Ch.ACO 2017: The Art Fair Exhibiting Contemporary Works from Across Latin America and Overseas
By Carly Dennis
Next week, CV Galería in Santiago, Chile will host works from galleries throughout Latin America and beyond for Feria Ch.ACO 2017, the ninth annual contemporary art fair coordinated by Chile Arte Contemporáneo. Ch.ACO is an arts organization based in Santiago and devoted to fostering the art scene and art market throughout Chile. Through varied programming related to artist networking and promotion of collecting—with the art fair at the core of its events—Ch.ACO has built up the opportunities for artists and collectors in Chile, and has become one of the major contemporary art fairs of the continent.
Feria Ch.ACO has four parts: Focus, Planta, Nave de Ediciones, and Main. In Focus, the selected works share a common theme. British-Venezuelan art historian and curator Cecilia Fajardo-Hill developed this portion of the fair, and this year, she has selected the theme of relationships between object and subject. “Latin America has a tradition, which dates back from pre-Hispanic times, of maintaining a subjective relationship with objectuality and of creating less categorical difference between material culture, popular culture, and high culture,” Fajardo-Hill comments. For this year’s Focus section, each participating gallery will show two artists, one or both of whom will be women, in an effort to mitigate the effects of long-standing sexism affecting women artists.
Planta is curated by Chilean curator Carolina Castro Jorquera and showcases “creation spaces from Latin America that work through innovative administration models,” such as spaces devoted to collaborative projects and artist-run frameworks. Castro Jorquera centers the idea in her curatorial process that, “contemporary art isn’t a homogenous aesthetic terrain, as it may seem judging by art magazines, biennials, or fairs: it’s much more diverse and heterogeneous. When selecting the participating spaces, I seek out those who can show different realities, their own realities, with good artists and solid proposals.”
Nave de Ediciones is curated by editor and director of TONIC magazine, Camila Opazo. This section focuses on the role of publishing houses in the contemporary art scene, and this year promises to particularly highlight artists’ books. Nave de Ediciones offers both an opportunity for artists and regional publishers to network, and for readers and publishers to have a dialogue. Finally, Main is the broad portion of the fair falling outside the specialized themes of Planta, Focus, and Nave de Ediciones. This year’s Main section will include over thirty contemporary art galleries from Chile, the U.S., Italy, Brazil, Venezuela, Peru, Argentina, Mexico, Colombia, and Puerto Rico.
This year’s fair is themed “Flows, Converges.” As a part of this concept, Ch.ACO is presenting a new element of their event: Ch.ACO en la Calle. This will consist of lectures and workshops open to the public throughout October, as well as temporary public art installations throughout the neighborhood of Vitacura, where the fair is now held. Thinking through the relationship between city spaces and art is a guiding concept for Ch.ACO, and “Ch.ACO in the Street” is an exploration of how to put these commitments into action, investigating “the relationship between culture, the city, and the people who live in it.”