Strumento di protesta – Opera Latinoamericana #1
Mixed Technique: Aluminium pots and pans, hardware for drumset.
The artist grew up and studied in Santiago in a relaxed family atmosphere, far from any active involvment in the political debate; yet democracy is a topic and a value always questioned in a reality where dictatorship imposes rules and constrictions, infringing upon individual freedom. Felipe Aguila’s memory goes back to the curfew enforcement and to the silence broken in the middle of the night by the sound of cacerolazos. The hotting of pots and lids: in the home people were pacefully protesting turning everyday kitchen utensils into musical instruments able to make sound to call attention upon their hardships. The sounds of the pots would dialogue from one house to other in a neighbourhood, from one neighbourhood to another in the city, in a debate wich would take on the expressive force of the music rhythm produces by the instruments of an orchestra.
Observing the artistic, cultural, political and social history of his country, Felipe Aguila built and actual drum set. An instrument where pots serve as drums, lids become cymbals, and wooden spoons serve as sticks. The artist chose to use a brand of pots and pans which was the most popular in Chile in the 1980’s, aluminio ell mono (the monkey aluminium), actually featuring the picture of a monkey, whose neon advertising sing towered in the Mapocho area. Today the neon sign has been removed and the brand has lost the notoriety it had thirty years ago. The artist’s memory lives on even if partly distorted and deformed by time and geographc distance, and it crystallises in the pots and pans bought for this work which made the same journey from Chile to Italy.
Instrumento of protest is the symbol of the history of a population, of its memory, and becomes a metaphor of the will to let the sound ne heard , that is the voice of the citizens, of everybody who claims democracy and the values shared by the community, the right to free choice and expression.