Let Us Drink the New Wine, Together!
Malcolm Smith Gallery, Auckland, New Zealand, 2023.
Santiago Museum of Contemporary Art, Chile, 2022.
Curated by alys longley & Máximo Corvalán-Pincheira
Let Us Drink The New Wine, Together! explores practices for continuing artistic friendships and creative exchanges through conditions of intense separation. An archive of miniature works of art created in collaboration with more than 60 artists from all continents of the world during 2020-2022 spirals through space, organized as a kind of affective weather system of human connection, moving beyond the human control.
The project has explored methods to allow artists from around the world, with whom artists alys longley and Máximo Corvalán-Pincheira had previously worked, to collaborate through a series of counter maps, mail art works, performance strategies and experiments in the creation of virtual exhibitions. spaces, inspired by the surreal game of the 'exquisite corpse'. To begin with, more than 34 artists from around the world were invited to physically and digitally intervene on a world map, via email. Next, miniature mail art, postmarks, and video art pieces were accumulated as the project traveled from artist to artist, viewing artistic practice and solidarity as an “essential service.” As Catalina Mena writes in her curatorial text about this project:
Against the suspension of time and physical isolation, the work activates a circulation process that brings together what is separated. Creative subjectivities intersect, overlap and intermingle, creating a planetary choreography. While the world falls, the work rebuilds it. Each gesture interacts with the other, affects and is affected, contaminates and is contaminated, in a transforming game of affects.
This resulting exhibition deviates through art forms and technical languages: drawing, performance, choreography, embroidery, poetry, video, virtual exhibition, and counter-mapping. At a time of deep uncertainty, this project proposes that making new meanings out of and through chaos is a responsibility of artists. From Australasia to Africa, from South America to Europe, from Asia, from North America to Chile, this project presents a chaotic archive of precarious documents that may be insubstantial individually, but that collectively testify to the vitality of small acts of continuation to invigorate what language can be, through a dedicated accumulation of simple gestures of touch and connection across languages and continents.