press release

Ian Szydlowski, Iván Navarro and Diego Fernández first met in the early nineties, while attending PUC Fine Arts School in Santiago de Chile; in these first fifteen years of friendship they have collaborated in several art projects, of which INSTITUTO DIVORCIADO is the newest and most ambitious:

“...a flexible group of three or more artists, thinkers and the like, decided to put energy, time and some money into planning, design and production of pseudo-ephemeral art venues and their discussion”.

Contragolpe is their first exhibition.

Contragolpe (counter-strike) is a concept show without a theme, but a premise to which the artists can relate at different levels and in different intensities: referred to the details of Operation XX Century –a failed attempt to kill General Pinochet, then "president" of Chile, in September of 1986– the artists were introduced to a set of concepts to work around (failure, broken dreams, unaccomplished revenge, anti-climax, stereotypical politics…). The objective of the show is to explore the consequences of this “loose” curatorial proposal and see how the resulting pieces will correlate as a group and within each particular work line. There is a big risk in the fact that the show is almost planned on site, and works will remain unknown until the last minute.

By reuniting this large and heterogeneous group of contemporaries, we aim to set the basis for a fertile field of future collaborations and networking.

1986: A group of "extremists" ambush and attack the passing presidential convoy in an attempt to kill the head of government of strategically valuable little country of Latin America // 2006: A group of " avant-garde-ish" artists arrange an exhibition to confront the affluence of art lovers induced by massive art fair at the center of the European Union. Both groups average age is 30.

examine the proposed parallel in this paragraph. (extracted from "Just for the record" in the "History" section of this website):

“…Strategically, the most direct way of mining the base of the dictatorship, established on the absolute authority of Pinochet –head of government and military after violent coup d’etat on September 11th 1973– creating dissidence and contradictions inside the military over the subjects of his succession, economical policies to follow and decisions about weather enduring repression or favoring aperture programs in the future. Tactically, it meant a repositioning of the FPMR, now fronting a morally renewed popular offensive, pushing to obtain a significant change in the correlation of forces, making evident the government's vulnerabilities and strengthening for future negotiation.”

Organizing an international art collaboration inspired by such a traumatic event –violent, disgraceful and failed (although, it's discussable how influential it actually was in the funneling of events towards the end of the regime)– has a certain degree of exorcism over the figure of Pinochet (and/or equivalents) for those of us who witnessed the facts without actively participating or being physically harmed. The political and ideological implications of this idea are active in a wide range of fields where we are not "playing politics”, but rather using the tools of art to expose a political notion of committed collaboration and self-production, towards demise of stationery commercialism and cynical, ubiquitous greed.


Reenacting a Failed Operation
a concept group show conceived and assembled by
(Ian Szydlowski, Ivan Navarro, Diego Fernandez)
Featuring new works by 69 international artists

Francisca Benitez, Carlos Bogni, Marlous Borm, Lutz Braun, David Henry Brown jr., Angie Butler, Jorge Cabieses, Hugo Cardenas, Juan Cespedes, Tomas Daskam, Andreas Diefenbach, Godfried Donkor, Solvej Dufour, Benjamín Echazarreta, Kelly Fancher, Claudio Fernandez, Diego Fernandez, Lars Friedrich, Francisca Garcia, Cristina Gomez Barrio & Wolfgang Mayer, Mark Grubstein, Nicolas Guagnini, Tony Hamboussi, Barbara Hilski, Jackson , Steve Johnson, Thomas Kilpper, Ingo Kniest, Sali Landricina, Cristobal Lehyt, Fabian Marti, Felipe Mujica, Iván Navarro, Mario Navarro, neuroTransmitter , Angel Nevarez, Nutria , Bettina Nürnberg, Itziar Okariz, Rodrigo Pereda, Katrin Pesch, Dirk Peuker, Pedro Pulido, Juan Cristobal Pulido, Kimberly Reinhardt, Rodrigo Salinas, Giovanna Sarti, Martin G. Schmid, Karin Schneider, Thomas Schroeren, Kerim Seiler, Cristian Silva, Ania Siwanowicz & Ludovic Poulet, Courtney Smith, Peter Stoffel, Megan Sullivan, Emily Sundblad, Ian Szydlowski, Valerie Tevere, Claudio Torres, Johanna Unzueta, Rodrigo Vergara, Manuela Vieragallo, Miriam Visaczki, Paulo Vivacqua, Peter Wächtler & Friedrich Lissmann, Axel John Wieder, Klaus Winichner, Camilo Yanez, Mateo Zlatar