Fondazione Merz

The Space of Man

an investigation into the contemporary art scene in Chile


23 January – 11 May 2008


Curated by Beatrice Merz and Francisca Moenne

The Fondazione has elected to present the Museo de la Solidaridad Salvador Allende, for the first time in Europe, with a selection of 29 works from its international art collection. The aim is to provide an overview of current art production in Chile, which is represented here by the works of six young Chilean artists.

In 1971, Italy and Chile worked together on an important cultural operation which, one year later, led to the creation of a unique international museum.

Upon the initiative of its creator, the then president Salvador Allende, who was deposed in the 1973 coup, the Museo de la Solidaridad was the work of a group of leading personalities in the world of international culture. Between 1971 and 1973, the museum collected works donated by artists from around the world, creating an art collection for the people of Chile. Designed to promote political solidarity, it continued to expand during the years of the Regime and now it has at last found a home of its own in a special exhibition space.

At the same time, the arts scene in Chile has enormous potential and large numbers of artists are working on the visual arts. Many of them feel strongly about investigating memory with “the space of man” viewed as identity, and not just in socio-political terms. The artists whose works are on show at Fondazione Merz have been chosen from among them.

Paintings by Joan Miró, Roberto Matta and Frank Stella, sculptures by Alexander Calder and Jorge Oteiza, and drawings, collages, and prints by other leading artists interact with polyphonic installations by Claudia Aravena, Mónica Bengoa, Guillermo Cifuentes, Andrea Goic, Bernardo Oyarzun and Sebastian Preece. Together, they produce a visual contrast that highlights the relentless and universal evolution of the language of art, while also opening up a debate about the role of art in the historical and social context they are produced and shown in.

The exhibition has been set up with the support of and in agreement with Regione Piemonte, with the contribution of DIRAC (Ministero de Relaciones Exteriores), under the aegis of IILA (Istituto Italiano Latino Americano) and in collaboration with Fundación Allende.