Artistic exchange brings Moroccan photographers to Chile
The series of exhibitions of works by Moroccan and Chilean artists will conclude on Friday, May 13 with a retrospective at downtown Santiago’s Palacio de la Alhambra.
Wednesday, May 11, 2011
Photos on themes like urban life, public transport, and national symbolism were displayed under the name “Traces of the Quotidian”.
With its souqs and spice markets, ancient seaports and mountain citadels, and its millennia-long position at a cultural crossroads for the Arab, African and European worlds, Morocco is far more than just an ocean away from Chile – it is another world entirely.
In April 2010, eight Chilean photographers crossed South America and the Atlantic to reach the northwestern corner of Africa to show their work in the 16th National Photography Salon, organized by the Moroccan Association for Photographic Art.
Just over one year later in Chile, these photographers are now displaying works inspired by their experience in Morocco, along with photos by 11 Moroccan colleagues whom they met during their trip.
El Grupo Ocho, as the Chilean delegation is called, consists of Paz Errázuriz, Leonora Vicuña, Alexis Díaz, Claudio Pérez, Miguel Navarro, Javier Godoy, Álvaro Hoppe and Alejandro Wagner, whose work presented in Morocco focused on the minutiae of Chilean life.
Photos on themes like urban life, public transport, and national symbolism were displayed under the name “Traces of the Quotidian,” along with works by Antonio Quintana, Chile’s most significant 20th century photographer, and a short film by young director Sebastián Moreno titled City of Photographers.
In the second stage of the cultural exchange, Foto Chile Marruecos 2011, the 11 Moroccan colleagues of El Grupo Ocho have been invited to Chile for a series of events beginning at Coquimbo’s iconic hilltop mosque, the Mohammed VI Center, whose austere minaret is modeled after the celebrated 12th century Koutoubia Mosque in the Moroccan city of Marrakech. The exhibition will then transfer to Santiago’s Instituto Arcos and eventually to the Palacio de la Alhambra, the seat of the National Society of Fine Arts.
“We are two ethnicities, two different peoples,” said Fatima Mazmouz, one of the invited Moroccan photogaphers, “but the important thing has been humanity beyond borders; the power to break with stereotypes that we all have of other cultures,”
For his part, Chilean photographer Alvaro Hoppe added, “it’s because of the bonds of mutual affection that our Moroccan colleagues were able to come to this small country at the end of the world. The differences and similarities in our points of view have surprised me. [They] walk everywhere with their cameras on their shoulders, photographing everything they see, just as we did there last year.”
Sponsored by the Embassy of Morocco and the Chilean National Council for Culture and the Arts amongst others, the event marks the second stage in a blossoming relationship between Chile and Morocco, joining the new world and the ancient in the timeless tradition of artistic dialogue.