Santiago, Chile, June 15-July 24, 2015
The twentieth century in Chile has been marked by a series of radical transformations. The military coup of 1973, now more than 40 years ago, gave rise to a harsh machinery of censorship, the systematic violation of human rights and a state of terror that impeded free expression and the exercise of basic civil rights. Then, the plebescite of 1988 permitted a progressive but very difficult transition to democracy that continues to encounter problems and dilemmas. This seminar explores Chilean visual culture since the coup, focusing on the responses to censorship and repression by visual artists, filmmakers, performers and collectives as they developed new ideas around liberty, human rights and political minorities, as well as free expression, memory and peripheral cultures. These artists placed their bodies and works into the public sphere, reclaiming new spaces and radically transforming Chilean life. Our analysis will also consider the complex negotiations of the transition, the composition of the contemporary Chilean art scene, and the implementation of neoliberalism. A number of distinguished artists (writers, architects, photographers, painters, dancers, and actors) who visually resisted and challenged the power of the dictatorship, often in a veiled way, will participate in the seminar as guest lecturers. We will visit locations used by artists who worked in the public space and will conduct research in public and private collections and archives of libraries, film institutes, galleries and local museums.