Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...

Wednesday, 5 January 2011

Valparaiso, hopes of getting to Chile

>Drifts and Derivations was a small exhibition I stumbled upon in the Reina Sofia, Madrid at the beginning of the summer. At first it appeared as a visionary idea for a dissertation, I showed everybody the exhibition leaflet and planned trips to South America as research and gasped with the beauty of it all, but eventually it just became the inspiration for the kind of dissertation I wanted to write. Anyway, I have been thinking of what I would like to fill my gap year with and teaching in South America seems to be a strong option, a friend recommended Chile and now I have discovered that there are teaching positions in the port city of Valparaiso. Amongst my notes from the exhibition I have scribbled next to the annotation 'Valparaiso School', 'If only I could go to South America!'. Somehow all of this now seems to be prophetic coincidence, I have a forgotten motivation for travels in South America.
Remember to click on the images for a larger view!

'the relationship between public space and collective life' was the idea that struck me, the Valparaiso School used architecture to create spaces which encouraged a particular kind of lifestyle. An artistic Utopialand was made possible through the aesthetics of everyday life. Valparaiso thinking lives by the maxim that an artistic philosophy can inform a way of life.

The 'poetic acts' which are recorded in two of these images suggest that the experience and activity of humans leaves a visual and artistic trace. That everything which man might do is an act of artistic creation. The marked sand records the journey of the people in celebration of the inauguration, but the school took this idea further producing contraptions which would purposefully leave an artistic mark behind.

Here we find art which has its own geography and topography, it occupies and manifests itself in physical space rather than just visual form. It has is its own immanence within 'place' and landscape. The emerging forms of modern architecture in South America were professing and selling a lifestyle. Drifts and Derivations was a brilliant exhibition, a window in to concepts, movements and ideas. Perhaps I will choose to apply for teaching positions in Valparaiso, and sit in town squares dreaming that I am living the architect's and the artist's vision.


  1. I've just googled the Valparaiso School. It looks good. By the way can I read your dissertation when it's done?

  2. It won't be completely finished for a little while yet, but yes, it would be nice for people outside of Cambridge to read it!