“Árboles Torcidos” (Twisted Trees) soon in CENTEX

A collective exhibition that brings together Border Agency, Seba Calfuqueo and María Isabel Lara Millapan, will be presented in Valparaíso between June 24 and August 28, 2022.

Obra Agencia de BordeCurated by Maya Errázuriz, Head of Art and Publications at Fundación Mar Adentro, the exhibition invites visitors to rethink their connection with the forest and question the binary and colonial logics in the relationship between human and non-human nature.

Árboles Torcidos is articulated as a series of voices that propose different ways of interacting with nature; from the body, language and visuality. It invites visitors to immerse themselves in sensitive worlds to approach the relationship of the human and non-human from a different point of view.

“This exhibition comes about as the continuation of a study carried out by Border Agency collective, where they have artistically explored the question: What places does the eucalyptus occupy in the experience of the landscape in Chile? Based on this, they seek to question the bases of our relationship with what is considered natural or cultural”, says Maya Errázuriz, curator of the exhibition.

About the Research and Artworks

Árboles torcidos emerged in January 2022, when the members of Border Agency invited Seba Calfuqueo and María Isabel Lara Millapan to contribute in their upcoming exploration of Bosque Pehuén (Fundación Mar Adentro’s privately protected area of conservation).

The works that arose from this collaborative investigation examine the common root of the interrelationships between climate change, climate breakdown, capitalism and systemic racism, and how these are expressed in the Araucanía territory through its forests and landscapes.

“In opposition to the issue of planting monocultures and the Western line of thought of a ‘hyper separation’ of culture and nature, the exhibition seeks to reveal the importance of biodiversity, of understanding how an individual can eventually form a group, portraying the presence of deep time in nature and to break with the dualist structures linked to culture over nature, life and death, men over women, master over colonized, etc.”, mention the members of Border Agency.

In the exhibition, poet María Isabel Lara Millapan proposes, through orality, an intimate relationship with nature that involves the dimension of dreams. Meanwhile, Seba Calfuqueo uses video performance and photography in his work Tray-tray ko (2022), which portrays the immensity of nature and places the body as part of the landscape to delve into the historical and social conflicts that today build and destroy the connections with the forest in the Wallmapu, disarticulating the idea of a nature in binary terms. “Places are important to me. If I decide to make a video performance, it’s a decision that is directly related to inhabiting or relating to a specific place. Performing comes from a relationship with the space in which I work with life, with traveling through places that speak to or are linked to my body, to its history or memory”, says Calfuqueo about the work.

Exhibition in Centex Valparaíso

Regarding the exhibition of this work in Valparaíso’s Centex, the curator mentioned that “it is interesting to be able to generate reflections and parallels between the Araucanía region and Valparaíso; both are emblematic territories in their natural and/or cultural richness, which at the same time live under strong ecological and sociocultural pressures.”

In this way, Árboles torcidos is an invitation to become involved with other forms of existence: those that promote the flourishing of multiple species and that respect and include a relationship with the forests, both in their human and non-human dimensions. The challenge posed by this exhibition is how to survive the homogenization of simplified landscapes and to start thinking in/from/and through them to promote other possible futures.

Árboles torcidos will be inaugurated at Centex on June 24 at 12:00pm, in the main hall. It will be open to visitors until August 28, from Tuesday to Friday between 10:00am and 6:00pm, and on Saturdays, Sundays and holidays between 11:00am and 6:00pm (all visitors must present their mobility passes and wear their masks at all times).

This project is financed by the National Fund for Cultural Development and the Arts, in the Line of Visual Arts, through the 2021 Call of the Ministry of Culture, Arts and Heritage, together with the support of Fundación Mar Adentro.

The artist and the curator

The artist and the curator

About the artists and curator:

Border Agency is an art collective and artistic research project that began in 2012. The permanent members are Sebastian Melo (MA New Media and Cultural Form, Goldsmiths, University of London, UK), Maria R. Montero (PhD Goldsmiths, University of London, UK) and Paula Salas (MA Research Art, University of Amsterdam, NL). They explore the limits in social notions of landscape and seek to understand from an interdisciplinary perspective how people, places and technology mutually determine each other. Using artistic practices as a means and anthropology as method, their research materializes in visual, sound, and written works.

Seba Calfuqueo. Visual artist with a Bachelors and Masters degree in Visual Arts from the University of Chile, they are part of the Mapuche collective Rangiñtulewfu and Yene magazine. Of Mapuche origin, their work draws on their cultural heritage to propose a critical reflection on the social, cultural and political status of the Mapuche subject within current Chilean and Latin American society. Their work includes installations, ceramics, performance and videos, with the aim of exploring cultural similarities and differences, such as the stereotypes that occur at the crossroads between indigenous and westernized ways of thinking, and also to bring visibility to issues around feminism and sexual dissidence. Their most recent solo exhibitions have been: “Espejo de agua”, Galería Patricia Ready (2020); “Lo otro está aquí”, 80m2 Livia Benavides (2019); “Turbar”, Galería D21 (2018); “KANGECHI”, Parque Cultural de Valparaíso (2016) and in “Zonas en disputa” of the Museo de Arte Contemporáneo de la Universidad de Chile (2016). In 2017 they received the Municipality of Santiago Award and in 2018, the Fundación FAVA Award. In 2021 they were recognized with The Democracy Machine: Artists and Self-governance in the Digital Age award by Eyebeam, New York. Their works have been presented at the following biennials: 34 São Paulo Biennial (2021); 12 Mercosul Biennial (2020); 9 Biennial of Peace, SIART-Bolivia (2016).

María Lara Millapán. Mapuche poet born in Lof de Chihuimpilli, Quepe, Freire. She holds a doctorate in Didactics of Language and Literature from the Universidad Autónoma de Barcelona, Spain. She is currently an academic at the Villarrica Campus of the Pontificia Universidad Católica de Chile and an associate researcher at the Center for Intercultural and Indigenous Studies-CIIR. In 2016 she received the Asát’ap award for her contribution to education. She is co-author of two books, one educational: Kimün. Learning Mapudungun through poetry and stories (2014), and another testimonial: Zomo Newen. Life stories of Mapuche women in their struggle for indigenous rights (2017). Her work has been included in several anthologies. She has published three collections of verses, all bilingual (Mapuzungun and Spanish): “Puliwen ñi pewma / Sueños de un amanecer” (2002), “Ale / Luz de la luna” (2012), and “Trekan Antü” (2018), and the audio-poetry “Aukiñko” (2014).

Maya Errázuriz. Curator, editor and historian of art and architecture from the University of Boston, MA, USA. Her investigation focuses on the link between art and ecology, applied to nature conservation strategies. She is currently Head of Art and Publications at Fundación Mar Adentro where she leads curatorial investigations and a residency program, Bosque Pehuén, that brings together artists, scientists and humanities professionals for research and the creation of projects linked to a privately protected area of conservation. Among her most recent collaborations and curatorships, some highlights are: “Vegetation Ünter Strom”, co-curator, Bauhaus Dessau, Germany (2021); “Polygonal Forest”, Virtual Gardens, Ars Electronica Festival, Austria (2021); “Expanded Nature: making the invisible visible”, co-curator with Carlo Rizzo, Centro Cultural La Moneda (2020). She has also collaborated as an editor / writer in various publications on contemporary Latin American art.