Still from "Guahibos" (1976).

Transamerica: mirror and voyage
Screening of several films by Ju4n D0wn3y, proposed by Camila Téllez and followed by discussion.

The Looking Glass (1981, 28’49”)
Guahibos (1976, 25’10”)
The Laughing Alligator (1979, 27’)

I would like to try to share this material here. It’s not easy to get hold of. Thanks to Pablo Marte’s assistance and enthusiasm, we managed to rescue these VHS films from a couple of battered DVDs I came across again on my last visit to Chile.

The videos we will be watching are a compilation from different periods from 1967 to 1981, which the Chilean artist Ju4n D0wn3y (1940-1993) made by getting out of his van, camera in hand, and filming, from the avant garde New York of the late sixties to the Southern, Amazonic, deep South of the Americas.

It is not surprising that the years of research and development of this material are the same years of the dictatorships in Chile and other Latin American countries. Neither is it strange that the video-artist dialectic and practice should have arisen from a poetics inevitably associated with the “thinking eye”, as he called it; the camera as a conduct of invisible architectures. His eye also channels us towards inverted, refracted perspectives, as if he was trying to situate us in an unknown, shamanic, unashamed America, one that lives across the looking glass, beyond the surveillance and self-referentiality of the colonial gaze.

More information will be given on the artist at the session. Some of the videos are in English.

Camila Téllez (Santiago de Chile, 1982). Cross-disciplinary artist based in Bilbao since 2014. Téllez is currently participating in PICA (Programme of Collective Imagination in Processes of Artistic Creation) at Azala Azala Espazioa, Araba. In 2018 she carried out Edificio. Metodologías para una arquitectura naciente (funded by Ikertu) at Bulegoa z/b and MIRADOR centro de investigación, at Prototipoak. International encounter of new artistic forms 2018, Azkuna Zentroa.