UNCOVERING THE CONNECTION BETWEEN SALTPETER, A MAJOR CONTEMPORARY ART MUSEUM, AND FINANCIAL SPECULATION.
The Atacama Desert in the north of Chile, one of the most arid places on earth, is also known for the resources in its subsoil rich with copper and saltpeter. In Extranos Mares Arden (Strange Seas Are Burning), Laida Azkona Goñi and Txalo Toloza-Fernández describe how this inhospitable region has aroused keen interest for centuries. The Guggenheim family amassed the fortune that would later allow it to build the first contemporary art museum, in New York, with an early twentieth-century mining empire that notably included saltpeter mines in Chile. Victor Hugo Toloza, Txalo Toloza-Fernández’s father, was born and raised in these mines. In this performance, the playwright follows a variety of threads in which the history of his family intersects with the ravages of colonization and the devastating effects of financial speculation on local populations
Hugues Le Tanneur