El Gran Trueque
Mediator - Anastassia Makridou-Bretonneau, Veronica Vallejos (Eternal Network)
Supporters - Matucana 100 Cultural Center; "Un Techo para Chile" NGO
« Lo Espejo » district, Santiago, Chile, 2008
El Gran Trueque is the first project realised in Santiago, and it was conducted by Matucana 100. Thanks to Un Techo para Chile, it was settled in the scope of a rehabilitation program made for a district in Lo Espejo. A work site was planned to start the constructions of houses, for the inhabitants of an encampment to move in permanently.
After analysing people’s needs and life conditions in the encampment, patrons, mediators and the artist decided to settle a participatory process, in line with the environment and Nicolas Floc’h’s work.
About thirty inhabitants of the encampment participated in the workshop El taller de los deseos. They created life size wooden objects they needed but couldn’t afford. Each of the objects is stamped « El Gran Trueque, Nicolas Floc’h » with the name of the person who made it. Those works were exhibited at Matucana 100, and by the way fully integrated to the institutional artistic network. Some of them were bought, and the buyers had to give the inhabitants the real version of the desired objects. Both the artwork and the represented object were removed from the dominant commercial system.
Nicolas Floc'h, born in 1970 in Rennes, lives and works in Paris. He is a graduate of the Glasgow School of Art and one of the leading young French artists. His work has been exhibited since the 1990s in institutions in France and abroad (MAC/VAL, Vitry-sur-Seine; Frac des Pays de Loire; CRAC, Sète; Matucana 100, Chile). He is also invited to participate in many events. He recently won renown through his participation in the Biennale de Rennes, "Regards croisés", in 2008, and participated in the Mercosur Biennale in Porto Alegre in September 2009. Nicolas Floc'h has been exploring artistic practices in relation to contexts. His works have many forms – installation, sculpture, film, performance, scenography, etc. –, which are presented as open, multifunctional, modular and consumable structures. Products come from the words that denote them and are sold on the market, a filet of pelagic fish reproduces the Eiffel Tower on scale 1, a multifunctional structure changes according to its use (e.g. bookshelf, counter), and so on. His artistic proposals are experiments that explore modes of production, distribution and consumption of art. Nicolas Floc'h invents processes of creation that cannot exist without other people's collaboration and appropriation. His works call for appropriation through imagination and narrative, thereby allowing for dialogue between the subjective and the collective, the real and fiction.