wide view of the gallery with large colorful figurative cut-outs and other artwork against the walls

César Gabler - Boston Pops (Toro Herrera)
Jewett Art Gallery
Spring 2020
 
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Unos discos de Boston Pops llevan el artista a la Panamá de la Escuela de las Américas, a los efectos de la Guerra Fría, a los viajes que la música, el cine y la televisión hicieron en nombre de la cultura norteamericana en los años de la dictadura militar en Chile. Discos viajeros, embajadores de la cultura, como antes lo fueron Walt Disney y más tarde Milton Friedman, ambos visitantes fugaces de Chile. El primero en 1941, el segundo en 1976. Esos discos de Boston Pops, de Ray Conniff y de Herb Alpert viajaron en la maleta de un tío militar y llegaron hasta el living de su casa, en el lugar en el que hoy trabaja. Aquella música aparece en el mismo sitio en el que se alojan las decenas de horas pasadas frente al televisor, viendo viejas películas y series norteamericanas. Tras el Golpe de Estado de 1973, Chile paulatinamente se convirtió en una colonia cultural de Estados Unidos. Una colonia instalada en los hogares.
 
La Galería de Arte Jewett se convierte entonces en una extensión de esas experiencias, son recuerdos, pero también lecturas críticas y asociaciones, justo cuando en Chile, tras el Estallido Social, se revisa con atención la historia reciente.
 
En una instalación que combina los lenguajes de la pintura y el dibujo, César Gabler explora la cultura como síntoma. La popularidad-- en Chile-- de la música ligera, el country norteamericano y el tele evangelismo en los años más duros de la dictadura son abordados como un insospechado incosciente cultural.
 
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Records by the Boston Pops take César Gabler from Panama at the height of the School of the Americas' activities, to the consequences of the Cold War, and to the trips that music, cinema, and television made in the name of American culture during the years of the military dictatorship in Chile. These traveling albums were ambassadors of culture, just as Walt Disney and Milton Friedman had been during their fleeting visits to Chile in 1941 and 1976 respectively. Those Boston Pops, Ray Conniff, and Herb Alpert albums were carried by Gabler's military uncle until they made it to the living room of the artist's childhood home, the place that is his studio today. This music lived in the same place that hosted dozens of hours spent in front of the TV, watching old movies and American TV shows. After the military coup d'eta in 1973, Chile gradually became a cultural colony of the US-- a colony installed in peoples' homes.

 
In March the Jewett Art Gallery became an extension of those experiences. The works, though built on memories, are also critical readings and associations that coincide with the 2019 social unrest in Chile, asking for a careful revision of recent history.
 
In an installation that combines the languages of drawing and painting, Gabler expores culture as a symptom. The popularity in Chile of light music, American westerns, and tele-evangelism during the toughest years of the dictatorship are examined as an unsuspected cultural unconscious.
 
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This exhibition was originally scheduled to be on view from March 14 - April 19, 2020. In light of the closure of the Gallery due to the global pandemic, this exhibition has been extended, with its in-person opening date to be determined.
 
For more information, contact Gallery Director Samara Pearlstein at spearls2@wellesley.edu.
 
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More images coming soon!
 
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Watch an interview with César Gabler and Studio Art Program Director Daniela Rivera, recorded on the very last day of install in the gallery-- what turned out to be the last day of on-campus classes for our students in Spring 2020.
 
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