Free To Choose Instalation View.Galería Gabriela Mistral, Santiago , Chile. Ignacio Gatica 2016 ©
Ignacio Gatica has a special interest in language. In previous projects, such as Hermiscambunalia, he worked with the notion of translating and resignifying the alphabet. During his residence in Colombia, Gatica focused his energies on an inquiry into music and, specifically, the Colombian record label Discos Fuentes. The album cover designs and their use of image and typography served as starting points for the creation of pieces in cement, in the same style as the record label’s cover designs, but incorporating only certain fragments of the original designs. Back in Chile, the artist once again chose cement as his material, this time to recreate the covers of books by the economists Friedrich A. Hayek and Milton Friedman. The covers of the selected books make reference to the development of the neoliberal model that had an enormous influence on the politics and the economy of post-dictatorship Chile, an effect that was felt in most Latin American countries at the time, as well. These massive cement blocks contrast quite starkly with a number of small pieces on the floor, in adobe, with the letter "ñ" inscribed on one side. This material and the inscription refer to a vernacular technique present in the local architecture but also to an element that distinguishes the region through the Spanish language: the letter "ñ." In this way, the opposition between these two types of artwork defines a friction between what is local, proprietary, and representative of identity, and what is foreign, imposed, or alien.