CUBOS DE SALITRE
Team: STUDIO POP
Authors: Laura Petruskeviciute+Cristian Suau
Location: Atacama desert, Chile
Type: public sculpture
Building system: steel mesh, concrete
Competition: Public sculpture competition sponsored by Minister of Infrastructure
The desert is a mysterious landscape. Its silence is the materia that makes up its work of public art. Not only it represents the conclusion of a material, but the illusory characteristics dryness, vastness and inmensidad- a red ground.
This art installation is exposed in a "long street in the Atacama Desert" that is located in a line of force that connects sun, earth and water, constituting a reference point for those who are pilgrims from the sea to the pampa and vice versa.
Our proposal is a "billboard" or sign on the road, a solo ad stripped off their pedestals. This work is a poetic act carving the word "SALITRE" between cubes made of dense metal mesh. These lattice structures rapidly oxidize iron, in the same way as the machinery and nearby roofs of uninhabited nitrate settelments. The natural technique of mirage which has capacities of optical and kinetic appereance is uded to represent this structure. It is seen from a distance. In distant seven cubes are reflected on a reflective surface as if we were contemplating a liquid surface that actually does not exist; heterotopic space. Each cube contains a embeded letter, which, once grouped by aligning the meshes and reveals the word "SALITRE".
In this work the observer is actively involved - by moving - to capture the optical-kinetic effect completely. It is an "eerie landscape" of light refracted through the air and offering the traveler the impression of constant movement; hidden images; Flicker and vibration; and expansions and warping. This work is not only concerned about pay a monumental tribute to the working culture of saltpeter, but requires the viewer an imaginative attitude.
Here the word "SALITRE" takes on new meanings attached to the symbols and thoughts to build states where the reality of poetry is expressed. But this poetry is not simply what this term describes or evokes ; below the verse, silence prevails, a hidden thoughts and secret that emerges from the hollow voices of the workers sleep in the desert. Here, neither the show nor the sound of the figurative world define the poetic song of this work-landscape.
In this poem called "Salitre", the eye of the traveler looks a diffuse and fleeting installation restless, moving looking for the beginning and the end. Here we are looking to replace the static rhythms of public sculpture by conventional kinetic rhythms, essential forms of our perception of universal time. "SALITRE" represents the intuition of the moment that seeks integration between work, landscape and viewer in a careful and inspired exploration of its meaning, duration and perception.