Solar Chamber

In collaboration with Luis Balmaceda
Site-specific sculpture in the Fontelo woods
POLDRA – Public Sculpture Project Viseu
Portugal, 2019-2021

Solar Chamber (Inversion) takes its inspiration from the archeo-astronomical observation sites of pre-Columbian America, and seeks to rescue the link between the cyclical, cosmical and ritual aspects of the human with its surroundings, in order to situate and reconnect the body with the local landscape and the global sphere in times of ecological crisis and environmental degradation. 

The chamber sets up a temporal architecture of observation in the Fontenlo woods, consisting of an exterior platform to gaze upon the immediate surroundings, and also to look down into an interior space in which a stone found in the park has been placed. Theis stone is covered by a mirror and used as a means to reflect the sky and invert the sun, which can be now observed from within the chamber as if one was standing in the Southern Hemisphere, thus creating an apparent “inversion”.  

The construction is also aligned with one of the most important astronomical events and rituals, ever since ancient times: the June solstice; the moment in which the sun reaches its highest altitude (in the North) to then begin its return to the Southern Hemisphere, a time in which many Andean cultures celebrate, to this day, the beginning of a new year. 

On June 21 (2020), at 12:30 hrs the sunlight will be fully projected into the space.