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Selected artists: Paula Castillo (Chile/USA), Remo Schnyder (Switzerland), Simon van Parys (Belgium), Ernesto Walker (Mexico), Daniela Serna (Colombia), Marisa Merlin (Italy), Kotoaki Asano (Japan)
SACO Contemporary Art Festival has taken place annually since 2012 in the Region of Antofagasta, in the north of Chile, as an independent initiative by the SE VENDE Mobile Contemporary Art Platform Corporation. Its objective is to install a permanent nucleus of reflection, critique and dialogue in the Atacama Desert, through the gathering of artists, experts, curators, works and the public, in an area marked by the inexistence of institutions dedicated to these ends. It proposes as an alternative option in this copper capital to dig deeper for the renewable wealth of creativity and dialogue, a field no less valuable nor less urgently needed.
Each edition of the festival possesses unique characteristics with a special focus. In this way, the grounds for digging are annually renewed, preventing the resources from being exhausted.
The 9th edition of the Contemporary Art Festival invites artists to participate in the open call for its main exhibition entitled Now or Never. The selected artists will take part in a weeklong residence at ISLA, Latin American Superior Art Institute, with all expenses paid, for the realization and installation of their works. After the opening, they will participate in an immersion trip within the territory, into the interior of the Atacama Desert.
A jury will select seven winners according to the proposals' quality; their suitability to the curatorial direction and space for intervention: The Melbourne Clark Historic Pier in Antofagasta; and above all, their relation to the curatorial concept Now or Never.
Proposals for intervention outside of the pier (in the sea, among the rocks, on the breakwater, etc.) will not be accepted, neither will projects that use electricity of any type (projector, television, etc). The exhibition will only run by daylight. The winning works must guarantee an exhibition period of no less than two months. Works that can be seen and appreciated along the entire 360° of the route will be preferred.
Visual artists of any nationality may participate.
The existing call is open to professional as well as self-taught artists, with no restrictions with regards to age, education, professional experience, line of work or any other factor. The main criteria that will be subjected to evaluation is the quality of the proposal, its viability and suitability.
Artists whose work is linked to the Colectivo SE VENDE, organizer of the exhibition, or artists who exhibited in SACO8 Destiny may not participate.
Festival de Arte Contemporáneo SACO is an initiative of Colectivo SE VENDE, Plataforma Móvil de Arte Contemporáneo which since 2004 has been established in Antofagasta as an agent of change and development of contemporary art.
The collective is directed by Dagmara Wyskiel (Poland) and Christian Núñez (Chile), who through a network management focused on dissemination and reflection on new artistic practices, have fostered various actions, both in the city and in nearby towns and in the desert, setting a precedent in contemporary art in the north of Chile.
The Instituto Superior Latinoamericano de Arte, ISLA, is the art residency center that administers the SACO Contemporary Art Festival. Located in the city of Antofagasta, just meters from the Pacific Ocean, it is a place designed for its guests - curators, artists, teachers, researchers, directors and the like - that goes beyond the limits of a space where to spend the night to become a focus of the local culture.
ISLA, as a place of creation and reflection of art, is built under a logic of environment and operation by and for artists, being a contribution in their creative work as well as being a facilitator of cultural networks with northern Chile and the world.
All artists, both national and international, as well as curators and researchers, who carry out some kind of project in Antofagasta with residence in ISLA, are committed to contributing to the development of the local scene, providing a training session free of charge in ISLA, in return for what they have learned.
From press information.
© Photos: Courtesy of Contemporary Art Festival SACO