Mr. Iommi Goes to Paris

Detail, Godofredo Iommi: Morincoux, September 1962. Printed in Ailleurs 1 (1963), 18. Ailleurs 1 (1963), 18.

Detail, Godofredo Iommi: Morincoux, September 1962. Printed in Ailleurs 1 (1963), 18.

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

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Footnote: Amereida at the Radisson

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.

Footnote: The Adventures of Jean Mermoz

I’m going through a pretty mellow moment in my life: tucked away in a small town 120 miles south of Santiago I’ve got loads of time to just sit and write. Despite living in a cave, some of the outside world does trickle in and lately it’s been a name: Jean Mermoz.  Continue reading