VIA arts Prize, Brazilian Embassy




Pasos (2018) Digital Transfer prints, screenprint, wooden frames (250 cm  x 180 cm)

VIA ARTS PRIZE (Pasos, 2018)

The vastness of the Andes is one of South America’s most iconic and enduring panoramas. Photographing the Altiplano, I was drawn to it as a place where myth, memory and history collide. It was here that in 1818, San Martin set out to liberate the southern cone from Royalist rule, pitting his troops not only against colonial armies, but also against the sheer scale of the mountain itself. Franz Van Riel ‘s two metre oil painting ‘Paso de los Andes’ (1948) draws on this history, while his moutainscapes stretch out into white snowy peaks overwhelming the figures depicted. In my installation I create multiple views of the Andes as fragmented scenes that recall a sublime encounter with the immeasurable, and in so doing, create a dialogue through time with the past. Made up of printed film stills that abstract and pixelate the surface, and wooden supports that frame the view, they look to question the colonial gaze, the tourist encounter and our constant need to ‘take in the view’ from a single perspective. In this way I look to give them more human proportions, providing a multitude of possible encounters with the Andes in the space of the gallery.


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By victoriaahrens

My work is concerned with auratic translations, interpretation and fiction in our encounters with the landscape. I use photographic installations, projections and print editions to explore notions of the politics of place, resistance and ruin. I am interested in the spaces between what we know and what we think we know about the world, and have investigated these ideas in a series of installations and prints over the last few years.