Equinox

(September 22th , 17:02h, 2017)

Site-specific intervention at Galeria Tajamar during the spring equinox 2017 (southern hemisphere).
Holographic plastic film, sunlight, paper, mirror film, video (3D renderings and found footage),
sun-path calendar (timing).
Santiago, September 22nd- October 29th, 2017

An equinox is the moment of year when the sun is on the equator, forming an axis perpendicular to the earth and making the length of the day equal to that of the night across the globe. This phenomenon occurs twice a year, marking the change of seasons between summer and autumn; and between winter and spring.

Different pre-Hispanic cultures erected constructions, observatories and ceremonial centers that considered the position of the sun during solstices and equinoxes, studying its incidence on architecture to generate plays of light and shadow projected on the surface, acquiring a spiritual, symbolic and supernatural meaning. In the Andean culture and world view, the equinox celebrates the cult of the sowing, the moon and the feminine spirit, and configures a ritual and purification process.

Inspired by this celestial phenomenon, Elisa Balmaceda’s exhibition begins with the Spring Equinox in the Southern Hemisphere (22nd September at 17:02 hrs.), and proposes a minimal and site-specific intervention based on the conditions that characterise the Gallery space: its geometry, its transparency and the relationship between the interior and the exterior of the space. Taking as a reference astronomical instrumentation present in the Atacama Desert and seeking to generate a cross with ancestral notions of sun observation in our territory, the artist proposes an experiment that aims to explore the geometries of space-time locally and globally.

From September 22nd to October 27th, the Tajamar Gallery will be used as an observation instrument, giving an account of physical phenomena as daily as they are imperceptible, such as the constant and cyclic movement of the Earth. To this end, the artist will intervene one of the windows of the space, which will be partially covered with a transparent holographic film – an optical material present in the configuration of objects such as DVDs, and also used in astronomy in a device called “spectroscope”- which, similar to a prism, will have the function of diffracting the light that enters the space and thus making visible the spectrum of colours that make up sunlight and that we also know as rainbows, so that they can be projected into the exhibition space. This objective in reality configures an impossible or wonderful event: to bring a celestial phenomenon, which is normally perceived naturally in the sky inside a closed and transparent space.

During the period prior to the exhibition, as well as during the exhibition, the project will have a laboratory character in which the artist will carry out a study in the coordinates of the gallery space to generate a calendar, which, like an astronomical sighting event, will seek to reveal at what time and on what days it will specifically be possible to observe the projection of the sun’s spectrum inside the space. This considers both the influence of architectural landmarks and geographical features of the environment; and will involve work with satellite software, observations of the gallery site and its specific orientation to the position of the sun, as well as the possible use of mirrors inside and outside space.

Stressing what we can control and decipher of the world – and its temporality – through calculations and algorithms, Equinox is an invitation to explore our daily relationship, both physical and affective, with a greater geometric, cyclic and cosmic gear.

Photos by Botanika Films, Cristobal Cea and Elisa Balmaceda.