H is an experimental artist residency located in the Atacama Desert. It arose in 2018 with interest in establishing a pole of international and multicultural artistic research in geographically extreme territory.
H residency is an instance of encounters, dialogue, and experimentation from contemporary art, where artists and curators are invited to reflect on the experience lived in the rich geographical, historical and cultural situation offered by the driest desert in the world.
Annually, H opens its doors inviting a group of artists to stay in the city of Calama, a key point of connection between the coast, Antofagasta City, the towns of the inland desert and the Andes mountain range.
The artists begin a process of observation and exploration of the territory, in which they live with an extreme geographical situation at more than 2’200 meters above sea level. We encourage the forms of production reflecting on various perspectives of study that this region offers, such the relationship sustained by ancient and contemporary cultures with science, technology, and astronomy, as well as geology, paleontology, history, archaeology, and anthropology.
The living space consists in the former home of a family and the current office of an engineering services company, located on an industrial plot of 5’000 m2 in front of a wasteland on the outskirts of Calama City. The residence has all the necessary comforts to live and work, both for a family and for the residents; however, the Internet connection is limited due to the location of the residency.
Every year H proposes a program of exploration of the territory for the resident artists, in which guided by archaeologists and local experts of the region, we organize visits to the localities of the desert, and to sites of archaeological, historical, industrial, scientific and sociological interest.
After an estimated time of two months of work, the resident artists present a group exhibition in Pablo Neruda’s public gallery of Calama, showing part of their research process. This instance contemplates guided visits for schools and the general audience.
Through meetings and studio visits, H opens instances of dialogue with local artists and cultural actors, creating and narrowing reflections between foreign guests and the Calamese cultural scene.
The international character of H promotes diversity, multicultural integration and tolerance through the exchange of knowledge in the region of Antofagasta and encourages education and the dissemination of contemporary art in an informative and interactive way through a cycle of talks, aimed at children and young people. These talks are considered every year in public and private schools of Calama, where the guest artists expose their work, their visions of contemporary art and share experiences with the community.
The residency extends its program from Calama (Chile) to Berlin (Germany), by organizing a talk in a space dedicated to contemporary art in the city, where the artists share them creative process experienced during the residency. In this way, H promotes different aspects of the cultural richness of the Atacama’s desert and introduces the cultural and artistic scene of Calama to Berlin.