Constanza Alarcón, Augurios, 2020. Chile: al air, free
Constanza Alarcón, "Augurios", 2020. Photo: Publicity.

Athere, free (outdoors, outdoors) was an ephemeral exhibition, held between the 16th and 17th of May, throughout Chilean territory, from the Copiapó region, in the Atacama Desert, in the north, to Coyhaique, in Patagonia.

Most of the works were produced by the artists in their different places of confinement, after being summoned by the Brazilian curator Tiago de Abreu Pinto.

Born in Salvador, Bahia, Tiago spent ten years of his professional life in Spain, where he also completed his doctoral thesis presented in 2017, on Philippe Thomas, Readymades belong to everyone. The French artist has a conversation with the history of art and literature where he explored texts by Fernando Pessoa and Blanchot.

Following his research, Tiago has developed projects along these lines in several countries, where he gathers reports from artists and transforms them into fictional accounts. This idea was developed in an exhibition with Ivan Grilo, at Casa Triângulo, in São Paulo.

“While on vacation in Santiago de Chile I was caught up in the closing of borders and flights. So, I decided to do my quarantine in the country”, says the curator. “Because of the feeling of disconnection with the community – we were all isolated, isolated from each other – I contacted Chilean artist Voluspa Jarpa to hear about her work. I proposed to her to make a project inspired by the work of a curator from Berlin, Ovul O Dormusuglu”, he continues. “Voluspa, at that moment and throughout the project, was the one who encouraged me the most, and became a guide throughout the entire process.”

Still from the video created by the project, 2020
Still from the video created by the project, 2020. Photo: Disclosure.

Tiago summoned more than 70 visual artists to carry out an experience of collaboration, relationship and speech, at a time when speaking out about the pandemic was and will be a fundamental need. Each from their place of residence.

Some questions about the perception of this period were present in the call. “Are we anonymous beings to our neighbors? If no one is around to hear us, do we make any sound?” Networks that reinforced the spirit of solidarity appeared at work.

Among the artists invited are Paz Errázuriz, National Prize for Plastic Arts 2017. The Chilean photographer began her career during the Chilean Pinochet dictatorship. Her work focuses on portraying people and spaces that for various reasons have been displaced to the margins of society – an important show of his work was scheduled to open on March 17, in the IMS in Sao Paulo.

Delight Laby and Raúl Zurita, “This también will pass” (2020). Photo: Disclosure.

Other participants of Al aire, free were Raúl Zurita, National Literature Prize 2000; national collectives such as Mil M2, which invited a group of residents of Torres de Tajamar to ask questions from their windows; the artists Ángela Cura, Felipe Santander and Milena Moena, who projected a film for their neighbors that told the story of this same community of neighbors, making them participants in the project.

“Art will not find a cure for Covid-19, but there is a latent need to carry out this project, because, as Voluspa told me, 'the works share collective emotions with the present moment'”, emphasizes Abreu Pinto.

“The response of the large number of participants was exemplary as an exercise to create strategies in times of crisis and quarantine”

“The response of the large number of participants was exemplary as an exercise to create strategies in times of crisis and quarantine. But, it goes beyond an exhibition. It was a social and communal process of solidarity”, says Tiago de Abreu. And, he concludes: “It is very important to emphasize that this was a physical exhibition, first of all. The online project is the concentration of records made by each of the artists that physically reverberate in a space and during a certain period of time.” ✱

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