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Magazine

02 March 2013
Camila Ramírez: Where does the game end and reality begin?

Verónica Escobar Monsalve

At a time when positive thinking seems something bordering on the absurd, we need to turn to the kind of art that reminds us that the positive and the negative form part of the same thing, concepts that find themselves obliged to coexist in order to configure reality.

An artist who knows how to play within the confines of this strange contradiction is Camila Ramírez, who I only recently discovered when reading an article about young Chilean artists. If it’s true that almost all the endeavours to transfer utopia to reality have failed resoundingly, Ramírez reminds us that even within the deepest human pessimism there exists a desire to seek out what is positive around it.

The work by Camila is sarcastic and ironic, charged with a strong political critique and an obvious tendency towards social protest. However her messages hide in their interior the vestiges of a certain utopian thought. A positivist yearning, a drive to seek something that saves the current political system from its oh so disastrous image. This ambiguity is what makes her work so hypnotic.

In “One Million Jobs” the playful sense of her vision of the world becomes even more evident. What is most interesting, above all because it fits perfectly with half the world’s problems, is her reflection on work. Ramírez suggests, though without making her stance clear, a game between two concepts: the solidarity of collective work and the exploitation of labour. Two contradictory concepts, that seem to overlap in the images that make up the video.

Perhaps not even the artist herself is capable of defining reality. Maybe one forms part of the other. Or maybe, deep down, they are both two sides of the same coin.

Verónica Escobar Monsalve is a restless soul, with a digital nature and an analogue heart. Her investigations centre on art and culture that mix the digital world with pre-digital thought. Art and culture that is capable of reflecting the complexity of today’s world. She believes in the vital importance of a critical spirit and how this can be applied to any facet in life, however difficult it may be.

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"A desk is a dangerous place from which to watch the world" (John Le Carré)