I met with the local exhibition designer Felipe Berguño today (he’s on the left with his associate Paola Azocar), how is also helping out with the Transversa exhibition. He is getting the exhibition furniture fabricated and is looking for something that will add that little bit of pretention to the exhibition. I explained to Felipe the signs that might be found at the entrance to bars with rules such as ‘No thongs’ (it took a long time to explain what a ‘thong’ was), or ‘No singlets’. Felipe looked quite bemused, which might be either that Chileans don’t have such items of clothing or that anyone would ever conceive of wearing them in public. Looking around Santiago, jeans seem the uniform of most locals. It is possible that class differences are more internalised that in a country like Australia, where there are visible barriers, such as bollards. We’ll see what they can find to put visitors to this exhibition in their place.
The next quest was to find someone appropriate to recite a verse by Neruda at the opening. In discussing this with Tomas at Centro Mapocho, he pointed out the poem that Neruda had written most specially for the building. Here’s the image of the display at the entrance. Neruda’s poem is almost embarrasingly passionate for a piece about a public building, but that’s Neruda for you. We had some interesting conversations about the difference between Neruda’s communist aesthetic and the equivalent in the English craft tradition, which is more Buddhist in style. Another case of tapping messages from either side of the wall.