Argentinian Gabriel Chaile’s artistic practice is based on a long-standing investigation of impoverished communities, rituals and habits from his home in Argentina. Raised in the northern Argentine city of San Miguel de Tucumán, with Spanish, Afro-Arab and indigenous Candelaria heritage, Chaile creates spaces where historical precedents, indigenous epistemologies and prescient craft conventions mingle with contemporary life.
Much of his recent production includes sculptural objects such as clay pots and ovens, which often take on anthropomorphic traits. In this way, the artist seeks to invoke the memory of people and landmarks of civil resistance from the community rituals and celebrations around food – in its ancestral wisdom and know-how, in its healing dimension and, finally, in its multi-function of nourishing the body, soul and spirits.
Recognized worldwide for the artistic relevance of his creative and anthropological approach, Argentinian Gabriel Chaile (who represented Argentina at the Venice Art Biennale in 2022) produces sculptures from natural materials that bring new life to contemporary South American art – creations that have an impact on space, relationships and communities, and that reconnect people with the sacred rituals of food and sharing.
Commissioned by BoCA, the sculpture-oven “Alcindo Monteiro” (2023) is a tribute to Alcindo Monteiro, a young Portuguese man of Cape Verdean origins murdered in a racist crime in Lisbon in 1995, who became a symbol of the anti-racist struggle. Inaugurated in the outdoor square of MAAT, Lisbon, around this sculpture-oven you can activate celebratory moments with local communities, with concerts, films, debates and, of course, food. A public program that unites the artistic, the cultural and the social, which can be designed with each local host structure.
Commission and production: BoCA – Biennial of Contemporary Arts
Curator: John Romão
Partnership: MAAT – Museum of Art, Architecture and Technology
Support to the public program: Lisboa Criola
International diffusion: jorge.tejedor(at)bocabienal.org