The past 24 hours have been a frenzy of amazing discoveries about Godofredo Iommi’s time in Europe. Until I fell down this rabbit hole I frankly doubted its existence. Godo’s time in Europe—ca. 1959 to ca. 1964—is not well-documented; hence my estimates regarding his departure and return. But using the tidbits I did know (friendship with Carmelo Arden Quin, long stay in Paris, prolific writing tendencies) I was confident I would find something. Continue reading
A gorgeous infographic of the 1965 Travesía Amereida!
Tonight the contestants on Top Chef Chile travel to Concón, specifically the Radisson Acqua Hotel & Spa. For the novice School of Valparaíso scholar this is an inconsequential event. However, there are two important undercurrents of note. The first is pretty minor, though not for the School faculty themselves. They love food. In another life they would’ve been chefs, no joke. One look at their Instagram feeds or design projects on Flickr illustrates their preoccupation with gastronomy and how it relates to celebrations. I’m sure many of them will be watching. And if they are I hope that catch the pretty big connection between the Radisson and their School. According to Valentina Pérez’s excellent thesis, this is where the founders planned the first travesía in 1965. Back then, of course, this legendary group did not meet at the Radisson but at the Bucanero Restaurant, which is where the current hotel sits. According to Pérez, “A stone inscribed in homage to the site where the ideas of Amereida were gestated is there, recognizing the first travesía” (70n48). Unfortunately, I have never been to this hotel so I cannot confirm this memorial. However, since an alumnus of the School of Valparaíso—Harken Jensen—was the lead architect I’m confident this School of Valparaíso legend is more on the side of true things. If the cameramen of Top Chef Chile manage to include this stone in one of their shots, tomorrow’s review of this show will certainly be less salty.
To end on a high note, Cecilia Vicuña’s 2010 film Kon Kon presents another view of this resort town.
Caption translations, left to right:
>Santa Cruz is situated between/ the abandoned: the first foundation/ and the non-foundable/ the Alaska—Cape Horn dimension
>San José—Santa Cruz/ precision distance/ to establish in the interior
>the possible totality/ of America/ the the road from Alaska to Cape Horn/ a secant that crosses the continent
I’ve spent the better part of today staring at these drawings. I’m pretty used to South America inverted at this point. But after blinking and shifting my gaze I noticed North America. Now I can truly appreciate this drawing and how odd it is to see the U.S. lumped together with Canada and how elegantly the School of Valparaíso proposes to travel from Alaska to Cape Horn. So many cyclists, VW van owners, and every pedestrian in between have answered the call of the Pan-American Highway. Only this line is not that route, but a poetic turn that will take you through parts of Bolivia and Argentina with no north-south axis. Admire the map, just don’t follow it.