Riding Metro Santiago into the Future Past

Leonardo Portus, Estación Violeta Parra, model, 2013-2014. MAVI Santiago. November 2014.

Leonardo Portus, Estación Violeta Parra, model, 2013-2014. MAVI Santiago. November 2014.

Leonardo Portus’s current exhibition at the Museo de Artes Visuales (MAVI) has been receiving much-deserved praise and attentionEstación Utopía (Utopia Station) has a compelling blend of gorgeous visuals, nostalgia, and history. Naturally, I add myself to that list. Any exhibition that includes dollhouse-like models always wins my heart. Moreover, Portus has accomplished a tremendous feat: transforming Metro de Santiago into an object of admiration. As it is the metro is still struggling to be seen as a comfortable experience since rush hour has the attendants stuffing passengers into the cars like sardines. Perceiving the metro as something beautiful is indeed a utopian fantasy.  Continue reading

Gossiping Neighbors at the MAVI

Paula Salas, El Barrio del Molino, MAVI Santiago. November 2014.

Paula Salas, El Barrio del Molino, MAVI Santiago. November 2014.

The Museo de Artes Visuales (MAVI) in Santiago is currently exhibiting “El Barrio del Molino,” a research + installation project by the Chilean artist Paula Salas. The barrio in question is Barrio Lastarria, a neighborhood that is hands down the best place in Santiago to spend a weekend. The installation is fairly small, occupying barely three walls of the first gallery space you encounter after entering the MAVI. For me the star of the entire show was the main wall, which featured a map of the neighborhood, colored with gossip. Continue reading