Press releases | Culture 15.03.2016

CHANGING PLACES / ESPACIOS REVELADOS cultural project from April 7–17, 2016, in Santiago de Chile

changing places bar
From April 7 to 17, 2016, artists from Chile and around the world will turn empty buildings and public spaces in Santiago de Chile into places of encounter.

From April 7 to 17, the center of Santiago will become an experimental space for artists from Chile and around the world. Their works will turn empty buildings and public spaces into places of encounter and explore the social fractures that are particularly visible there. Changing Places / Espacios Revelados will open up new perspectives on community and the importance of neighborhood in the age of globalization.

The 11-day program will feature installations, artistic campaigns and performances. It will open up new experiential spaces for visitors and residents and liberate creative energy for social cohesion. Workshops, discussions and initiatives extending beyond the period of the presentation itself will offer a platform for discussing the city’s future and the potential of art. Following the first event in the CHANGING PLACES / ESPACIOS REVELADOS series in Buenos Aires in 2014, preparations for the new project have been underway in Santiago de Chile since the start of 2015. The event is being developed at the initiative of Siemens Stiftung together with the Consejo Nacional de la Cultura y las Artes de Chile, the Fundación Patrimonio Creativo and many other partners.

The program will center on the historic quarter of Yungay. Dating back to the middle of the 19th century, Yungay was Santiago’s first planned district. The confluence of vacancy and venture, of immigration and social separation, and of stagnation and the pressure to develop are part of Yungay’s reality and practically demand to be examined from a new perspective. The artists are bringing their works to some 20 abandoned buildings and public places in the district and developing perspectives on the interplay of cultural heritage, art and community that will reach far beyond the district itself.

A glimpse at the program

Drawing on his conversations with residents, Nicolás Grum is developing an imaginary museum in an empty building. The question of what should be exhibited there reveals the complexity of the social issues facing Yungay. The urgency of interaction is also the theme of a work by Iván Navarro & Courtney Smith. On the Plaza Yungay at the heart of the district, the two artists produce a performative sculpture that makes communication possible and explores community in a new way.

“Pulling Strings” is a choreographic work developed by Eva Meyer-Keller in collaboration with Chilean artists. Using objects from the local environment as props and performing in two buildings, the artists turn found objects into actors that begin to dance on the strings. The work raises fundamental questions about our ties to the world around us, our networks and what binds us together.

The lines that join us together run through a wealth of other projects, too. Along the axis of a recently built, as yet unopened metro station, the Raqs Media Collective creates a tangle of lines like those previously seen in the metro carriages they developed in Korea. For the Indian artists collective, aesthetics are a starting point for social and political reflection. With the programmatic title, “Ask the Person Who Sits Next to You,” their installation raises questions about liberty.

Chilean composer Sebastian Jatz, meanwhile, creates lines of sound through the city in a 12-part project. One of the lines involves chains of people in public spaces; another an installation of guitars that will later be given to the neighborhood.

Ronald Kay explores the “Acá”, or the here and now, and refers to how his society has lost its connection to its roots. His installation opens the social eye anew and brings to life places whose memory has been neglected or repressed. One of the subjects of his work is the Plomo, a holy site of the Incas. Although the mountain is visible from Santiago, society has completely lost sight of it.

The young Brazilian artist Daniel Lie is also interested in the “memory of a place” and in how places change people. He uses fruit to transform an uninhabited house into an affective place full of the vitality and transience of living organisms. Another forgotten place – in this case after a fire – is Yungay’s former station. Pilar Quinteros temporarily brings it back to life with local graffiti artists.

Britt Hatzius stages a very different type of transformation. In her “Blind Cinema” performance, children and adults enter a shared space where a movie is being projected. The children are able to see, while the adults are blindfolded and rely on descriptions from the children. Meanwhile, in Ant Hampton’s “Crazy But True,” children navigate the paradoxes of this world left behind for them by adults. “We see everything and nothing,” says Rabih Mroué, reflecting on one of the contradictions in how we engage with pictures in the media. In his work with video, he wonders whether digital images have become placeless.

CHANGING PLACES / ESPACIOS REVELADOS is planned to continue next year in Bogotá.