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Posted inArt

The Story of the Ad Man Who Toppled a Military Dictator

PARK CITY, Utah — Close your eyes and picture America’s most famous ad man, the fictional Don Draper of the cable TV hit Mad Men. Now push aside your favorite scenes of Don’s bedroom antics, bourbon-fueled lunches, and persuasive client pitches and think: over five seasons of storytelling, what has the dashing ladies’ man done that’s truly made an impact on the world outside his agency office suite?

Posted inArt

The Impossibility of Utopia

SANTIAGO, Chile — In Chile, things are happening. On the one hand, there’s a group of artists (born in the late seventies and early eighties) travelling outside the country but, for the first time, regulary returning and mounting exhibitions inside the borders. On the other hand, the younger artists, born in the mid and late eighties, are developing a consistent and brave concept of work, blowing fresh air into this remote art world. Many of them are creating very political art, fed more by the current government of President Sebastián Piñera than by the past repressive military government, whose shadow is still visible.

Posted inArt

For Those Without History, a Memorial Museum in Chile

SANTIAGO, Chile — Walk down a flight of stairs and open the door. The door closes behind you and you find yourself in a dark room. You disappear; you can’t leave the space and don’t have a point of reference. A few minutes later, 500 silhouettes of the heads of 500 different people throw a diffuse white light — you find yourself gathered with people, some dead, some disappeared, and some others still alive. You are one of the victims of Chile’s dictatorial period. Finally the door opens and you go outside, warmed again by the natural light of the sun. You have just visited the installation “Geometria de la Conciencia” (“Geometry of the Conscience”) by Alfredo Jaar. You are in the Museum of Memory and Human Rights of Santiago, Chile.

Posted inArt

#ObscureMuseum, Easter Edition: The Fonck Museum (Viña del Mar, Chile)

When I went to visit some friends in Viña del Mar, Chile, my first thoughts weren’t about the famous beaches and coastline, but of the museums, if any, they might have in this sizeable resort town (population 286,931) that’s south of the famous port city of Valparaíso. I was thrilled to find that the town had several museums. Since this is a column on obscure (and by that I mean little-known and not necessarily dimly-lit or incomprehensible) museums, I’ll fill you in a bit on one that absolutely blew my mind.

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