• Catlalina Rojas, Chile in Light

    Date posted: April 12, 2011 Author: jolanta
    “The spectacle aims to summarize the most important moments in the history of Chile, while rescuing the country’s richness and beauties among other ideas.”
    Chile a la Luz (Chile in Light) is the project that has brought worldwide attention to multifaceted Chilean aritst, Catalina Rojas. Well known in her native Chile, Rojas is most famous for her prolific representation of Chilean cultural heritage and landscapes through different artistic channels and techniques. Her art is a part of the day-to-day of Santiago, Chile’s capital. Some of her pieces decorate subway stations or even the Plaza de Armas de Santiago—the center from which the city was founded in 1540.   
    Catalina Rojas, Chile, river, spectacle, heritage, playful, projections
    Catalina Rojas, Chile a la Luz, 2011. Installation with projections, spotlights.  Courtesy of the artist.
    Catlalina Rojas, Chile in Light
    Gibran Haq, Paulina Tala

    Chile a la Luz (Chile in Light) is the project that has brought worldwide attention to multifaceted Chilean aritst, Catalina Rojas. Well known in her native Chile, Rojas is most famous for her prolific representation of Chilean cultural heritage and landscapes through different artistic channels and techniques. Her art is a part of the day-to-day of Santiago, Chile’s capital. Some of her pieces decorate subway stations or even the Plaza de Armas de Santiago—the center from which the city was founded in 1540.   

         But while working on several projects, Rojas had been conceptualizing a groundbreaking idea: Chile a la Luz. Rojas had been searching for a way to, “cause a connection, a sense of belonging between the residents and the city, creating a unique new point of attraction for residents and tourists which would also give a sense of pride to the people of Santiago and its authorities.”
         The stream of the Mapocho River—which crosses Santiago—became the host for Rojas’ idea. The river is now illuminated at nighttime with a huge palette of colors being projected on the river’s stream between the Pio Nono and Patronato bridges in one of the most iconic and beautiful places in Santiago. The visual spectacle consists of 26 spotlights located on the south bank of the river projecting 106 drawings, all of them designed by the Chilean artist. The spectacle aims to summarize the most important moments in the history of Chile, while rescuing the country’s richness and beauties among other ideas.

         “It seeks to create a playful relationship between the mural and the public, allowing
    people to watch and observe their cultural history and discover a neglected urban landscape,” says Rojas.
         Among the projected images, some highlights the silhouette of helmeted miners on a
    pipeline. The first part of the sequence is the one Rojas devoted to Chilean landscapes such as the flowered desert (desierto florido) and the statues of Easter Island. Other highlights are images of the silhouette of poet Pablo Neruda and a Spanish conquistador icon next to an Indian. There are also several references to the national folklore, reflected in instruments like guitars, and a shot of the Naval Battle of Iquique.

         The project Chile a la Luz has transformed the Mapocho River into the first river in the world to be illuminated with art. It is an initiative of the Municipality of Santiago, supported by Enersisg and the Chilean Bicentennial Commission. Its maintenance will cost about 500 million Chilean pesos; and the idea is that after six months other artists will be able to join the Chile a la Luz with their own projections.

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