Gabriel Chaile’s colossal clay sculptures are alive with ancestral history


Art, as Chaile described it, allows “utopias of change to exist in a world that is not only thought by and for humans”. His installation of five sculptures is the result of his research process, which he calls The Forma Genealogy or “genealogy of form”. For this corpus, Chaile focused on his family genealogy. Each of the oven containers represents a member of his family: his mother and father, his paternal grandparents and his maternal grandmother, Rosario Liendro. The dedicated sculpture of the matriarch serves as the centerpiece of the installation.

Growing up, Chaile’s parents would tell him about their lives, the experiences of friends and family members, and the history of Argentina. Through her sculptural practice, Chaile translates these oral histories into physical forms, interpreting and recording ancestral knowledge and stories that were overlooked or violently suppressed by Spanish colonialism and its aftermath. “I love intense stories, those that by their force stay etched in what we call memories,” Chaile said, “and those that go unheard because of their simplicity, or because they don’t participate in the center where history is woven. .”

Chaile continued: “The process of colonization did not end with the declaration of independence of the new state called Argentina. He continued systematically with the educational and “civilizing” plan to create a united Argentina; to erase what was called barbarism. These colonial processes which continue under different names is what the artist calls the genealogy of form. He described Argentina as a country that rose to prominence trying to embody Europe, and in its eagerness “violently extinguished thousands of voices, generating oblivion and lack of interest in the memory”.


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