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Eugenio Dittborn

Press release

Eugenio Dittborn – Airmail Paintings 186 and 192

Paintings, silkscreen prints and textile collages, folded and inserted into envelopes in Santiago de Chile, sent around the globe, then pulled from the envelopes, unfolded and assembled on our walls, the traces of their travels carefully preserved.

Whereas innumerable pictures are on their way around the globe, in analogue or digital formats, and many of them are packed up somewhere and unpacked somewhere else, the process of travelling is immanent to Dittborn’s art. Circulation is its purpose, being wrapped up and shipped defines its formal structure, and it continually connects signs, times, and people, only to separate them again.

The entire oeuvre is a permanent state of transit. Beginning in 1986, Dittborn used the international postal system to escape censorship and the geographical and cultural isolation of Chile under Pinochet’s dictatorship and participate in the global exhibition circuit. And also looking into the mail we find fragments of historic sources from Chile’s past and their echoes sweeping the panels of fabric, to be refracted by their physical substance and semiotic inventory.