines individual stories and images. With this in mind we drew a map in the wall of the gallery that included lines representing the streets labeled with its respective names. Our aim was to position the drawing in relation to a recognizable set of references, allowing the audience to create a narrative that could take as starting point something they already knew how to locate. Lines were drawn with a graphite pencil across the surface of the gallery wall in the shape of a simplified cartographic map, a transitory way that intervenes the space as an occupation rather than an habitation. Through the presence of this line an imaginary space was created where the relevance reside not in the line by itself, but the frontiers of an enclosed bidimensional space. Drawings were placed with pins over the sketch map, so that streets names and recognizable features became a loose reference, reducing its importance against the collaborator’s drawings layer. The third and final phase of the project was a public event, a walk/talk in which the path was selected from five of those narration/drawings previously made by our collaborators. During the interviews we invited all collaborators to participate actively in the talk. Our aim was to re-enact the narratives surrounding all those places chosen by some of our collaborators. The walking talk took place the first days of January 2013, just after New Year’s weekend. In a hot summer afternoon the talk started inside the gallery with a traditional round table with questions addressed by the audience to the artists and, after the walk, it finished in the same way.


Conversación de Campo

CDC, en su versión web, es un sistema de análisis, discusión y aprendizaje que explora la presencia de la antropología en el arte y la pertinencia del arte en la antropología. Considerando su contexto social, cultural y geográfico, CDC propone reflexiones que permitan abrir posibilidades de relacionarnos a través del arte, las ideas y la experiencia.

En la Otra Cuadra

Investigación artística que explora las relaciones establecidas con el contexto por los habitantes del barrio cívico de Santiago.


Textos y publicaciones realizadas por/sobre el colectivo.