ROUNDABOUT. ENCOUNTER PROGRAM
What is “Santiago Toolbar”? Is it an exhibition devoted to the city of Santiago de Chile? Is it a window on to contemporary work produced by Chilean artists? Is it a response to the show staged in 2007 at Matucana 100 Cultural Centre, curated by Valentín Roma and entitled “Barcelona Toolbar”? Maybe, maybe not.
“Santiago Toolbar” is, above all, an exhibition that places an emphasis on honesty. Since its very conception, the aim of this initiative has been to showcase creative processes that artists have been steadily developing in our country, exploring and experimenting through the visual arts whilst also involving other artistic disciplines and making social and political reflection a constant in their work. That is why artists’ collectives were selected to take part this show. Each group is different from the others, but all have faced the same vicissitudes and dilemmas over the course of their existence. O-inc, Incas of Emergency, Hoffmann’s House and LNGCh are four groups of artists that have managed to stay together over time, forging their own identity, carving out a space for themselves in the always difficult and conflictive environment that is the world of visual art in Chile.
We feel that there was no better way to build a dialogue between La Capella and Matucana 100 than with this kind of ping-pong match that we have been playing over the last few years. We are convinced that the association between the two centres provides an excellent method for tracing an equidistant line between two cities as complex and different from one another as Santiago and Barcelona.
All those involved in this project are aware of how difficult it has been to stage these exhibitions, with all the uncertainties and setbacks we have had to overcome over the years. Nonetheless, we firmly believe that there is no better way to construct a dialogue than by deconstructing preconceptions and prejudices.
The experience of these two shows leaves various questions open that we have still not been able to resolve. However, we are driven on by the challenge of using our world visions to weave a fabric that highlights the creative process more, rather than merely exhibiting artistic products.
Finally, we should like to take this opportunity to thank Martí Peran and Oriol Gual, the architects who helped to build this dialogue and make it possible, and FONDART, Chile’s National Fund for Cultural Development and the Arts, without whose support we would have been unable to stage “Santiago Toolbar”.
Ernesto Ottone R.
Organitze: LaCapella | Matucana100
Collaborators: Universidad del Desarrollo | schilling cafè | Red de Fundaciones
Sponsor: El Periódico