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Open convocatory: SACO Contemporary Art Bienniale

Open convocatory: SACO Contemporary Art Bienniale

The SACO Contemporary Art Bienniale is inviting artists to participate in the open call for its main exhibition entitled Coup.

Selected artists will take part in a ten day residence at ISLA, Latin American Superior Art Institute, for the realization and installation of their works. After the opening, the artists will participate in an immersion trip in the territory, into the interior of the Atacama Desert.

A jury will select seven proposals according to their quality, as well as their suitability to the space for intervention: The Melbourne Clark Historic Pier in Antofagasta, and above all, how well they relate to the curatorial concept Coup.


We make laws, set norms, sign treaties. We mark the limits of the playing field with rules to tame the beast we have inside, believing that it won’t break free this time. My freedom ends where yours begins, they say. The proverb reminds us that the autonomy of our own space is sacred, but in our species’ case, the sheep and the wolf, the victim and the oppressor coexist in the same body, whether of individuals, families or the country.

We are extremely violent animals that enjoy watching the blood on the screen; those daily rituals in movies and the news activate mimetic processes that allow us to keep greeting the neighbors. We have proclaimed ourselves a thinking species, but the beast breaks free from time to time, as it happened 50 years ago in Chile, and it’s happening today in Ukraine. By reason or by force is the slogan on the Chilean coat of arms; still 50 years after the military coup, it continues validating both paths to achieve the aims of Power: rhetoric and firearms. The desire to impose our arguments by force, no matter how, commonly pushes us to brutalities. We are savages inhabiting urban caves, showing our teeth to other tribes through social media.  

There are invisible coups. Clean, bloodless, from faceless enemies. Anyone can fall. We witness attacks against personalities, former partners, and unknown people on social and mass media. The lightness of destructive allegations that emerge without being proved brings to memory the lapidation of witches in the Middle Ages´ squares. Even though lapidation tools are now virtual, the damage is not less real than it was one thousand years ago. Today, power is not measured by the number of stones that you can throw but by the amount of followers and likes you have.

Was the apple of Genesis the reason for the first uprising? The disobedience gesture leads to innocence loss, inherent to the maturation process. Following the Western tradition, the riot against the public order is led by women, changing forever with a bite the barren paradise for an existence of flesh, willpower and emotions. Each rebellion has a high cost, and the changes are irreversible. The effects of knowledge always bring surprises, like the taste of the first apple. 

The coup is not the end of the world, but it could seem that way to those who have been threatened. After waking up, a long path comes before returning to the desired normalcy, overcoming trauma and seeking justice. Both processes are scarcely pleasing since their energies go in opposite directions: the first aspires to forget, while the second is a promise of never doing it.

In the face of coups, State terrorism and dictators, the people have different physical and symbolic resistance strategies. Only those on the battlefield can participate in the first one, but everyone can join the second. The spirit of each revolt appears in the languages the artists choose to express the ideas of an oppressed society. Solidarity has the form of both medicine and poems. There is no nation without a story of power, military, racial or religious terrorism. It doesn’t matter how far away we are from those who today resist; the universal experience of being a victim of a coup and oppression allows us to be emphatic and create for others.

Source: Bienal SACO