Forests of Fire: A new residency in Bosque Pehuén

From January 17 to 31, the artists collective of the Borde agency and the artist Sebastián Calfuqueo will participate in a residency in Bosque Pehuén, our privately protected area of conservation in the Andean araucanía.

Forests of Fire is an exhibition project from Border Agency that questions what we define as natural or cultural, and which is articulated as a polyphony of voices with diverse interpretations of the forest. It already includes two exhibitions: the piece entitled “Eucalyptus, Archivo sonoro” (“Eucalyptus, Sound Archive”) participated in the Biennial of Media Arts, in the Museo de Bellas Artes of Santiago (October 2019); and “El Sonido del Árbol al Caer” (“The Sound of the Tree as it Falls) was exhibited at Galería Barrios Bajos in Valdivia (January 2020). These exhibitions have explored the question: what place does the eucalyptus occupy in the experience of the Chilean landscape?

The interdisciplinary team of Border Agency–composed by Sebastián Melo, Paula Salas and Rosario Moreno–, following their study on plantation forests, will obtain first-hand knowledge in Bosque Pehuén about ancient forests. With this, they will make a comparison between both types of ecosystems, create molds with clay from the tree barks and make nocturnal audiovisual recordings. Sebastián Calfuqueo, who was especially invited to this residency by Border Agency, will explore the behavior of water in waterfalls. In this way, the four residents will examine the relationships between climate change, ecological collapse, capitalism and systemic racism in the Andean foothills of the Araucanía region, as well as how they are expressed throughout the territory through its forests and landscapes.

Bosque Pehuén is an area of great interest to the research of these four resident artists, as it is located in a humid temperate forest – one of the most biodiverse ecosystems in the world, and therefore of great importance for conservation efforts. At the same time, its proximity to the communities of Curarrehue and Palguín Bajo offers the possibility to comprehend the issues of the territory, which are historically linked to the exploitation of forests and the interventions made in the landscape.

The results will be presented in the Art Gallery of the Universidad Católica de Temuco, the Extension Center of the Universidad de Valparaíso and the city of Concepción.

This residency has the support of the Ministry of Culture, Arts and Heritage through the National “Fondart” for Creation and Production.