Gallerist Patricia Ready on Chile’s Attractions, the Cultural Scene and Ch.ACO’s 10th Edition

  • Photo courtesy of Ch.ACO

    Photo courtesy of Ch.ACO

Ch.ACO spoke with Patricia Ready this week, one of the longest-running and most outstanding gallerists in Chile and member of Ch.ACO’s editorial committee, about the Latin American cultural scene, Chile’s special attractions –and why curators from all over the world want to visit, and the celebratory milestones of Ch.ACO’s anniversary edition, which will take place from November 22nd through the 26th.

What work of contemporary art has had the greatest impact on you and why?

I think the reception that Ekeko got –Bernardo Oyarzún’s installation exhibited at our booth in last years edition of Ch.ACO, surprised me a lot; every day entire families would visit our stand and take pictures with his work, for their social media. Seeing how art transcends the exhibit space and transforms into an image that circulates through different platforms and levels of society is actually amazing, especially when the work transcending is deeply connected, like Ekeko, to the Chilean popular culture and the aboriginal origins.  

How would you define the current contemporary art scene in Latin America?

The Latin American art scene is growing and definitely becoming more visible and important in the international scene. This can be seen in the increasing presence of Latin artists in foreign art fairs, in museums and galleries, and also in the amount of European and American curators that visit us and ask to visit artists’ workshops.

Last year, for example, Proyectos L.A (Los Angeles, California) reached out to me because they were interested in showing the work of three artists I represent. They were interested, most of all, in their innovative proposals and the fact that their work deeply related to our geography and our identity as a country, which is exactly what they, as a cultural platform, wanted to enhance. On the other hand, Chus Martínez, former curator of Documenta at Kassel, also contacted me last year because she was interested in showing the work of Chilean Patricia Domínguez in a special section of Arco Fair in Madrid. All of these things that are going on and the fact that local art is standing out in the international scene makes me really proud.

What cultural news and interests do you think Chile offers?

Last December, and for the second time already, Chile won first place in the Best Adventure Tourism Destination Award, placing us above countries like the U.S, Australia, Canada, Japan or New Zealand that have always been top destinations. This is fantastic because, for those of us that work in the arts, it’s an opportunity to connect art and tourism.

To name a few, today in Santiago there are three international artists exhibiting simultaneously: in Cerrillos National Center for Contemporary Art, the Dutch artist Theo Jansen is exhibiting “Algoritmos del viento”; the great Ai Weiwei presents “Inoculation” in CorpArtes; and Swiss-German Louis Von Adelsheim takes on the 11 spaces of MAC Quinta Normal and poetically reflects on the situation of Chile’s inmates in “Los Muros de Chile”, which is a complete must see. So, how is it not interesting for tourists who travel to Chile, either to Torres del Paine, Isla de Pascua or the Atacama Desert, and shave a layover in Santiago, to visit these amazing shows, have some of our wines and visit the our art galleries? This situation is becoming more and more frequent and I see it happen a lot in my gallery.

Why do you think people should come to Ch.ACO’s 10-year anniversary edition?

We have the privilege of living in a country with a beautiful geography, and people are recognizing that internationally. So why wouldn’t it be attractive to get to know Chile and at the same time interact with its art scene?

Additionally, Ch.ACO has been forging alliances that have clearly validated it over the years. To name a few, there’s the work it’s been doing with Vitacura’s local authorities, which consists of putting together a communal project of ephemeral sculpture that transcends the location of the fair and into the public space; the link that it’s been creating with new culture related agents and institutions, such as the Teatro del Lago (in the South of Chile), so as to extend the activities designed for international guests beyond Santiago. And finally, milestones such as the open contest for kids who also turn 10 this year –just like Ch.ACO, to draw what will be the inspiration of this years graphic and visual campaign. These highlights, to name a few, are very motivating and make the fair an impossible to miss event.