Recent Arts

Haunted Landscapes by Valentina Berthelon

Synopsis of the work

What began as a protest against the increase in the price of public transport turned within a few days into an unprecedented popular revolt against neoliberal policies in Chile. After months of protest, Santiago was filled with rubble, graffiti, and artistic interventions that showed the deep discomfort of the population with the structures of society. The residual materials left by the protests destabilized the urban progress but also brought hope by creating an opportunity to rethink public spaces. Do the streets really belong to us? What would it look like to dream of another public space? What has unti now been called public space is a space segmented by lines of class, race and sexuality among others where only some bodies may circulate freely and others are constantly subjected to different forms of restriction and violence.

In this work I reconstruct Plaza de la Dignidad (the epicenter of the protest) and its surroundings using 3D scans and point clouds. Buildings, subway stations, painted walls, monuments, and statues that were intervened by protesters are re-combined to give birth to a landscape in which monuments will communicate a different message than the one originally intended, they become a memorial of a different kind, they become a document and a possibility. Since the signs of protest are erased over time, their preservation and analysis become highly relevant. The 3d scans of buildings and monuments used were made by Chileans during the outbreak and uploaded to internet with copyright licenses that allow their public use. The soundtrack of the work is made with field recordings of public demostrations and clashes between the Chilean people and the police.

In the context of the protests, hundreds of Chilean women appropriated the hoods, which became a symbol of their protest for equality. These hoods maintain the idea of self-protection but have a new identity factor. Along with other Chilean women and LGBT+ community living in Berlin, we made masks/hoods to create hybrid characters that will inhabit this virtual landscape in an attempt to challenge the Eurocentric paradigm of binary identity. We were inspired by the Chilean feminists but also by mythological beings such as monsters, aliens, cyborgs, and ghosts, which in Western culture have been used to speak of repressed identities. 

I consider this work a “collective one”, and I ́m very greatfull to all the people that made the 3d scans and made them public, all the friends that shared their inner warriors through these hybrid characters and all people that was on the ground fighting and manifesting during the social outbreak and before.

Valentina´s Short Biography

Valentina is a Chilean media artist based in Berlin. She holds a Bachelor of Visual Arts from the National Art Center of Mexico, and a Master's degree in Kunst und Media at UDK, Berlin She combines techniques like video, sound, and VR to create immersive multisensory experiences to explore relationships between art, technology, and society

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