Three years ago the Louis Vuitton house in Paris decided to go beyond its luxury handbag and shoe products, among others, to make room for contemporary art. Thus, starting next Friday a group of Chilean artists will be playing a central role in an exhibit on art from Chile.
In the midst of the Champs Elysees and only a few steps from the Arc de Triomphe, is the exhibit “Chile, the other side of the coin,” which features national artists and their works in video, photography, painting and installations. “We explored the identity of contemporary art in Santiago, which in some cases is far from the cliché of politics,” says Hervé Mikaeloff, the show’s curator.
Taken by the work of Iván Navarro, one of the Chileans with the greatest projection in world art circuits, Mikealoff arrived in the country last September with the idea of focusing on works on sustainable development and environmental issues. As part of that experience, he discovered that Chilean artists are also concerned about the recent past.
He decided to choose 12 artists under the age of 40, who will be in charge of setting up the exhibition in Paris on Chile’s socio-cultural challenges and bringing up to date the country’s image in France.
The work that will be on display includes Navarro himself, accompanied by his brother Iván, who will present a six-meter installation with display cabinets for admiring his work, which also includes items from everyday life in Brazil and France.
Meanwhile, in the area of fiction, the painter Ignacio Gumucio will be present with the exhibition of a mural with a sentimental vision of painting. The great novelty of his work is the fact that the artist will travel with the artwork in his own suitcase. “It is made of pieces of cardboard that you then put together and it can even be sent by mail,” Gumucio explains.
Another of the exhibitors is Mónica Bengoa, who will participate with a project especially created for the occasion: a large 5 x 5 meter mural made of red fretted felt with images of the fashion house’s showcases. “I thought of a work that would reflect the elegance of the place. It will be suspended in the shop window and at night it will be illuminated, allowing you to see the luxury of Louis Vuitton ties and handbags,” the artist notes.
Cultural expression in Chile occupies a privileged place in society. Thus, diverse parts of the country celebrate carnivals that stimulate active cultural development and prompt international artists and diverse music groups to come year after year. Proof of this is the recent presentation by the French company Royal de Luxe, which enchanted Chileans with a show that forms part of the Bicentenary celebrations.