INTRODUCTION

PATRICIA DEL CANTO has named the pieces that she is exhibiting in the Museo Nacional de Bellas Artes “Altares, Templos y Umbrales” (Altars, Temples and Thresholds).

These names refer to the sculpted forms that are in the limit or in the threshold of architectural spaces, almost touching; or sculptures that are placed in natural spaces, constructed as altars or temples; ritual points that interrupt, but clearly do not destroy nature’s continuity. On the contrary, their cohabitation and coexistence symbolically reactivate the harmony between the natural and the human world.

The exhibition, located in the main hall of the building, provokes a de-contextualisation. Although this is a risk that most exhibitions face, it is doubly so for this one in that the space with which the artist works is precisely nature, where the relationship with sculpture as a concept and praxis becomes intimate.

Patricia’s relationship with nature is affectionate and alive, and it is worth remembering her protest of the indiscriminate cutting of the poplar trees in the Campus of the Faculty of Arts, at the Universidad de Chile. Before the tree trunks were moved, she organised a Sculpture Symposium with teachers and students so that they would be able to work with the wood on Campus, thus saving the wood from the final destination of a woodshed or builders yard.

In her journey through sculpture. she has gradually come to propose tri-dimensional forms that invite the public to participate. The rigorous production is not destined to mere contemplation, rather, there is a subtle invitation to become a part of a tenuous ritual that is produced when one moves from the outside to the inside of her work.

A triple association that convokes reflection, thought and silence is produced between the volumetric form, the place where it is located and the space that it defines.