SANTIAGO FROM 27th FLOOR, by Diego Maureira.

Diego Maureira writes about EXTERNO INTERRUMPIDO, exhibition by the artist Genietta Varsi in Éxito Mundial Gallery. October 16, 2018. Santiago de Chile.


What’s that? And other people even say that the outer world might be the work of our organs? But then our bodies, as a part of this outer world, would, in fact, be the work of our organs! But then our organs themselves would, in fact, be – the work of our organs!

Friedrich Nietzsche


Marco Arias proposed opening a bottle of champagne. After 12 it was my birthday. Genietta Varsi encouraged: “With scandal!” He meant to shake the bottle. We met in September for his residency at the Museum of Contemporary Art (MAC). Genietta Varsi is Peruvian. In one of the endless social gatherings in Marco Arias’ studio, she broke into by chance. She started as a complete stranger and at the end of the night, she was the new collaborator of Galería Exito Mundial in Peru. Marco Arias uncorked the bottle of champagne as if he were the last Formula 1 winner.

Genietta always clarifies that she studied at the Catholic University of Peru, but that “it has nothing to do with the Catholic University here in Chile.” I never knew why he made that clarification, but he made an effort to make it clear. When we introduce her the Oficina Número 11 /”Number 11 Office”/-place where artists’ material is stored and administrative redoubt of Galería Éxito Mundial- his response to our proposal was: “Yes. Yes, I love it”. Of course, with Marco Arias we show the best and most “poetic” facets of the project, hiding all the weaknesses of having a self-financed art gallery with little investment capital. Genietta liked everything about the transmutable project. His exposition, in fact, was a complete transmutation. We made it uninterrupted External and lasted only one afternoon.

The same night of the meeting he told us that he loved that kind of impossible missions. She is part of an artistic group from Peru called SERES. We closed the agreement with a picture that we publish instantaneously in the gallery’s networks. Genietta appears resting on my desk signing the clause that we created that same night. I pose holding in my hands the framed logo of the gallery: a capsule that we stole explicitly from the 1988 film Akira. Geekness of artists very influenced by the television of the 90s.

The inauguration of Genietta took place the day before his return trip. At that time, she was completely busy dismantling her exhibition at the MAC of Quinta Normal, where she exhibited the result of her residency together with our friend Pilar Elgueta – the artist responsible for bringing Genietta into our lives. The exhibition was created as follows: I met with Genietta at MAC and she guided me into the exhibit room to tell me something about her work. We talk about life and death, the unconditional, the banality and the mystical. Then we had lunch in Cumming Street in a vegetarian restaurant and we went to his apartment to collect the works that we would exhibit in Éxito Mundial. When we arrived, Genietta heated “Sello Rojo” /”Red Seal”/ coffee -classic Colombian- in a microwave. I met the cat of Geniettas tenant. She had rented a room for her period in Santiago to a Colombian doctor. The cat had a great personality, although we were sad about he was alone so much time of the day. We look at Santiago from the 27th floor.

After coffee, we took Genietta’s artist handbook and walked with direction to Oficina Número 11 /”Office Number 11″/. By then, Marco Arias had already left the country to live for two years with his wife in London. The team of Galería Éxito Mundial is reduced to three people: Marco Arias, Wladymir Bernechea and me, Diego Maureira. During the brief walk of Genietta Varsi through the gallery, I was the only member of the team that was in Santiago, so I took care of all the details. In Oficina Número 11 I began to select drawings and collages. Genietta’s work has a close link with the body: the artist deforms it to make it visible, its parts, its primary condition, its social and cultural place.

The exhibition was set up in the office itself and on the opening day we had beer with a group of friends. Genietta arrived with some delay because of the preparations of her trip and, during the inauguration, we coordinated a shipment to Peru that Genietta would transport in her suitcase. The Chilean artist we chose was Macarena Cuevas, someone who has confessed on more than one occasion to be making an artistic career “just partying”. That day, the curator and local researcher gastón j. muñoz j. attended the exhibition, and interviewed Genietta Varsi creating a text in situ, just sitting on the sofa of Oficina Número 11 with her laptop. This happened while the scarce public went in and out the place.

Nothing to say. The age of networks allows us this fiction. That what does not have place take a place. That may even occupy a large space something that does not exist outside the image. To put an end, I’ll give me the luxury of closing with a quote from Nietzsche: “Everything is arranged so that the worst of all tastes, the taste for the unconditional, is cruelly mocked and profaned, until the man learns to put some art in his feelings and, even better, to dare to rehearse the artificial: as do the true artists of life ».

About Diego Maureira (Santiago de Chile, 1989):

Lives and works in Santiago de Chile. Theorist and Art Historian of the University of Chile. Postulant to the degree of Master of Arts with a major in Theory and History of Art from the same university. Teacher in professorships of modern and contemporary art (University of Chile, Diego Portales, Alberto Hurtado and ARCIS). He had published articles in art magazines and research related to Chilean art of the last decades. Among others, he has written in the books Arte, ciudad y esfera pública (Metales Pesados, 2015), Ensayos sobre Artes Visuales. Volumen V (LOM Ediciones, 2016), De la tierra al cielo: arte, cultura japonesa y escenas locales (Editorial Filacteria, 2018) and Astrónomos sin estrellas (Ediciones Departamento de Artes Visuales, 2018).

About Genietta Varsi (Lima, Peru, 1991):

Lives and work in Lima, Peru. Genietta Varsi is a visual artist, sculptor, graduated from the Faculty of Art of the Pontifical Catholic University of Peru. Co-founder of the space of creation, experimentation and exhibition “Seres”. During 2018, he visits Chile for Molten Capital art residency at the MAC Museum. Before returning to Peru, he opened “Externo Interrumpido” in Galería Éxito Mundial.