Curated by Chiachio & Giannone
January 13, 2021 – March 10, 2021
Isabel Croxatto Galería, international contemporary art gallery based in Santiago, presents CUIR, international group exhibition curated by the Argentinean artistic duo Chiachio & Giannone. CUIR features the work of 20 Latin and North American artists, selected by Leo Chiachio and Daniel Giannone, who represent a trans-generational constellation of queer creators, a concept taken not only from non-heteronormative affections, but also from the unconventional use of materiality and representation. CUIR is presented online since January 13 in the virtual space ICG+.
Upon the invitation made by gallery director Isabel Croxatto to rethink the role of art in these times of pandemic, artists Leo Chiachio and Daniel Giannone developed a curatorial proposal that gathers a diverse group of creators revolving around the queer universe, with perspectives from a variety of territories, including Aaron McIntosh (United States), Cristina Coll (Argentina), Curtis Putralk (Chile/France), Joey Terrill (United States), Juvenal Barría (Chile), Max Colby (United States), Rodrigo Mogiz (Brazil), Rubén Esparza (United States), Sebastián Calfuqueo (Chile), among others.
With practices in embroidery, photography, drawing, painting, video and performance, the artists dialogue from the transversality, the generational crossing and the experimentation of languages, in a virtual staging that mixes the domestic with a playful and realistic approach, in times of a necessary common meeting.
The curators take the term CUIR, a Hispanisation of the English word queer—a word reappropriated by the LGBTQIA+ community from denigration and insult into empowerment and resistance—to conceptualize their proposal. “The queer has a broader sense: it’s not only about breaking out of the sex-gender binary categories, but also about a theory, methodology and practice that characterises a desire, an affection, and we might say that its main power lies in its role as a performative act”, Chiachio & Giannone explain.
“We are interested in depicting a choral narrative arising from different scenarios around the world, using different languages, but with the same poetics. We seek to give visitors the warmth and humour that has always been present in our artistic pursuits regarding social issues”, they add.
The invited artists belong to what the curators call “a familial constellation in art”: creators whom they have discovered over the years, with whom they share interests in the search for new meanings, and whose works they have fallen in love with.
About this experience, Isabel Croxatto comments: “In these times of isolation, working on a collective project with artists living in different parts of the world has been both refreshing and hopeful. I am grateful for the generosity of Leo and Daniel, and of all the participating artists, who accepted our invitation in such complex times, for daring to take this chance out of the box.”
The virtual tour through the exhibition has been developed by the interdisciplinary collective deeptime.art, and produced with the support of ProChile. Unlike Isabel Croxatto Galería’s previous virtual exhibitions, the tour through CUIR emulates a music video to the rhythm of disco music. During the 1970s, Disco was the space of communion on the dance floor for all those who were excluded from the male, binary and heterosexual hegemony: Disco was liberation, the mass arrival of female, gay, Black and Latinx diversity to a celebration that could dance to the beat of subversive hymns full of drama, pain, reflection, resurgence and resistance under a ball of mirrors and coloured lights.
“In these new times of health crisis, in which we are all unable to attend and live an exhibition experience as we were used to, and now undergoing the virtual experience to compensate for our physical isolation, we considered that the possibilities offered by the virtual gallery concept were quite interesting”, Chiachio & Giannone affirm. “Being able to transfer the experience we had from the revolution that music enjoyed years ago with the appearance of the music video, allows us to recreate or envision a story to bring us back, in some way, to those shared memories. The on-site experience is irreplaceable, but this medium expands a world of possibilities for us to meet again, just as we used to do at an opening or on the dance floor”, the artists add.
Aaron McIntosh (USA), Catalina Schliebener (Chile/USA), Chiachio & Giannone (Argentina), Cristina Coll (Argentina), Curtis Putralk (Chile/France), Federico Casalinuovo (Argentina), Franco Mehlhose (Argentina), Gabriel García Román (Mexico/USA), Joey Terrill (USA), John Thomas Paradiso (USA), Juvenal Barría (Chile), Matías de la Guerra (Argentina), Marino Balbuena (Argentina), Max Colby (USA), Paloma Castillo (Chile), Rebecca Levi (USA), Rodrigo Mogiz (Brazil), Rodri & Lenny (Uruguay), Rubén Esparza (USA), Sebastián Calfuqueo (Chile).
Chiachio & Giannone
Artistic duo Chiachio & Giannone is comprised by Leo Chiachio (Buenos Aires, 1969) and Daniel Giannone (Córdoba, Argentina, 1964), a couple both in art as in life, living and working together in Buenos Aires since 2003. Both of them have academic studies in painting, whereas they’ve decided to use textile art as the language to tell their story, embroidering as if they painted with needles and thread.
Their recent work consists of pieces made of domestic materials rescued from friends’ homes as well as their own, telling or bearing the recent story of their places of origin. Along with their exhibitions around the world, Chiachio & Giannone work with local communities in the creation of collaborative pieces that celebrate diversity, blurring gender lines and questioning the way identities, especially LGBTQ+, have been presented by history.
Their project Celebrating Diversity was presented by the Museum of Latin American Art in Los Angeles (California) in 2019, and at the LA Art Show (Venice, CA) in February 2020. Their exhibition Genio Doméstico, presented by Isabel Croxatto Galería as part of the latest edition of Gallery Weekend Santiago from October through December 2019, was the couple’s first show in Chile.
Due to the onset of the pandemic, Leo and Daniel had to finish their participation in an artist-in-residence programme at Lux Institute in San Diego, California, earlier than expected, running from January through March 2020.
Chiachio & Giannone live and work in Buenos Aires.