On Thursday 26th October at 7 p.m., the Fondazione Pastificio Cerere foundation and the l'IILA-Italo-Latin American Institute will present Ultramar Sur, the first Italian exhibition by Chilean artist Patrick Hamilton, curated by Marcello Smarrelli. The exhibition will be accompanied by a text by Marco Scotini, and will stay open to the public until 30th November 2017.
The entire project aims at unveiling forgotten stories from the past. Indeed, the title of the exhibition, namely Ultramar Sur, coincides with that of the last secret operation of the Third Reich, which saw 50 Nazi leaders escape to Latin America by submarine in search of a neutral land where to seek refuge after the fall of the Berlin Wall. Hamilton ideally dedicates this research to Roberto Bolaño’s book "Nazi Literature in the Americas”, where the Chilean writer provocatively states that many Nazis chose Latin America because they considered it as the ideal place where...to hide and be tolerated, in a cultural context characterised by an unconventional and heroic understanding of life.
The exhibition itinerary begins with the U-Boot project, where the artist recounts the journey of the German submarines through a series of archival photographs partially covered with golden pieces of paper, and a video where an enigmatic submarine slowly emerges from the sea and then disappears again. This unveiling and concealing process hints at hidden and withheld situations, and introduces the main theme of the exhibition: a metaphor for historical narrative and its memory, what emerges, and what is forgotten and resurfaces with the passing of time.
The artist’s interest in these events is inspired by legends, typical of Chile and Argentina, about the transportation and concealment of Nazi gold around the world. For decades, many treasure hunters looked for this “war booty”, which was said to have been hidden along the coasts of Patagonia, sunk at sea, or melted inside the drive shaft of a tractor. The Lanz Project, found in the last room, is based upon this last myth: drawings and photographs show the itinerary of Nazi gold towards Southern Chile, where thousands of LANZ tractors were shipped for agricultural purposes. The gold is said to have been hidden inside their mechanical components. On the walls, the famous “iron cross” of the German army becomes an apparently irrelevant decorative pattern through repetition and serialisation, thereby making the audience feel alienated.
Through this indefinite overlapping of historical memory, literary work, and collective imagination, Hamilton wants to understand the origins of the myth and re-write history by use of drawings, photographs, videos and objects. His research, albeit based on the past, looks at the present in the attempt to highlight the blatant or subtle ways in which economic and social power is wielded.
The artist was born in 1974 in Leuven (Belgium), but he lives and works between Madrid (Spain) and Santiago (Chile). He graduated in Fine Arts at the Universidad de Chile, in Santiago (Chile). He won the Guggenheim Fellowship, John Simon Guggenheim Foundation, New York (USA) in 2007. He took part in the International Studio & Curatorial Program (ISCP) in the Residence Program of New York (USA). He is a founding member of the González y González project space in Santiago (Chile, 2010-2014). In 2006, he founded the Universidad Diego Portales School of art in Santiago (Chile), where he taught for 8 years. His work has been the object of many personal and collective exhibitions in Latin America, the USA and Europe: Progress, Centro de Arte Contemporáneo Wifredo Lam, Havana (Cuba, 2016); Space to Dream: Recent Art from South America, Auckland Art Gallery (New Zealand, 2016); Patrick Hamilton: Progreso, Galería Marta Cervera, Madrid (Spain, 2015); Otros relatos, La Conservera Centro de Arte Contemporáneo, Murcia (Spain, 2015); Beleza?, São Paulo cultural centre (CCSP) (Brazil, 2015); Patrick Hamilton: Proyecto Lanz, FLORA Ars + Natura, Bogotà (Colombia, 2014); Beyond the Supersquare, Bronx Museum of Arts, New York (USA, 2014); Slow Future, Centre for Contemporary Art Ujazdowski Castle, Warsaw (Poland, 2014); Patrick Hamilton: Progreso, Museo de Arte Contemporáneo, Santiago (Chile, 2013); Disrupted Nature, Museum of Latin American Art (MOLAA), Long Beach (USA, 2013); The Emergency Pavilion: Rebuilding Utopia, 55th Venice Biennial (Italy, 2013); Patrick Hamilton: Ultramar Sur, Paço das Artes, Sao Paulo (Brazil, 2012); Now: obras La Colección Jumex, Centro Cultural Cabaña, Guadalajara (Mexico, 2011); Terrible Beauty Art, Crisis, Change & The Office of Non Compliance Dublin Contemporary, Dublin Contemporary 2011 (Ireland, 2011); 11th and 7th Cuenca Biennial (Ecuador, 2011, 2001); 2nd Canary Islands Biennial (Spain, 2009); 10th and 8th Havana Biennials (Cuba, 2009, 2003); 2nd Prague Biennial (Czech Republic, 2005); 26th Sao Paulo Biennial (Brazil, 2004); 2nd Mercosur Biennial, Porto Alegre (Brazil, 1999). His work is part of many public and private collections: Fundación / Colección Jumex, Mexico City (Mexico); El Museo del Barrio, New York (USA); DKM Foundation, Duisburg (Germany); Museo Nacional de Bellas Artes, Santiago (Chile); Sayago & Pardon Collection Irvine (USA); Izolyatsia Foundation, Donetsk / Kiev (Ukraine); Museum of Latin American Art (MOLAA), Long Beach (USA); Museu de Arte Contemporânea, Fortaleza (Brazil); Museo de Arte Contemporáneo, Santiago (Chile).
Entrada actualizada el el 26 oct de 2017
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