written by Nathalie Zwimpfer in Miami Beach


Gilda Mantilla & Raimond Chaves
An Uncomfortable Eagerness
Due to the diversity and complexity of the work shown, a gallery that stood out at the Art Nova section was ProjecteSD from Barcelona. They presented a project called An Uncomfortable Eagerness by two collaborating Latin American artists Gilda Mantilla and Raimond Chaves. The work consists of numerous drawings, video work, sound and slide projections. During a period of 9 months Mantilla and Chaves travelled to an Amazonian town in northern Peru, researching the region with frequent visits to two local libraries. One of them, the Library of the Center for Theological Studies of the Amazon was founded by a progressive Augustinian order that broke with the traditional scheme of evangelization and colonialism. The other one was the Library of the Research Institute of the Peruvian Amazon that had a rather technical approach in their holding.

Mantilla and Chaves chose this specific region for their research because in recent times it has become the center of intense debates regarding the Amazonian identity. It’s a city where fundamental contemporary cultural and artistic movements have emerged.

Their work is concerned with the stranger’s perception of a place, his personal view and his eagerness to find out more. What are the stranger’s expectations, what does he want to find out and what will actually be found?

Mantilla and Chaves had to cross the impervious Amazonian jungle before getting access to the libraries, which was only possible by air or water. The density of the region reappears in the difficulties of researching. The artists had to work through a complex jungle of information, trying to gain knowledge about the unknown.

Questions are evoked about the relationship between the researcher and the region.  How do we deal with information about history, how do we connect it with the present and is there such a thing like reality. There’s a very wide range of artworks all implemented in a different way. The artists’ style is hardly recognizable. And yet in this random way of research and artistic production a certain pattern can be made out. It speaks the language of history book and dicitionnaries, the pictures seem to be known.

Maps have been redrawn, musical scores have been replayed and therefore a personal narrative has been created by the artists. It’s this personal narrative that leads back to the question about the stranger’s perception and the impossibility of understanding this complex world.


Farris said…
There really are a lot to be seen and be observed in an art gallery. Imagination and creativity is one of the key to understand and get the deep thought of an art. We must make our minds and insights move. :)