As part of the Play SMBA program and within the framework of SMBA’s Global Collaborations project, Soledad García Saavedra (CL) and I presented a screening program of artists’ films from Chile.
Video art became a current medium in Chile in the 1980s, coinciding with the military dictatorship (1973-1990). Strategies of covert occupations and the aesthetics of camouflage resisted the oppression of censorship, of silence and forgetfulness, in ephemeral actions and events. In Chile, the moving image was used to unmask social and political realities, thus becoming a form of activism as it communicated expressions that were forbidden during the dictatorship.
While more subtle expressions came into play during the transition to democracy in the 1990s, video art nevertheless continued to reveal and denounce social-political matters.
This program explores how artists in Chile resist forgetfulness by invoking and representing past and present conflicts, mainly by giving prominence to the body and the urban space in Santiago de Chile.
Antidotes to Oblivion. Artistic practices in the moving image in Chile departs from the videos Ay de los vencidos! (1985) by Lotty Rosenfeld (1943-2020) and Popsicles (1984) by Gloria Camiruaga (1941-2006).
Both video artworks were acquired by the Stedelijk Museum in the eighties, but have remained underexposed ever since. Via a trajectory that encompasses videos by the artistic collective C.A.D.A (1979) and Eugenio Dittborn (1943), both produced during the military repression, and works created in the post-dictatorship era by Guillermo Cifuentes (1968-2007), Claudia del Fierro (1974) and Enrique Ramírez (1979), a number of recurring motifs are revealed, each intended to combat a state of oblivion.
Popsicles (1984) by Gloria Camiruaga
Ay de los vencidos! (1985) by Lotty Rosenfeld
Historia de la Física (1982) by Eugenio Dittborn
NO + (1983) by C.A.D.A
Lecciones Nocturnas (1997-1998) by Guillermo Cifuentes
Corporative (2004) by Claudia del Fierro
Brisas (2008) by Enrique Ramírez