By Eugenia Bertelè
Ch.ACO 2018 (Chile Arte Contemporáneo), the Art Fair produced by the most important platform for the development and internationalization of the visual arts industry in Chile, is celebrating its ten-year anniversary this month, from November the 22nd through 26thThe Fair’s newest display is the 6.000 square meter ground floor of the Parque Arboleda Lo Curro Building in Santiago of Chile, a real estate project designed by the prominent architecture firm of Izquierdo Lehmann, and graced by the work of world-class landscape architect, Juan Grimm. Ch.ACO is a pioneer project that has brought Chile into the global art scene. Ten years ago, Chile had no professional platform to grow its arts market until a group of gallerists decided to build up an art fair following the internationals parameters of the art world. Chile needed an art market to develop artistic awareness, cultivate a collector base, and to position Santiago as a cultural capital, besides its established business identity. Ch.ACO used the promotion of art collecting as a driving force to grow its lively contemporary art scene. Over the past decade, Ch.ACO has evolved , and as Elodie Fulton, Director of the Fair, said in an interview with Look Lateral, “Each edition has had a unique slogan. The first one was a provocative ‘No entender es un buen comienzo’ (Not understanding is a good start), followed by ‘Imposible quedar indiferente’ (Impossible to remain indifferent), then ‘Ch.ACO al centro, el Arte al centro’ (Ch.ACO at the center, Art at the center) when the fair was moved to the city center. Every one of these phrases somehow captures the psychological state of the project each step of the way. For its 10th edition, we decided to appoint kids who turned 10 years old in 2018 (those who were born with Ch.ACO so to speak) with the task of showing us what art is to them. After selecting 150 of the best drawings, we let the audience pick the winner via social media and the work of Luisa Molina has inspired our campaign. Who better than children can represent our future?” This anniversary edition will bring together over 60 exhibitors from 15 different countries including: Chile, Argentina, Peru, Colombia, Mexico, Ecuador, France, Spain, Germany, United Kingdom, United States, and China. As in previous years, the Fair is divided into four sections, three of which (FOCUS, PLANTA, and NAVE DE EDICIONES) are curated. There will be works of art by over 300 artists from Chile and abroad, amongst these are: Thomas Broome (Sweden), Liliana Porter (Argentina), Stephan Balkenhol (Germany), Ana Cvorovic (Bosnia), Tomás Munita (Chile), José Vera Matos (Peru), Voluspa Jarpa (Chile), Carlos Cruz Diez (Venezuela) and Stevens Vaughn (United States).
The curated programs are FOCUS, created in 2016 by British-Venezuelan curator, Cecilia Fajardo-Hill, presenting the work of national and international artists under one common theme. The section will feature the works of 24 artists represented by 12 galleries from countries including: Chile, Argentina, Venezuela, Peru, United States, France and the United Kingdom. The central thread they will be exploring is the relationship between interlocution and contexts in the world of contemporary art, rendering accounts of the political, social, and cultural realities experienced by each of the presented proposals. PLANTA, curated by Carolina Castro Jorquera and also by Matías Allende this year, brings together Latin American spaces, most of which are young and independent, that present an alternative to commercial galleries. These spaces also render accounts of the social and political contexts that are taking place in each of the countries that they represent. The section will present spaces from Chile, Argentina, Peru, Ecuador and Mexico. NAVE DE EDICIONES, curated by Camila Opazo, Director of Tonic magazine, brings together the most important publishing houses from Chile and Latin America that specialize in contemporary art books and printed publications. www.chaco.clIn celebration of the fair’s tenth anniversary, several international urban interventions will be carried out in November to connect the city’s inhabitants to visual arts, positioning Santiago on the international map, along with its government and the Ministry of Culture, the Arts and Patrimony. The selected projects, which have been presented in different cities around the world and through the region, aim to change the capital’s landscape for a few days, inviting children, teenagers, and adults to fully enjoy the works of art during their everyday circuits. More info at