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Undocumented Rumours and Disappearing Acts from Chile

María Berríos

In: Afterall

2009

The list could read: 1) a Batman comic strip made into a political melodrama; 2) a lastminute materialisation of monumental socialist utopian modernism; 3) a dinner party in the countryside honouring the Tarzan actor Johnny Weissmüller; 4) an experimental documentary turned into a Western; and, last but not least, 5) a piglet strolling in the city centre, dressed in military attire. I admit the connections may seem vague, but somehow these erratic, apparently harmless and mostly forgotten actions that took place in Chile in the 1970s and 80s compose a discontinuous lineage of corrosively ironic engagement with political aesthetics. This slightly bizarre collection of ‘provisional failures’ constitutes a showcase of Chile’s peculiar history of fragmented art tales, full of neo-Dadaist humour and unorthodox leftist critique. …

Read the full essay as published in Afterall 21 Summer 2009. The text is generously made accessible by Afterall for the 11th Berlin Biennale.

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11. Berlin Biennale Link