This exhibition tells a story and articulates a gaze. This gaze looks through the prism of a binational couple of collectors who have made their home the stage for an unusual meeting: there, they combine a studious appreciation for Chilean contemporary art from the late 1970s onwards with a watchful monitoring of contemporary art production in Ecuador. An invisible thread creates a dialogue between these productions, as both incorporate conceptual codes and a critical vocation that comments on the socio-political vicissitudes of their respective nations.
The Giaconi-Raad Collection’s Ecuadorian holdings have been systematically built up over more than two decades during the couple’s frequent trips to this country, where they witnessed first-hand the development of a vibrant and complex art scene that they continue to keep an eye on. The tour we propose here is intended to show a bit of that.
The first part of the exhibition highlights a set of artworks whose signifiers are closely related to the local context and are pronounced from it. The selected pieces exhibit information related to history and landscape, through which a sense of place is configured. These particular signs of the territory play a fundamental role in the construction of a national identity; a recognizable geography that becomes the backdrop against which diverse narratives are set, dealing, through complex metaphors, with collective themes modulated from particular experiences.
The second part of the exhibition, on the other hand, focuses on artists whose interests go beyond the specificities of the local, and are more concerned with the development of personal poetics that resonate with more universal aesthetic discourses and concerns.
In one of her emblematic works, Manuela Ribadeneira presented boxes each containing «one meter of the Equator», as if they were an export product. The work refers to that geographical feature -the imaginary line that divides the northern and southern hemispheres- which gives the country its name and is positioned in the national consciousness as its most noticeable quality. Inexplicably, that line turns out to be a source of pride -and a major tourist attraction- despite the fact that it crosses 13 additional nations… that share their poverty. Based on that title, the exhibition «A Meter of the Ecuator» is an excuse to imagine other possibilities of richness, such as the one that involves the field of cultural exchanges, which open the door to think collectively about ourselves beyond political borders.
Artists: Adrián Balseca (Quito, 1989), Pablo Cardoso (Cuenca, 1965), Juana Córdova (Cuenca, 1973), Lalimpia (Guayaquil, 2002-2009), Juan Carlos León (Guayaquil, 1984), Roberto Noboa (Guayaquil, 1970), Leandro Pesantes (Guayaquil, 1986), Manuela Ribadeneira (Quito, 1966), Oscar Santillan (Milagro, 1980), Karina Skvirsky – Aguilera (Providence, 1970) and Eduardo Solá Franco (Guayaquil, 1915 – Santiago de Chile, 1996).