About Muro Sur
Muro Sur is an artistic collective brought together by affective affinities, a platform and containment network, which seeks to facilitate artists the materialization of their ideas and processes.
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, led by Nury González, Voluspa Jarpa and Josefina Guilisasti.
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.
Here the video ‘Anecdotario al Margen: mirando del otro lado’, by Mónica Bengoa, that recalls the memories of some members of Muro Sur:
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, including also the artist Giancarlo Pazzanese, brought forth 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 2017 the new Muro Sur invited the 29 Chilean artists related to the original Muro Sur – see list below – 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 had Ana Maria Fernández’s collaboration for the recording of some artists’ audios, Giancarlo Pazzanese for the mastering of the recorded voices, Martín La Roche for the LPs’ design and printed material, and 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 in Amsterdam through Muro Sur and in Santiago de Chile at Naranja Publicaciones.
The presentation at D21 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 with audio works on the vinyl:
I Saw It By Ear
Rozenstraat 59, 1016 NN Amsterdam
14 November – 12 December 2021, Thursday – Sunday between 1-6 pm
Opening: 14 Nov, 4-7 pm
Finissage: 12 Dec, 4 pm / live episode of the Muro Sur podcast together with Ja Ja Ja Nee Nee Nee Radio and Radio Tsonami
I Saw It By Ear is based on the recorded voices by artists describing an artwork to be. Through their narrations the artworks are activated in the mind of the public. The exhibition is loosely based on the idea of the Roman Room, a memory technique based on visualisations. Exposed on fixed locations but in multiple languages and at alternating times, the works create an ever changing ‘overview’.
In 2021, in Amsterdam, Muro Sur founder Ana Maria Fernandez and artist Martin La Roche in collaboration with Rozenstraat curator Madelon van Schie organized a new phase of the project ‘Écfrasis’. Sixteen participating artists, coming from different Chilean backgrounds and generations, were invited to produce a new audio piece for the exhibition, occupying a space in between concept and materialization. The artists were chosen for the particular links in their works to the Netherlands, of which they give an unforeseen panorama.
New sound pieces and translations of earlier ‘Écfrasis’ by Juan Castillo, Joaquín Cociña y Cristóbal León, Claudio Correa, Ricardo Cuadros, Gonzalo Díaz, Francisca García, Ignacio Gumucio, Voluspa Jarpa, Francisca Khamis, Marcela Moraga, Carlos Navarrete, Giancarlo Pazzanese, Martín La Roche, Paula Salas, Francisca Sánchez and Cristián Silva.
“I saw it by ear” krantje: transcriptions and translation of the new sound pieces.
The audio pieces were situated in a specially designed ‘sound landscape’, thought in collaboration with the design studio Cookies. The sound engineering was done by Julius van Ijperen. Furthermore, the original longplay disc with all the art works and a documentary video ‘Anecdotario al Margen: mirando del otro lado’ by Mónica Bengoa was presented. Some books from the Muro Sur’s archive of artists books and publications were available during the show as well.
A public program in the shape of a podcast series was organized in collaboration with Ja Ja Ja Nee Nee Nee radio in Amsterdam and Tsonami radio in Valparaíso, Chile. The program consists of four different episodes, two in Spanish and two in English, in which the concept of ekphrasis, stories of Muro Sur, and different perspectives of the show are discussed, together with some participating artists and guests, based in Amsterdam and Chile. This podcast was made with the support of the LAPS of Gerrit Rietveld Academie and Sandberg Instituut. Listen to the four Podcasts here:
4. Muro sur Revisitado / SPA.
The performance ‘I saw it by ear’, 2021 by artist Marcela Moraga ‘spread the hearsay’ through the city, and as such, brought the exhibition from inside to outside in yet another way. This video performance was recorded and edited by Third Eye Media (Pablo Nuñez Palma).
Recently at Muro Sur – Amsterdam
Presentation: Collective Roadmap / Hoja de Ruta Colectiva
talk by Ignacio Szmulewicz & Martín La Roche
Collective Roadmap is a publication that brings together 15 artists and collectives from around the world who were inspired by the Chilean Constitutional Convention. Original works from Australia, Iran, Ukraine, Serbia, Spain, Bolivia, Colombia, the United States and Chile are collected in an artist’s book format (a book/box made of several booklets) addressing topics from memory, political social activism, the environment, native peoples, travel, territories and autobiography, all in multiple formats and techniques, with graphics, illustrations, photographs, interviews, testimonies, letters, audio messages printed with risograph by Calipso Press.
This publication project, curated by artist María Verónica San Martín and art historian Ignacio Szmulewicz, address the questions “what does it mean to live together? How do we inhabit the future? The 15 artists and collectives carried out collaborative processes, inviting relatives, friends, acquaintances, strangers and specialists to take the pulse of the present from the enormous possibility of imagining a different future.
For this presentation at Muro Sur – Amsterdam, Ignacio introduced the project and showed the booklets, telling stories of three of them. Artist Martín La Roche, who was also part of the elaboration of another one of the booklets, the one called 10 Characters of Samizdat, told the stories of its writing that features collaborations and fragments gathered and discussed by Constanza Mendoza, Martin La Roche, Giles Bailey, Deniz Unal, Simone Eisele, Hannah Bruckmüller and Viron Erol Vert. April–June 2022.
Participating artists and groups are: Jessica Lynne (USA), Matías Celedón (Chile), Gruia Bădescu (Romania), Martín La Roche with the 10 Characters of Samizdat (Chile/NL), Alina Tenser (Ukraine/USA), A Ediciones, Eloísa Paz Prada (Bolivia ), Kurs Collective (Serbia), Eliana Perez (Colombia/USA), Lluís Alexandre Casanovas Blanco and David Cárdenas Lorenzo (Spain), Paula Baeza Pailamilla (Chile), Roya Amigh (Iran / USA), Floating State (Chile), Camila Galaz (Australia), Teobaldo Lagos Preller (Chile / Germany), Carola Josefa (Chile).