BE A PLACE - SEEDS
The project: “be a place – Seeds” was executed for the Chiloé Museum of Modern Art, MAM.
This project was based on an on-site investigation of the construction methods characteristic of the Chiloé Archipelago, which, being an island has a deeply rooted culture that has maintained a rich diversity in construction systems linked to the properties of nature’s materials.
One must highlight the enormous variety of wood species and vegetable fibers found in these islands, large forests and a large number of shrubs as well as its maritime wealth.
These natural riches have allowed the island to develop and maintain a construction culture that places special emphasis on carpentry and basket weaving. Both construction systems participate in this project. On the one hand, all the imagery involved in the basket weaving and its fecund production of household and everyday use objects, such as baskets, bags, storage elements, baskets to press apples, sacks to gather the products of the sea and the crops, representations of mythological beings, arts and crafts, etc. On the other hand, there is the shore carpentry, which is the construction of (wooden) maritime vessels that is developed precisely on the shores of these islands and that thanks to the technical qualities of the wood is carried out by curving the wood using boiling water, achieving the curvatures needed for the construction of the ships.
Besides building objects and ships, these socio-cultural manifestations, as I mentioned earlier, also built a wealth in languages and experiences that are intrinsically applied to the labors that characterize these construction systems.
The natural riches of the archipelago, which fuel most of the islands’ economic activity generate, also, whether through the sale of its products or the development of tourism a kind of wrapping that allows it to contain and maintain its cultural and social system.
My interest was first of all to investigate the construction systems that unconsciously embody a very complex and extremely interesting socio-cultural fabric and then figure out how to apply these construction systems and methods (with all the “rites” they imply) to the development of a project that would permit working with and rescuing the imagery and language of the shore carpentry and basket weaving traditions, placing them at the disposal of the language of the visual arts.
Thus, I realized series based on three organic objects operating with the symbology of the egg as a primary form, as a basic, original form and container, as forms characteristic of the contextual spaces they inhabit.
Three object-eggs were built and laid out on the esplanade giving access to the museum, establishing a relationship with the natural landscape as well as architectural space.
The objects were made using larch wood and built using the techniques of shore carpentry, the weaving of the three object-eggs was conceived on the basis of the imagery of the basket weaving tradition and the warping that is part of this system. The construction of the objects took around six months.
“To be a place – Seeds
Museum of Modern Art, M.A.M., Chiloé, Chile
Dimensions: 5.30 x 3.10 x 3.10 meters each. Surface occupied: approximately 155 square meters.
Wood and rivets
January, February and March 2000.