'Distancia' is a joint exhibition by Chilean artists Valentina Bravo and Adolfo Vera. Both based in Helsinki, their artwork seek to explore ideas related to exile, migration and Chilean identity. Exhibition opening on Tuesday September 12th from 5-7 PM.
September 2023 marks the 50th commemoration of the coup in Chile the year 1973 and how Finland received the first Chileans refugees. From each of their expertise, the exhibition presents photographs that Adolfo has taken in 1977, 1980 and a work that refers to the US intervention in other countries. For her part, Valentina presents a triptych named: Tarde en Los Domínicos – afernoon at Los Domínicos. The artwork kicks off as an effort to represent a succumbed, tired, crushed, destroyed, corroded body.
Valentina Bravo is an artist currently specializing in the production of images using oil painting and mixed media techniques. Her artistic approach challenges the conventional perception of oil painting as a noble practice by incorporating unconventional materials such as industrial enamel into her work. By doing so, Bravo presents a unique blend of oil paint and enamel that not only challenges artistic norms but also creates a humorous and thought-provoking depiction of mid-aged men and personal experiences from her own life.
Bravo's artistic practice revolves around the playful yet provocative representation of men. Through her paintings, she aims to critique societal expectations and norms surrounding masculinity. Her use of humor serves as a tool to subvert social conventions and initiate discussions about cultural phenomena that often remain unexamined in collective consciousness.
Among the various themes present in Bravo's imagery, she frequently draws inspiration from Chilean culture, literature, and popular culture. Her artworks serve as a reflection and commentary on these subjects, offering viewers a fresh perspective and inviting them to engage with these aspects of society in new ways.
Valentina Bravo's work has been displayed, with exhibitions held in Chile, Finland, the United Kingdom, and The Netherlands.
Adolfo Vera's photographs in Laterna Magica
I have always wanted to choose works for my exhibitions that describe,as well as possible, my emotional experiences of the time I have lived. I find it interesting to bring out from my personal life to the political reality. The first group in this exhibition deals with themes I have worked on in my youth and during the past few years. The first pictures from 1977-1978 depict the feelings of uncertainty while searching for the purpose of existence. At that time I was living within Finnish reality, but in my mind there was a strong fictitious image of Chile, which no longer existed.
The second part consists of documentary photographs of the life of Chilean refugees in Finland combined with images from the covers of Life magazine. With this I want to highlight the difference between these two worlds. At first glance, you might think that these different elements have nothing in common, but this is not the case. There is in fact a close cause-effect relationship.
Adolfo Vera arrived from Chile to Finland with his family at the age of 18 in December 1973, after a three-month military coup. He grew into a photographer and artist living in Finland, Algeria, Costa Rica and Benin. Vera has worked with themes such as power relations of photography and viewer, colonialism, encountering otherness and outsideness.