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Photography: Fernando Melo

Artist statement

My work with images, sounds and the intervention of space consists of creating a bridge that connects my art with Mapuche knowledge and spirituality. This connection is not static, it began as a search for points of contact and has developed in the last decade into a ritual practice.


My main means of expression is the camera. I don’t use it only as a recording device, but also as a tool which in terms of expression is as pictorial as the brush. I often start from the materiality of painting towards a kinesthesia where moving images invite the audience to experience trance. This trance is not a symptom or a passing experience, it is rather a state that involves language, the body and consciousness, especially in cultures that search the sacred through orality.


I belong to a generation of video artists that emerged in the 2000s in Chile. I participate as a painter, filmmaker and as an indigenous artist. My work in videoart, installation, and performance draws on Mapuche cultural practices. My art and ritual points in three directions at the same time. In the first place, I strive to open a space for observing and participating in a Mapuche ceremonial. Second, memory, conjugated in the present tense, is set in motion as if it were a living and inhabitable substratum. Thirdly, my work resembles a premonition in the sense that it’s shaped like an arrow soaring into the future.


My most immediate motivations question the representation of my culture and of other indigenous peoples by different institutional discourses, especially museography. My goal is to rethink the asymmetric relationship between cultures that share a natural and political territory. On the one hand, with an art capable of crafting experiences where the audience has contact with the perspective and worldview of the original peoples and the first nations. On the other hand, stimulate and revive the indigenous memory of the Mapuche people using innovative multimedia.


Francisco Huichaqueo is an artist, filmmaker and curator, born in 1977 in the city of Valdivia (Ainil), in southern Chile, in the Gulumapu territory, west of the Andes Mountains,  that is part of the Wallmapu.


In 2001 he obtained a BA in visual arts and in 2013 a MfA in documentary film both from Universidad de Chile. He studied optics for cinema in 2015 at the San Antonio de los Baños Film School in Cuba, with a scholarship from the Visual Arts Development Fund of the Ministry of Cultures of Chile.


His main means of expression is video installation, film and performance. His work addresses issues that concern both lineage and the Mapuche experience, laying out a nation’s  worldview, together with the social landscape, history, and culture.


From 2011 he has given lectures and exhibited his work at different institutions. Among these the University of Utah and the University of New York in the United States, the University of San Andrés in Bolivia and the Gathering of Cultures in Mexico, on the re-signification and agency of the Mapuche, specially concerning ceremonial objects and garments held in private collections or in museums in Chile and abroad. He has participated in film and art residencies in Taiwan, 2015; France, 2009; Colombia, 2017 and Mexico, 2018. In 2021 he was awarded the Arts Medal (premio a la creación)  by the Universidad de Concepción.  In 2022 he was nominated to the Cisneros Foundation’s (CIFO) Grants and Commissions Program.


His videoart installations have been exhibited in outstanding solo shows such as Kalül Trawün (2010/2011) at the National Museum of Fine Arts, Santiago de Chile; Wenupelon (2015/2021) at the Museum of Visual Arts, Santiago de Chile; Malón Wiño (2017) at the Matta Cultural Center, Buenos Aires, Argentina and Trig Metawe Kura (2022) at the Pereira Palace, Santiago de Chile. And in noteworthy group exhibitions such as: Chilean Miracle (2014) at the Human Resources Gallery in Los Angeles, USA; DE Celerate (2020) at the TETUHI Art Gallery in Auckland, New Zealand and On the Beginning of Time (2021) at the Reina Sofía Museum, Madrid.


Festivals and international biennials have showcased his films, such as the 11th Berlin Biennial in 2020, the 14th Havana Biennial in 2022,  the Toronto ImagiNATIVE Film + Arts Festival in 2013, the Toulouse Latino Film Festival in 2012, the Morelia International Film Festival, Mexico in 2013, the Museum of the American Indian in Washington, USA in 2014, the 2009 Chile Triennial and also the 10th SIART Biennial, Bolivia in 2017. As of 2013 his work is distributed by Vtape, the contemporary film and video art distribution company based in Toronto, Canada.


In addition to his creative work he teaches in university. Between 2003 and 2015 he taught visual animation at Universidad de Chile and, from 2016 to date, he is an assistant professor at the School of Arts and Humanities in Universidad de Concepción.

Presentation in the voice of Francisco Huichaqueo / Dunguntukulngen ineyngen Francisco Huichaqueo
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