Contra la amnesia del rigor was an artist residency based in the village of Caleta Tortel (Aysén region, a part of Chilean Patagonia) within the context of a national programme of collaborative practice residencies organized by the RedCultura programme, a part of the then Consejo Nacional de Cultura y las Artes (National Council for Culture and the Arts) and now Ministerio de las Culturas, las Artes y el Patrimonio (Ministry of Cultures, the Arts, and Heritage).
These residencies are production-based, and the products created need to be made/implemented through collaboration between the resident and people from the local communities. The main goal is to challenge or restructure the relationships between the different participants.
In this context, Contra la amnesia del rigor was based around the participant’s need to value their own history. Because this area only begun to be settled during the 1940s, youth of the village has people questioning and trying to establish their own local history and identity. We created three main products: the central one was a radio show broadcasting the biographical narratives of different women from the community. The interviews were recorded in the women’s homes, and then broadcast on the local radio. There was one different programme every week, and it was repeated 3 days per week. Each week the show would feature one or up to three people’s narratives, depending on the length of the interviews. There are 10 different episodes in total. The participants agreed for their testimony only to be broadcast on the local radio, so there are no audio files here nor anywhere else on the internet. The radio keeps a hard copy and the segment has been re-emitted after the residency by listeners’ requests. The other products were a publication documenting the graphic work of local artist Eduardo “Yayo” Velazquez, and a video featuring the work of sculptor and carpenter Augusto Hernández.
The process of the residency was recorded in artists logs and impressions available here. There is also a journal publication which describes the process within a theoretical relational and systemic framework. The article may be found in the Revista de Aysenología (year4, Nº5), a journal edited by the regional museum.
BOOK – RAÍCES DE POBLADORES DE CALETA TORTEL
This book documents the 60 pencil portraits that artist Eduardo “Yayo” Velásquez drew of the first and most memorable members of the Tortel community. Yayo also attached a short piece of text to each drawing, which accompanies the respective portrait in the book as well. The purpose of this book is threefold: first of all, it helps promote the work of a local artist, while contextualizing (through the introduction) his work on a broader graphic arts context. Secondly, the book helps preserve a documentation of work created on a precarious support and stored in poor conditions. The third and most important role of the publication is to put together all the portraits and arrange them into different groups according to the qualities that inspired Yayo to draw them. Thus, the publication becomes a kind of visual genesis of the village.
VIDEO – JOVEN ARTESANA KAWESKAR
This video explores the story around why local sculptor and carpenter Eduardo Hernández created this beautiful work. In the video, we can witness Eduardos love an reverence for his craft (passed on in his family from father to son), his material (the Ciprés de las Guaitecas, an endemic tree only found in this area of Patagonia), his bond with conservation growing up in a village like Tortel, and most importantly, how his work honors the Kawescar, the ancient people who once populated this fjord.