Precarious Symmetry at MADA Gallery, Melbourne


Precarious Symmetry
Ariel Bustamante and Carolina Saquel

Curated by Camila Marambio as part of the making of the webseries Distancia

17 April – 12 May 2018
Tuesday 17th April 2018, 6 – 8pm with Artist Talk @ 7pm

Precarious Symmetry is a face-off.
Precarious symmetry is what might emerge from a game of call and response between Ariel Bustamante’s Untitled sound composition (10 minutes, 6 channels, 6 active speakers, 2017-2018) and Carolina Saquel’s Untitled (Landscape) video (11:16 minutes, colour, silent, 2014-2016).

Precarious Symmetry is a set-up.
Precarious Symmetry is what could momentarily occur if in the tradition of the Baile Chino, the curator Camila Marambio’s prediction about the encounter of Ariel and Carolina’s distinct works was to come true.

The Baile Chino is a spiritual technology that knots together the sound of the universe and the image of reality. In the Baile Chino, a pre-Columbian ritualdance still practiced today along the Chilean Andes Mountains, the dancers respond to each other’s strident utes, exciting one another into a dialogue that lasts for hours, inducing a trance-like state aimed at sustaining the dissonant emissions. Dissonance is sought-after because it is through it that a rajadura (rip) occurs. This rip, or tear, is a cut, an opening towards other dimensions.

Ariel, Carolina, and Camila are dancers attempting to tear each-other-together- apart, to slip through the slit, into a fantastical new dimension they call Distancia.

* As an offering to Precarious Symmetry, the anthropologist Michael Taussig wrote the poem
“Borderlands of Being” on April 10, 2018.

Borderlands of Being

On the edge of nothing and everything where dust rises and settles and rises some more, where the earth dissolves in formless forms and the northern desert of ghost towns and copper mines breathes its lullabies as night falls, here we settle, here we dissolve. The minutiae of particulate matter, aural and optical, evades our long inherited schemes for understanding understanding. If it wasn’t for the littleness, if it wasn’t for the quiet and the slowness of a rhythm as old as the hills, gentle, gentle, more, more, again, again, learn to listen, once again, learn to see, once again.

What am I, after all?

Image Credit: Carolina Saquel, Charlotte (from the series Nivelar la distancia) 2011, Medium format colour photograph, lambda print, 100 x 81 cm.

** Thanks to Melanie Flynn, Tara McDowell, Tessa Dwyer, and Tom Nicholson for their support in the making of Distancia.

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