Precarious Symmetry

Precarious Symmetry: Ariel Bustamante and Carolina Saquel
Curated by Camila Marambio as part of the making of the webseries Distancia, Exhibited at MADA Gallery, Monash University, Australia.

Precarious Symmetry is a face-off.
Precarious symmetry is what might emerge from a game of call and response between Ariel Bustamante’s Untitled sound composition (10 minutes, 6 channels, 6 active speakers, 2017-2018) and Carolina Saquel’s Untitled (Landscape) video (11:16 minutes, colour, silent, 2014-2016).

Precarious Symmetry is a set-up.
Precarious Symmetry is what could momentarily occur if in the tradition of the Baile Chino, the curator Camila Marambio’s prediction about the encounter of Ariel and Carolina’s distinct works was to come true.

The Baile Chino is a spiritual technology that knots together the sound of the universe and the image of reality. In the Baile Chino, a pre-Columbian ritualdance still practiced today along the Chilean Andes Mountains, the dancers respond to each other’s strident utes, exciting one another into a dialogue that lasts for hours, inducing a trance-like state aimed at sustaining the dissonant emissions. Dissonance is sought-after because it is through it that a rajadura (rip) occurs. This rip, or tear, is a cut, an opening towards other dimensions.

Ariel, Carolina, and Camila are dancers attempting to tear each-other-together- apart, to slip through the slit, into a fantastical new dimension they call Distancia.

* As an offering to Precarious Symmetry, the anthropologist Michael Taussig wrote the poem
“Borderlands of Being” on April 10, 2018.

Borderlands of Being

On the edge of nothing and everything where dust rises and settles and rises some more, where the earth dissolves in formless forms and the northern desert of ghost towns and copper mines breathes its lullabies as night falls, here we settle, here we dissolve. The minutiae of particulate matter, aural and optical, evades our long inherited schemes for understanding understanding. If it wasn’t for the littleness, if it wasn’t for the quiet and the slowness of a rhythm as old as the hills, gentle, gentle, more, more, again, again, learn to listen, once again, learn to see, once again.

What am I, after all?

** Thanks to Melanie Flynn, Tara McDowell, Tessa Dwyer, and Tom Nicholson for their support in the making of Distancia.

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