Warm up with the Chile Exchange


Above: Brûle D’être by Canadian Guy Blackburn

What germinated in a small fishing town in Chile is now bearing fruit at York’s Glendon Gallery. Until Oct. 31, the gallery is presenting an unusual exhibition called the Chile Exchange, an exhibition by three artists from Chile, Ontario and Quebec: Zinnia Ramírez (Santiago, Chile), Gene Threndyle (Toronto) and Guy Blackburn (Chicoutimi, Quebec). They are part of a larger group of artists from the three places who participated in a major exchange.

What’s different about this exhibition is that it explores the techniques of artists from diverse cultural backgrounds through shows, performances, readings and roundtable discussions. Originally conceived by A Space Gallery in Toronto in collaboration with Espace Virtuel in Chicoutimi, the Chile Exchange involves works by 18 artists from Toronto, Ottawa and Hull in Ontario, the Saquenay-Lac. St. Jean region in Quebec and Santiago, Chile.

Left: Untitled/intervention by Canadian Gene Threndyle

The exchange began back in February 2002, when the Canadian contingent of artists took part in a festival in the fishing town of Calbuco on the Chilean archipelago.

The Canadians interacted with the residents of Cabulco and artists in the capital, beginning the process of building a creative collaboration. The first stage of the exhibition culminated in a visual arts installation in the Chilean capital of Santiago.


Left: Mandala cruz del sur by Chilean Zinnia Ramírez

The second stage of the Chile Exchange now draws from the artists’ experiences in Chile. The artists’ new projects – new works on paper, paintings, photographs and objects from the site-specific installations – builds on the pieces they created in Chile.

In the context of the Chile Exchange, visual artist Farouk Kaspaules will participate in a Spanish-language festival at Glendon College. He will be reading a work of Chilean poet Pablo Neruda in Arabic and Spanish, a work that was banned in Iraqi schools, to remind people of the Chilean experience of exile and repression.

Right: Untitled, an example of Farouk Kaspoules’ work

The exhibition is presented in collaboration with Glendon Gallery, Espace Virtuel, Los Independientes Collective, the Art Gallery of Algoma and Gallery 44.

For links to participating galleries and images of the artists’ work, visit http://www.aspacegallery.org.