Beberemos El Vino Nuevo, Juntos! | Let Us Drink the New Wine, Together!
Beberemos El Vino Nuevo, Juntos! | Let Us Drink the New Wine, Together! was a worldwide multimedia arts project, developed to bring artists together during the COVID-19 pandemic.
Alys Longley and Máximo Carvalan-Pincheira. Beberemos el vino de nuevo, juntos! Museo de Arte Contemporáneo MAC (installation view) 2020
New Zealand artist alys longley has a long-held affinity with Chile; in 2019, she worked at the Museo de la Memoria y los Derechos Humanos (Museum of Memory and Human Rights) in Santiago. In March 2020, at the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic, she and Chilean artist Máximo Corvalán-Pincheira both had to cancel their plans to attend an international artist residency. Instead, they decided to work together on a remote project.
Thinking of other artists scattered across the world, alys and Máximo conceived the multimedia arts project Beberemos El Vino Nuevo, Juntos! | Let Us Drink the New Wine, Together! to reconnect 100 artists around the world and show solidarity.
alys’s partner, Jeffrey Holdaway, who is a watercolourist, painted five beautiful envelopes. From New Zealand, alys dispatched the envelopes to five artists. Each artist then sent their envelope on a journey to three other artists. The artists added to the envelope a miniature form of their art, which included drawings, writing, embroidery, poetry, and postmarks.
Realising that some envelopes would go missing, Jeffrey and alys added more envelopes to the project, until there were 20 envelopes travelling through 26 countries. Eventually, 10 envelopes reached Máximo in Chile, and 10 were lost. At a time of global upheaval, delays and closures of the postal system meant that many envelopes finally arrived in Chile as the pandemic was ending, after two years.
alys and Máximo also sent the same digital map to the participating artists and invited them to rewrite the world a little with their choice of intervention. And in a third intervention, they sent cardboard and scores to dancers, and asked them to video themselves performing in their community.
The envelopes, maps and videos formed an archive of miniature works of art, which was documented in a catalogue and website, and shown at Museo de Arte Contemporáneo de Santiago and Malcolm Smith Gallery, Auckland. The exhibition in Santiago formed part of a large group show to celebrate the 50th anniversary of the Museo de Arte Contemporáneo de Santiago. They also developed a digital exhibition site with New-York-based DOTDOT digital studio. This guaranteed the project had a virtual venue alongside a physical one.
Beberemos El Vino Nuevo, Juntos! | Let Us Drink the New Wine, Together! was inspired by the game Exquisite Corpse, which was popular in artistic circles in the 1920s. It involves participants taking turns to write or draw on a sheet of paper, fold the paper to conceal their contribution, and then pass it to the next player for their contribution. Just as the Surrealist movement used this game to generate collaborative compositions, the curators of this project used it nurture artistic friendships and creative exchanges at a time when artists were physically separated due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
Published 02 November 2023
“Even though we are scattered by geography, time, politics, health and safety protocols, and language, over 60 artists across the world are re-imagining art as a material practice. alys and Max have invited us to witness a process of testing and tasting our capacities within the boundaries we find ourselves in.”
2020 to 2023
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