Noted Chilean Artist Andres Duran Davila recently presented a new body of work in an exhibition titled Edited Monument: Avenue of the Americas at Y Gallery in New York City.
Duran´s work deals with issues such as habitat, urbanity, and landscape. His work has mainly developed around the city of Santiago, Chile, where he has focused his research on various phenomena common to most Latin American cities. Accelerated growth, usually with lax urban planning, generating hybrid and eclectic cities. This is the starting point for his images that mix reality and fiction. Duran’s principal interest has been to create experiences with images, using photography, video and digital post-production. He has used different mediums to generate these experiences, such as interventions in advertisement billboards, installations, video installations, and large format photography.
“I think it's necessary for the work to inhabit a specific social, political and geographical context.” Duran says “My work takes elements from a city like Santiago, with all its accidents and informal structures and then manipulates them to generate new situations. The end result are videos or photographs, but the work feels closer to painting in building atmospheres.”
The exhibition in New York is composed by five photographs and a video installation. Duran focuses on monuments of Latin-American heroes in the New York City. The exhibition specifically takes on 6th Avenue in Manhattan, also called Avenue of the Americas, as the main theme of exploration. In 1945, 6th Avenue was renamed as Avenue of the Americas and many statues of Latin American liberators were installed on it, from Central Park to Canal Street. Today only a few people in the city know the identities of those statues.
Edited Monument: Avenue of the Americas raises questions about the construction and understanding of Latin American Identity and about the validity of commemorative monuments in the contemporary city. These pieces are part of a wider project called Monumento Editado (Edited Monument) for which the artist takes as departure point commemorative monuments from the late nineteenth century / early twentieth century in South America.
Andrés Duran (born 1974) lives and works in Santiago, Chile. He studied architecture at the Central University of Chile. In 2001, he obtained a degree in fine arts with a major in painting at the University of Arts and Social Sciences (ARCIS), Santiago, Chile. In 2007, he obtained a degree in post production and 3D digital animation, bringing a new visual element to his work. Duran’s work has been exhibited in Chile and abroad, and in the following exhibitions Edited Monument, Metales Pesados Visual, Santiago, Chile, 2015; Exercises to Distract One's Perception, Chilean National Museum of Fine Arts, 2012; Garden for Rent, Santiago Museum of Contemporary Art, Chile, 2009; Delay, Galería Animal, Santiago, Chile, 2005; and Wasteland, Gabriela Mistral Gallery, 2002. He is the winner of the prestigious 2015 CCU Art Grant in his native Chile.
In addition to his exhibition at the Y Galley, Duran is in New York to participate in the International Studio & Curatorial Program (ISCP) for Spring 2016.