El Siglo (Lines towards another century), 2006

Digital video, 100 minutes. Reading by Gloria Rodriguez. Sound and video recording: Leonardo Ortega.

Exh.: Broadcast on Señal 3 de la Victoria on 5 and 6 October 2006, as part of the exhibition Trans versa: conversando en el sur, curated by Danae Mossman and Zara Stanhope, Galeria Metropolitana, Santiago, 4 October-4 November, and also including Daniel Malone; at the Museum of Contemporary Art (MAC), Santiago, Brooke Andrew, David Clegg, Lonnie Hutchinson, Ash Keating, Maddie Lynch, Andrew McQualter, Dane Mitchell, Selina Ou, Raquel Ormella, pvi collective; and at Centro Cultural Matucana 100, Fiona Jack, as part of the Santiago Gathering of the South Project.

During a stay in Santiago in September and October 2006, I worked with the community immediately surrounding Galeria Metropolitana, in the working class suburb of Pedro Aguirre Cerda (PAC). This area around the gallery includes La Victoria, an area squatted in the 1950s and famous in Santiago as a stronghold of left-wing self-organisation, even during the Pinochet years. The day of the original occupation by landless people is commemorated in an annual march, known by the date it commemorates, the 30th of October, in which the community walks around the area they first occupied on that date. Señal 3 de la Victoria is a self-organised television station located in the heart of La Victoria.  My list of instances of the creation of national boundaries was translated into Spanish. It was then read by the President of the community council, Gloria Rodriguez. El Siglo (Lines towards another century) is a 100 minute record of this reading, which was broadcast on Señal 3 de la Victoria on 5 and 6 October 2006. A brief segment of footage at the outset of the broadcast shows Gloria reading in the Señal 3 studios. The rest of the work's visual component is a sequence of short texts, showing the day and month of each listing as it is read aloud by Gloria.

To coincide with the broadcast I produced a set of “papelógrafo”, six metre long hand-painted scrolls, normally used to advertise up-coming political marches. These provided details about the broadcast and were pasted around the walls of La Victoria and PAC.

The broadcast coincided with the exhibition of the three-part DVD work After marches towards another season at Galeria Metropolitana itself (along with the work of Daniel Malone). This three-part dvd was also exhibited in Documents from a banner marching project 2004-2007 at Ocular Lab in March 2007, an exhibition in which El Siglo was also shown as a DVD work on a loop.

The journal Artlink commissioned the artist to write a short text on his experiences in Santiago for its special South issue, published in June 2007.

The list of instances of the creation national boundaries was also the basis for a collaborative score with the NY-based composer Andrew Byrne, performed in Melbourne in September 2006, and a 13-metre pencil wall drawing, part of a 2-person exhibition with the Swedish artist Jan Svenungsson at Ocular Lab in 2005.


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