About Muro Sur
On October 3rd, 2019, Muro Sur became a Foundation based in Amsterdam. The purpose of the Foundation is the stimulation and promotion of cultural exchange between Chile and the Netherlands.
The Foundation achieves its goal by organizing cultural events and encouraging the production of art projects.
Muro Sur was born as an art collective the same year Ana María Fernández moved back from The Netherlands to Santiago de Chile, 1996, after serving as the cultural attaché at the Chilean embassy in The Hague (1990-1996) and 23 years away from Chile.
Muro Sur was the initiative of a group of young artists Ana María knew for some years, among them Cristián Silva, Mónica Bengoa, Voluspa Jarpa, Ignacio Gumucio and Mario Navarro. One has to consider that the country was coming back to democracy after many years of a very controlled cultural life in an environment of distrust and fear. Muro Sur was born in a refreshed democratic context, as an answer to the lack of independent spaces to show experimental art.
The place to exhibit was the southern wall (literally muro sur, 6.00 x 3,60 m) of Fernández’s apartment, in a new building placed on the traditional neighborhood of Plaza Brasil, in the civic center of the city. The reaction of the public was overwhelming and Muro Sur developed a program of 5 exhibitions, including key names of the contemporary Chilean visual arts: Eugenio Dittborn, Eduardo Vilches, Paz Errázuriz, Gonzalo Díaz and Carlos Altamirano. Afterwards the space moved to the basement of the building where a series of new exhibitions took place. These activities – art shows, publications and discussions – lasted from 1996 until 2000. Afterwards, and with the financial support of the Prince Claus Fonds, Muro Sur continued for 4 more years in another location at the Mosqueto street in Santiago de Chile.
Muro Sur also developed projects in other spaces in Chile and abroad:
- Seguridad Social (Social Security), an exhibition at the INP (Social Security Institute)-Legal Department in Santiago, displaying the artworks in the spaces where the social welfare trials documents were kept (July 1998).
- Back Yard at the American Society Gallery in New York, where a connection was made between the 9/11/2001 in New York and the 9/11/1973 in Chile (date of Pinochet coup d’état with the help of the American Government). September 2003.
- Muro Sur at the Shangai Biennal, exhibition curated by Sebastián López including works of different artists of the collective. Sept/Nov. 2004.
In 2000 Ana María Fernández decided to move back to The Netherlands. The collective continued its activities until 2004.
The encounter with the artist Martín La Roche, who moved from Chile to The Netherlands in 2013, allowed Ana María to review Muro Sur stories and documentation that were kept in boxes. Long and fruitful conversations brought forth to the idea of letting the spirit of Muro Sur revive in Amsterdam, resulting in the project Écfrasis. The word ´ekphrasis´ can be the traced back to Greek literature and Umberto Eco has given a clear meaning of it: ´in the classical times, when a verbal text describe a visual art work´.
The project has two phases:
In 2018 the new Muro Sur invited the 29 Chilean artists related to the original Muro Sur – see list attached – to express in loud voice a piece of art they would like to exhibit in the show called Écfrasis, planned for 2020 in Amsterdam.
Muro Sur made a double vinyl album called Écfrasis. In the recording of the 29 projects, the artists propose their concepts ranging from photography, painting, video, film and objects to installations and performances. The album includes a booklet with the transcription of the voices in Spanish and English. This phase of the project counted with the valuable collaboration of Giancarlo Pazzanese for the mastering of the recorded voices and of Carlos Lechner for the translations to English.
Écfrasis was presented at the Printing Plant Amsterdam Art Book Fair (23-25 November 2018) and at the art gallery D21 in Santiago de Chile (03-12-18/ 10-01-19). The vinyl can be purchased at Naranja Publicaciones.
At the presentation in D21 we also showed for the first time the video Anecdotario al margen: mirando al otro lado (Anecdotes on the margin: looking to the other side) by Mónica Bengoa, a short historical review of Muro Sur.
These are the artists who are present on the vinyl:
At the moment Muro Sur is planning an exhibition called “I saw it by ear” that will unfold and continue the project Écfrasis in Amsterdam. A sound landscape will echo the voices and translate them throughout the space. In addition to this sound installation, the two vinyls will be shown together with transcriptions and documentation. A series of podcasts, made together with Radio Ja Ja Ja Nee Nee Nee, with discussions around the concept of ekphrasis, conversations about independent art spaces and their stories, voices from the artists in the project and reactions from Amsterdam based artists will be streamed from the exhibition. The opening will take place the frist week of August 2021, at the gallery ROZENSTRAAT, a rose is a rose is a rose, in Amsterdam.
“I saw it by ear” is shaped in collaboration with curator Madelon van Schie and the design and architecture studio Cookies (Federico Martelli).