Place: Cultural Center Matucana 100, Santiago, Chile.
Year: 2003


The root of the project “La Revolución del Trompo” (The Revolution of the Spinning-Top) is a toy that is very popular in Chile.

The spinning-top is carved from a small piece of wood shaped by hand using a lathe. It is an attractive object whose form and autonomy mutate into multiple forms through its proper function or practical use (toy-game). This mutating quality allows it to develop new forms that are subtly outlined in space during a brief existence that begins with the inertia the toy achieves upon being thrown, a gesture that starts the “revolutions” of the spinning top which, rotating upon itself, develops new forms until it achieves the vertical stability through which it recovers its original form, only to gradually lose momentum and come to a stop, experiencing a “small death.” In this brief process, a series of new forms emerge, which I have recorded photographically, using the photos as referents for the objects built on occasion of this exhibition project. These forms comprise eight large objects of various dimensions laid out directly on the gallery floor, in the main hall, each one situated at random, in the position of their own “small death,” as if awaiting a return to their original function, appealing to their use again, engaging the viewer through the irony of their size and the impossibility of throwing them, action that would reinstate their functionality, in a new form of play given that, in spite of their displacement in terms of form, size and context, the objects remain as toys and have not lost their playful quality.
The construction system of these objects involves a representation of the virtual development of forms that deconstruct an original object (form of origin) without losing the memory of that original form. In their current manifestation, moreover, the objects engage that history directly through their own physical presence, as a result of which the original forms are reinstated in their full volumetric magnitude at the place of exhibition, apparently without being there. At times they allow for a mixed visual reading that hides its autonomy, while at the same time they reveal themselves in the itinerary of the work, unveiling the virtual nature of the forms while at the same generating a graphic gesture in space that reaffirms the mobility of this toy.

Technical description:
Eight objects of variable dimensions ranging from 2.5 meters long by 2.0 meters in diameter up to 7.0 meters long by 3.5 meters in diameter. The total space occupied was of approximately 1,800 square meters.
The objects were built using 12 mm wide steel bars welded and painted white.


Créditos fotográficos / Álvaro Mardones