Video instalation, O’higgins, Chile, 2023. 8’16” min.
Video installation presented during the international residency program “Somewhere Called O’higgins” produced by Food Designation.
In 2022, I participated in the artistic residency “Somewhere called O’higgins” produced by the organization Food Designation. The aim of the residency was to give value to the last generation of agriculture producers and artisans in O’higgins, Chile, through artistic collaboration.
Over the course of six months, I met weekly with ten artists from all over the world to discover and discuss the way local ingredients are produced in Chile and worldwide.
For my project, I produced a video installation through collaboration with Rigoberto, one of the last remaining producers of tomate rosado (pink tomato), an ancestral species in danger of dissappearing.
Here there is an extract from the notes around the project:
I asked Rigoberto what he dreams for the future. His answers intermingle with mines, poetically narrated in a dreamlike, almost surreal video. An erotic dream of dipping a bread into boiling tomato sauce, letters to a girlfriend from his youth, the nostalgia of the past. A bottle that carries a loving message across the Andes mountain range.
I get to know him through video calls, remote interviews and WhatsApp audios. Together we weave a soft heart, like the center of the tomate rosado. Or like a chupalla, that flexible weaving that the farmers’ women have made for years to protect their men from the sun. I wonder if those hats will also take care of our great-grandchildren’s heads.
«I am sorry, I’m going to make money with you», Rigoberto tells his tomatoes before taking them to the fair. His respect for nature and its processes is accompanied by blessings and conversations with God. Faith runs through all of Rigoberto’s story. God whispers in your ear the percentage of nutrients that the earth needs this year; only then, soil tests verify it.
Images are tinted in different gradients of pink according to their proximity and intensity: the closer I am to O’Higgins, to love, to eroticism, the pinker it is; the farther away from Chile, everything is greener.
The video, presented at La casa de la cultura in Rancagua during the Gastronomic Festival of O’Higgins, was shown inside a chupalla made by local female artisans. Audiences could watch the film only through the holes in the weaving, which forced them to get closer to the material.