Contemporary Chilean Art (1997).
Dissertation submitted in partial fulfillment of the requirements for the degree of
BA (Hons) in Fine Art, Faculty of Art & Design, Manchester Metropolitan University, February 1997
A study of Chilean art and culture and the political events
that have affected Chile throughout the twentieth century.
The sustained international interest in Chile that resulted from the political events of the 1970's and 1980's and more recently resurrected by the arrest of General Pinochet in England, is fascinating when you consider the country's modest size, relatively small population and it's geographical situation in the world. It used to be a country where even the Chilean people admitted that "no pasa nada" (nothing happens). The most attention it ever attracted was from the frequency of the earthquakes that regularly shook the country. However, the events of the military coup in September 1973 and the seventeen years of dictatorship that followed, have radically changed the world's perceptions of Chile. At that time, the overthrown socialist government that had been freely elected, was replaced by a regime that adopted an oppressive and violent policy in the hands of the twentieth century's most controversial figures, General Augusto Pinochet.
Despite two decades of repression, Chile has emerged with one of the most stable economic and political conditions witnessed anywhere today. With this resilience in mind, the unique aspects of this century that have affected society and culture there deserve the world's attention and respect. The problem of oversimplifying by stereotyping all of Chile's art under one category is a problem which the viewer must be aware of from the outset, but there is evidence of many factors that unite the artists which are important to any studies of Chilean art today. The emphasis in this report has been on the entanglement of art and politics which has produced some of the more radical and dominant art, whilst not ignoring the many diverse genres throughout the country.
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