Although in the old continent it is a common practice to use abandoned spaces, peripheral buildings, or former industrial plants as exhibition spaces, in Latin America, it is a whole other story. This different reality is a characteristic of newer and developing countries, which often bear witness to how their cities’ economical centers mutate according to developments in real estate and urban planning.
This movement in the geography of capital cities results in the constant change of their appearances, producing an interesting relationship from which to reflect on contemporary art, which is always seeking out a way to establish a bridge between current-day issues and the effects that these have on people’s ways of living.
It is under this concept and awareness of local reality that Ch.ACO, Chile’s Contemporary Art Fair, refuses to settle down at one single location, but on the contrary, seeks to activate a virtuous circle with new real estate investments, responding to their initiative of broadening their range of actions towards the different audiences, communities, and socioeconomic groups that revolve around the latest financial epicenter.
Santiago, like the other large conurbations on the continent, presents a marked social geography in which the wealthiest area lies on the eastern side of the city, where Chile’s most important businesses have settled down. It is for this reason that in 2016, after five years of operating in downtown Santiago, Ch.ACO took the decision of moving out of the historic center and installing itself in a design-oriented strip center that was still under construction back then, located in Santiago’s Las Condes neighborhood, an area that is well-known for its numerous modern offices and retail spaces. This metropolitan journey continues in 2017, moving on to Vitacura, home to most of the city’s art galleries, luxury retail spaces, and international organizations, and specifically, into the CV Galeria building: a new urban landmark designed under the concept of a participative city, an architectural project that brings together business, gastronomy, culture and entertainment in one 42.790 sq. meter space.
This is the place where, once more, a rough construction shall be unveiled as the ideal space in which to mount contemporary works of art, thanks to certain material and physical attributes, such as the texture of the concrete, the pillars, and exposed luminaries. These are all letters of a cutting-edge alphabet, letters that spell out an ideal location for a fair that seeks to address a current aesthetic through a language that is shared with the international arts scene.
This building, located at a central hub within the neighborhood, shall host Migration, a site-specific installation by the renowned Chilean sculptor Fernando Casasempere, consisting of over five thousand pieces of hand-sculpted white porcelain that shall draw out the silhouette of birds in flight, in a 97-meter line that will hang from the ceiling.
Ch.ACO is an institution dedicated to the development and internationalization of the visual arts industry in Chile and Latin America. Its Fair seeks to create a significant dialogue with the territory, offering a reflection on the myth of the construction of an urban and social identity.