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Always interested in offers/projects/new ideas. Eclectic experience in fields like: numerical computing; Python web; Java enterprise; functional languages; GPGPU; SQL databases; etc. Based in Santiago, Chile; telecommute worldwide. CV; email.

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Marcela Moncada at the CCU, Santiago

From: "andrew cooke" <andrew@...>

Date: Tue, 30 Dec 2008 20:01:57 -0300 (CLST)

After work today I thought my head was going to explode (spent way more
time than is healthy trying to understand XMLRPC in Python), so I walked
out the door (into the late afternoon heat) looking for Something Else.

A few blocks away is a fairly new gallery.  It's owned by the local beer
company (CCU) and I suspect it's some kind of tax write-off (there's
another one in the centre owned by an electricity or gas company).  Their
opening (I believe) exhibition was the company's own collection and,
frankly, not that great.  I hadn't been since, but saw there was a new
exhibit last weekend when we walked past on the way to the mall (where I
bought some new jeans - yay).

I couldn't think of anywhere else to go, and they have air conditioning,
so I wandered off.

The signs outside gave the title (Fragmento y Totalidad - fragment and
totality I guess) and a photo mosaic,  My heart sank a little.  Photo
mosaics aren't exactly cutting edge, are they?

It turned out better than I hoped.  Yes, along one wall there were some
mosaics.  And they weren't that great (when it's been done with porn on
the internet you know an idea is past it's best).  But the rest of the
exhibition was Pretty Damn Good.

It was smart, warm.  Even had a sense of humour.

If you sat down and thought "OK, what can I do with sequences of photos"
you'd come up with a couple of ideas.  You might even think of Muybridge
(and then hopefully avoid copying it - the closest here was a mosaic of
flick books, each starting on (I assume) the "next" page, so that reading
the mosaic read each book.  You see: a little bit smarter than you might
have expected).

Best (or perhaps second best if you count the pamphlet story - below) was,
imho, a study of a group of students.  Apparently 3 rows of 8 shots, it
shows perhaps an hour or two from a lazy afternoon, with people chatting,
doing a little work, or make phone calls.  The shot is framed by two
pillars, so each row is cloister-like (I can't think of a better
description, but it's a common feature of traditional architecture here). 
And it's a small and pleasant surprise to realise that the rightmost
frames are, in fact, the next architectural "bay".

Perhaps you have to be there, but the end result is whimsical and tender
(at least from the perspective of this old man who hasn't sat round in a
university for many years...)

I could catalogue more, but really you should see the exhibition.

Or, alternatively, I can lend you...

I am unsure exactly how to enter the exhibition space - I have always
walked down some stairs and across an open (and deserted, despite the
number of people in other areas nearby) area to a glass wall that, when
you look more carefully has doors that are apparently locked, only one
isn't, and so you can enter.

But there is another entrance, I assume, because to one side is a kind of
corridor with someone - hovering between curator and office worker -
sitting at a desk.

After looking round the exhibition I approached the desk, hoping to find a
pamphlet (I wanted the artist's name, so I could write something here). 
When I asked the attendant (for want of a better term) started to poke
around in a cupboard.  This poking continued for some time.  It was a
noisy process - rustling papers, but also more solid, clunking sounds.  I
became somewhat apprehensive.  It was hard to see what this could produce.

He eventually surfaced clutching a book.

It is a small format, perhaps 8cm on a side, but quite thick (170 pages,
according to the numbers).  And, it turns out, it is free.  I suspect I
have the last copy.

Andrew

More on Marcela Moncada

From: "andrew cooke" <andrew@...>

Date: Tue, 30 Dec 2008 20:11:50 -0300 (CLST)

I used mosaic in more than one sense above.  The kind I was unkind about
is the rather common practice of using photographs as "pixels"; the
exhibition contained three landscapes of this style.

Many other works had photos in regular rectangular grids.  Which was just
dandy.

More info:
http://www.portaldearte.cl/agenda/fotografia/2008/marcela_moncada.html
http://dmamagazine.blogspot.com/2008/12/en-la-sala-de-arte-ccu-primera-muestra.html
http://www.facultadartes.puc.cl/html/html_arte/noticias
2008/noti-expo_Marcela Moncada.html

The second link above says this is her first solo exhibition.  The third
is another of those bloody mosaics, but is saved by: (1) being
self-referential; (2) pulling in the idea of sequences in time; (3)
actually looking quite good too.

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