Gallery association works to Internationalize Chilean Art
The Association of Contemporary Art Galleries (AGAC) is the first association of galleries created in Chile, a sign of the maturity achieved by the gallery system and the development of a local art market.
Following the experience of associations in Brazil, Colombia and Argentina, some of AGAC’s objectives are the recognition of the gallery activity, the creation of an ethical letter to rule the gallery-artist relationship, and the access to support sources to internationalize Chilean art.
The president of AGAC, Maria Elena Comandari affirms that “The existence of an association of galleries reveals the degree of maturity achieved in Chile. Founded in September 2012, the Association of Contemporary Art Galleries gathers eights spaces from Santiago (AFA, AMS Marlborough, Animal, Artespacio, Die Ecke, La Sala, Isabel Aninat and Patricia Ready), and two from other regions: Casa E (Valparaiso) and El Caballo Verde (Concepcion).
“I feel like if Chile were the only country that doesn’t entirely know the work to be carried out by art galleries. We are not just a place where exhibitions are organized or artworks are sold, but also a cultural space, with curatorship and a process of art socialization with the public, collectors, media: a series of elements to be combined”, she explains.
Comandari is one of the directors of Artespacio and says that the goal of the group is validating and professionalizing the activity, as well as formalizing it with a code of good practices between galleries and artists.
The idea is to jointly work to solve problems of the guild, including the lack of representation in cultural policies, and difficulties to obtain support for an activity that tends to boost the local market and internationalize the contemporary Chilean art.
“If we look for state support for projects, the idea is to establish a relation with the guild instead of private entities”, commented Paul Birke, from Die Ecke, who –along with Javiera Garcia-Huidobro, from Isabel Aninat Gallery– is one of AGAC’s speakers.
The invitation to join AGAC goes to all national galleries that follow the rules of the association. Some of the joining requirements are: to have contemporary art as target, to have featured regular hours for several years and hold exhibitions during the year, as well as to represent artists. “This is a key element. The formal relationship with artists, to develop their careers, by taking control of works and the spreading process”, Birke detailed.
Gallery owner underline the role they have played to foster local markets: “In Chile, artists go to commercial galleries in the first place and then to museums. It is the opposite overseas. That’s the reason why, we have played an essential role, along with museums, in terms of the development of contemporary art. However, going abroad and exporting local artists isn’t cheap, and it mainly takes art fair. It’s a huge investment, a personal effort that can be effective because specialized viewers can assess our work.”
Source: Press release