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(Santiago de Chile, Chile, 1940 – New York, USA, 1993)

Video Trans Americas, 1976
Video installation: dimensions variable, edition 1/3
Betacam SP, black and white, sound

Fourteen-channel video (Yucatán, 1973, 28'22"; Guatemala, 1973, 27'30"; New York/Texas 1, 1974, 20'; New York/Texas 2, 1974, 20'; La Frontera I, 1976, 14'18"; La Frontera II, 1976, 12'45"; Lima, 1975, 28'; Machu-Picchu, 1975, 28'; Uros I, 1975, 20'; Uros II, 1975, 20'; Nazca I, 1976, 10'08"; Nazca II, 1976, 10'08"; Inca I, 1976, 20'; Inca II, 1976, 20'; Betacam SP and DVD) and silhouette of the map of America. Inventory number: AD04012

Juan Downey (Santiago de Chile, 1940 – New York, 1993) focused on art’s approach to life, steering his work closer to experience than to the production of objects. His installation Video Trans Americas brings together a selection of videos he recorded on the first stage of the trip he carried out around the American continent from 1973 to 1976, with stops in Mexico, Guatemala, Peru, Bolivia and Chile. In this project, Downey sought to identify the common values in different American cultures, offering the viewer an interconnected map of America and a mirror to discover some of its communities.
Pinochet’s coup d’état and the death of President Allende in 1973 had a profound effect on him at the outset of the journey, and his output took on new interpretations governed by the political situation. Despite the feeling of dislocation he experienced and the dualism shared with exiles and immigrants, Downey, who settled in New York at the end of the 1960s, remained strongly bound to his identity as a Chilean and maintained close contact with the artistic and socio-political reality in his country.

Cristina Cámara Bello, cinema and video curator at Museo Nacional Centro de Arte Reina Sofía.

Juan Downey

(Santiago de Chile, Chile, 1940 – New York, USA, 1993)
Lima, 1975
Still from the video installation Video Trans Americas