This Project investigates the function of images and the role of landscape in the colonial process in southern Chile from the 19th century up to today’s territorial conflicts.

Through its combination of artistic, anthropological and art-theory methodologies and its international team, the exposition contributes to a broader understanding of landscape as a medium of cultural identification and territorial appropriation in a postcolonial context.

The results are three video art works and five texts: a video performance staging the painter Carl Alexander Simon’s manifesto for a colonisation of southern Chile by German democrats, a video installation portraying Mapuche indigenous people talking about their paranormal encounters and a two-hour documentary making the landscape speak through interwoven statements by different actors of this space.

The texts present the results of an art curator’s travel through Chile researching on the notion of landscape in contemporary Chilean art, an ethno-historical analysis of the shifts in the relation of Mapuche culture to nature and the Mapuches’ appropriation of the European landscape concept as a means of political struggle, a historical study on the notion of landscapes in literature for emigrants in the 19th century and an analysis of Simon’s book on colonization.

This research project was based at the University of Art and Design – Geneva and received funding through the competences network Design / Visual Arts of the University of Applied Science and Arts Western Switzerland (HES-SO).