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Michelle-Marie Letelier

Born in 1977 in Racangua, Chile.
Lives and works in Berlin, Germany

Inspired by juxtaposed historical contexts, Letelier’s drawings, installations, videos and sculptures encompass orchestrated transformations of minerals alongside extensive research into the landscapes where their exploitation and speculation take place.

Michelle-Marie Letelier spent her early life in Chuquicamata, the world’s largest open-pit copper mine located in the middle of the Atacama Desert in Chile. This mining town—highly adapted to the extreme arid conditions—was built in 1911 by North-American capitalists to accommodate their workers. When, due to environmental contamination and rising fuel costs, the town was to be buried, Letelier returned to document this process—a pivotal moment that ushered in her practice. The resettlement of the former inhabitants, the alteration of the landscape and the perceptions of the daily rhythm were some of the subjects on which the artist worked, creating a series of videos, photographs and installations that have been shown in Chile and in screenings abroad.

Since then, Letelier has been exploring commodity compounds, their properties and energy productions, enabling situations in which the basic structures are carefully combined and led by physical methods into significant states or applied directly into her drawings.

The work of Michelle-Marie Letelier carries heavy socio-political overtones; it is eloquently reflective especially in times of unveiled globalization, the increasing scarcity of raw materials and the crisis of the neoliberal model.

Individual Exhibitions 
2016 Unpredictable Atlas, Tête, Berlin, Germany
2014 Caliche winds, El museo de los sures, New York, USA
2012 Doomed scape, Perlini Arte Gallery, Padua, Italy
2009 Die Feinfühligezone, Die Ecke Gallery, Santiago, Chile
2005 Moments, School of Arts Salon, UNIACC
Descenso, Espacio-g Gallery, Valparaíso, Chile
2004 Erase, Bech Gallery, Santiago. Codelco borough building, Calama, ChilI

Selected group exhibitions
2016 Dei Viltlevande marine resursane ligg til felleskapet, Kurant, Tromsø, Norway
2015 Next visit: an exhibition with natalia stachon, Next Visit, Berlin, Germany
Map of the new art. imago mundi – Luciano Benetton Collection, Cini Foundation, Venice, Italy
What is the sound of protest?, Errant Bodies, Berlin, Germany
2014 – Magic Block – Contemporary Art from Chile, Stiftelsen 3,14, Bergen, Norway
Puro Chile. Paisaje y Territorio, Palacio La Moneda Cultural Centre, Santiago, Chile
2013 – To seize Matter and leave a Landscape, West Germany, Berlin, Germany
2012 – X Video And Media Arts Biennial, Museum Of Contemporary Art, Santiago, Chile
Retorna – Spanish Cultural Centre, Santiago, Chile
2011 – Zeichnungen – K-Salon, Berlin
Fusion of the Divide – Candid Arts Trust, London, UK
Salon Art Prize 2011 – Matt Roberts Arts, London, UK
2010 – Glass Crash Feeling – Goldrausch 2010, September Gallery And Barbara Thumm Projektraum, Berlin, Germany
2008 – In/Out China – East Asia Contemporary Art Space, Shanghai, China
2007 – Handle With Care – Museum Of Contemporary Art, Santiago, Chile
Peepshow – Gallery 54, Göteborg, Sweden
El Manifiesto de Santiago – Cultural Center Matucana 100, Santiago, Chile

This post is also available in: Spanish