This essay by Alberto Madrid is included in the period referred to as "Transferencia y densidad" [Transfer and Density] in the exhibition catalogue for Chile 100 años de artes visuales [Chile: 100 Years of Visual Arts]. This timeframe was, in fact, bookended by two watershed events: the coup d’état that ushered in the Pinochet dictatorship and the return to democracy in 1990 with the election of Patricio Aylwin. The title of this third phase was, incidentally, suggested by the critic and curator Justo Pasto Mellado as a way to identify a period that was characterized by the transfer of ideas from one place to another and, above all, by public reception of the transfer. There were, on the other hand, the heterogeneity of those ideas, the defining problems, and the preferred subject matter of a local art scene that had been stifled and censored and was constantly searching for creative solutions (density).
[See the ICAA digital archive for other essays published in the same catalogue: “Escultura chilena 1950-1973” [Chilean Sculpture 1950–1973] (757161) written Gaspar Galaz; and “El comportamiento de la crítica” [The Behavior of the Critics] (757179) by Patricio Muñoz Zárate.]
Alberto Madrid Letelier is a researcher and an academic. He has curated many exhibitions and has written several books and magazine articles about contemporary art in Chile. His essay “Historias de recolección: bricolage, archivo y biblioteca” [Collection Stories: Bricolage, Archive, and Library] was included in Chile 100 años de artes visuales, the now-iconic exhibition that was presented in 2000 at the Museo Nacional de Bellas Artes (MNBA) in Santiago. This exhibition was divided into three chronological sections: the first stage, “Modelo y representación” [Model and Representation], spanned the period from 1900 to 1950; the second, “Entre modernidad y utopia” [Between Modernity and Utopia], covered 1950 to 1973 (when democracy was interrupted); and the final period, “Transferencia y densidad” [Transfer and Density], spanned 1973 to 2000.