Camila Opazo on the Third Edition of Nave de Ediciones Section at Ch.ACO 2018

  • Image courtesy of Ch.ACO

    Image courtesy of Ch.ACO

For Ch.ACO’s 10-year anniversary, set to take place from November 22nd through the 26th in Santiago, Chile, founder and director of Tonic Magazine, Camila Opazo, will once again –for the third consecutive year– curate Nave de Ediciones, section dedicated to art books and print publications. This time around, the section will bring together 17 independent publishing houses and micro editorials from six different countries: Adrede Editora (Chile), Editorial Vortex (Chile), Gronefot (Chile), Flach (Chile), Unión Editoras Experimentales (Chile), Naranja Librería (Chile), Revista Balam (Argentina), ArtNexus (USA and Colombia), Ikrek Ediçöes (Brazil), Meier Ramirez (Peru), Estrellita Mía (Chile), Editorial Amistad (Chile), Pupi Club (Chile), Casa en Blanco (Chile), Otra Sinceridad (Chile), Mini Golf Deportivo (Chile), and Baliza (Chile).

Furthermore, as a part of Ch.ACO’s anniversary celebration, the section hosted the Nave de Ediciones / Ograma Award, an open call for independent and micro publishers from all over the world to compete in the running up for the possibility of printing, free of charge, an art publication, and launching it during the days of the fair.

Here, Camila Opazo’s views on this years program for Nave de Ediciones, its evolution since the section was created, and the celebratory events that mark this anniversary edition of Ch.ACO Art Fair.

What are this years’ highlights for Nave de Ediciones?

For this special occasion, we organized an open contest, together with Ograma Printers, to grant a publishing house the opportunity of printing an art publication, in co-production with the Fair. Out of the over 80 editorials that applied, we finally selected Meier Ramírez (Perú), with its book project by artist Jerry B. Martin, Blue Pieces, that will be launched in the context of the fair, and will include a few special editions that incorporate an art piece by the artist. The great thing about this idea –something that we have wanted to do for a while— is that it came together just in time for Ch.ACO’s 10-year anniversary celebration, so it makes it even more so simbolic. It means a lot to us because this prize is like making a publishing house’s pending project –the one they were never able to do because it was too expensive, come to life.

Which editorials will be joining the section for the first time?

I’m very excited to announce that the Brazilian publishing house Ikrek will be joining us for the first time; their books, with an impeccable binding and workmanship, are an incomparable aesthetic and intellectual experience.

In the local sphere, Adrede Ediciones, owned by Daniel Reyes León, which only publishes books related to the visual arts, but with a strong emphasis on theory and research, will also be joining us for the first time. I truly believe it’s important to lend visibility to the profound reflections on contemporary art that are taking place here in Chile, and this editorial house is exactly the indicated one to do so. Also, from Chile, Jorge Groenemeyer’s publishing house Gronefot will be participating for the first time; its collection of photography books by local and international photographers is one of the most important in our country. Unión Editoras Experimentales, a publishing house made up exclusively of women, is also joining for the first time. I really appreciate their work because they manage to put out a speech that is universal and infinite, rather than restricted, and they are opening up a dialogue that is extremely necessary at this moment in time, so I’m glad we can be a part of that. Finally, this year we’ve decided to include a few micro editorials from Chile that have been giving a lot to talk about, these are: Estrellita Mía, Editorial Amistad, Pupi Club, Casa en Blanco, Otra Sinceridad, Mini Golf Deportivo, and Baliza.

It makes me very proud that several publishing houses that have participated in previous versions of Nave de Ediciones will be present once again; being constant in this line of work is very difficult, so their persistence implies a political act, an act of resistance, and we love the fact that in some way we also contributed to that consistency.

What does this section offer since it started in 2016?

Since we conceived it in 2016, Nave de Ediciones gathers artists’ books and rescues the idea that a print publication becomes a vehicle for an art piece’s communication and dissemination. This, and the fact that the publication can put out a limited number of copies, makes the book into a work of art itself. On top of that, Nave de Ediciones has been putting together, since the beginning, and along with FAVA Foundation, a public library that includes donated publications from all the editorials that have participated in the section during the two previous versions.

What’s your opinion on the current Latin American publishing scene?

An important part of what defines us has to do with independent management. Each publishing house is blazing its own path in the market, and that’s truly incredible. What I like about curating Nave de Ediciones is precisely being a part of that, because publishing in Latin America is a political act: it’s like swimming against the current. Those of us who do this, fight for it, and what motivates us has to do with the idea of memory, patrimony, and an archive register. Each one of the publishing houses that survives is obtuse and tough enough to carry on.

Why do you think it’s important to have a section dedicated to independent art publications in a contemporary art fair?

In my opinion, this section acts as a bridge between the spectator and the other sections, and at the same time, it accompanies the rest of the Fair’s contents. Because, although we are in a Fair –a space for commercial transaction, one must not forget that what is being transacted is a work of art, done by an individual or collective, which materializes, firstly and foremost, because of a thought, a reflection, and an analysis, as well as from the ideologies and stances that the artist wishes to express to the world. Sometimes we can lose sight of this, but Nave de Ediciones is here to say, “Remember that everything that is happening comes from the work of art itself, as a direct consequence of society’s individual or collective reflections.” And the book as an object and as a visual paradigm automatically places the spectator on that other side, the side that is more connected to the ideas and reflections. This happens inside of a transactional space, and there’s nothing wrong with that, because the space enhances other languages, accompanies the galleries’ contents, and allows for intersections to be made.

When Elodie and I conceived this section, we thought of a concrete networking space, but also a space for union and dialogue between different agents. That said, it became a micro-world who’s main purpose is to be a platform for independent publishing houses, in a moment in which several agents have returned to printing, but also, one in which many dreams are made possible.