Claudia Aravena Watching the work of Claudia Aravena Abughosh, award-winning Chilean artist, means getting in touch with a cartography that is drawn with experiences in space, and which reflects, in images, texts, and sounds, the memory, the foreign, and the language. Her set of lines of force describes the tensions of the fluid territory that surrounds the notion of identity. Instead of defining meanings, the subjective points of view built into the author's experience open themselves up for new readings and significances.
With different subject matters and realization strategies, all of her videos and installations work with the same tension between identity, space, displacement, and memory. Her powerful symbolic constructions reveal the modes of subjectivation typical of contemporary life, provoking thought on how these elements relate to each other in the contemporary scenario.
Out of Place (2005), selected for the 15th Videobrasil International Electronic Art Festival, is our starting point in this FF>>Dossier. The video is about Palestinian families that migrated to Chile. By bringing the displacement paths and the intimacy of family memories closer together, the plot pushes the boundaries of documentary film: it is, at the same time, intimate, familiar, and public.
This becomes clear in two images. The first, a recurring one, shows a sieve covered with cloth, on which olives, typical Eastern fruits, slide. In the second image, the artist appears as a child in a family image. Perhaps this is the interval in which the video develops: in between the intimacy of family and the Eastern universe, in between recent and old memories, potentialized by displacement, which ends up creating new memories.
Further info on this artist available at the collection