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URIEL - Oscar Santillan at dpm gallery

On December 11th I just opened a solo exhibit at dpm, in Guayaquil, Ecuador.
The catalog of the show can be downloaded here

Oscar Santillan

2013 (May-August)

A Hymn
Event - documented on video - 13’30”
A performer excercises to the point of exhaustion
The beat of a drum is then synchronized with her sweat

Performer: Inga Meldere
Drummer: Kiki Beemer
Production: Tim Rutten and Hans van Hezik
Camera: Daan Milius and Oscar Santillan
Thanks to: Eline Schmeets, Paul Bailey, Charlotte Lagro,
and Judith Bruijnzeels
Location: Sint Lambertuskerk (Maastricht, NL)

Correspondences (after Charles Baudelaire)
Performance / 2013 / Piece by Oscar Santillan
With the support of a computer vision specialist and a musician, the cracks on the ceiling of an entire building are turned into musical notations and sung by a classical singer.

Performer: Eva Jagielska
Thanks to Maries van Osch, Edwin Jacobs, and Eline Schmeets

Location: The Ridder gallery (Maastricht, NL)

The Wandering Kingdoms
Performance at an abandoned park
Five musicians hidden in the wilderness -each playing a different instrument- interpret a composition based on the sound of birds that populated this area in the past

Work based on the research by Joeri Bruyninckx
Sound archive: Hans van de Laar
Translation to musical score: Paul Stravridis
Musicians: Yu Ching (oboe), Anke van Brussel (horn), Agathe Quero (violin), Vinesh Dijkstra (clarinet), and Paul Stavridis (cello)
Location: Frontenpark (Maastricht, NL)

El Lago
Graphite on marble
15cm circumference

La Carne
Graphite on marble
15cm circumference


2013 (early)

A motionless marble pendulum. Sphere circumference is 22 cm

Glass window made out of silica, ashes of cremated birds, and cadmium sulphide.  Circumference is 47 cm

Video projection fit to scale of a small shelf. Projector is located above. Shelf measures are 24x17 cm

San Agustín (Saint Augustine)
Motionless marble pendulum, shelf with video projection, and glass window (silica, ashes of cremated birds, and cadmium sulfide)

The work is on view from May 2 - June 18, 2013 at CAC (Contemporary Art Center), in Quito, Ecuador. It is part of the "Mariano Aguilera Prize" exhibit curated by Ana Rosa Valdez.

Photographic documentation by Pedro Cacigal

Quisiera agradecer especialmente a:
Edgar Flores, quien puso todo su amplio conocimiento sobre vidrio a disposición de nuestros experimentos.
Chay Velasco, talentoso colega quien ha sido tremendamente generoso conmigo.
Saskya Fun Sang y Liliana García, quienes con ingenio y convencimiento lograron lo (casi) imposible.
Elliott Katz y Seven Below Program, que me brindaron el espacio perfecto para seguir reinventando mi práctica artística.
Avery McIntosh, quien dedicó su día libre a experimentos en el bosque.
Todo el equipo de DPM que siempre me ha respaldado, ¡sobre todo cuando el tiempo está en contra!
Todo el equipo del CAC, y particularmente a Ana Rosa Valdez y Gabriela Cabrera, quienes han llevado este proceso con total profesionalismo, con ímpetu cómplice.
Y, siempre, infinitamente agradecido con mi familia.

Video  /  7'36" /  2013

Agradecimientos: Al colectivo SiluetaX, que permitió que este encuentro sucediera.
Participantes (en orden alfabético): 
Anahí Ramirez / Gabriela Chilán / Jessica Cruz / María Sol Mite / Pink García
Producción: Saskya Fun Sang
Cámara y Fotografía: Ricardo Coello / Xavier Coronel / Jorge Morocho
Sonido: 'Ruido Rosa', composición original de Christian Proaño
Dirección: Oscar Santillán

Pulverem Aurum

110x140 cm

Photograph documenting the coalescence of a mirror, honey, gold dust, milk, a bee, and a piece of the forest.

Artist Oscar Santillan lecturing at the Jan van Eyck Academie, in The Netherlands, where he currently is an artist-in-residence.

Finale - work commissioned by the Carrillo Gil Museum for "Los Irrespetuosos" show

Finale / A clairvoyant describes to a curator the way in which he is going to die / Event documented on video / 2012

As a response to an invitation to create a new work for an exhibition, I asked the curator of the exhibit, Carlos E Palacios, to take part in it.
In consequence, the curator kindly agreed to participate on a session with a clairvoyant, Master Kiron, in which -through a reading of his eyes- the moment of his death is carefully described.
The session and the afterwards reenactment -in which the curator plays his own death according to the clairvoyant’s description- were registered on video. All the elements, including the music, only appear according to what was said by Kiron.
Ante la invitación para crear un nuevo trabajo para una exhibición, le propongo al curador de la misma, Carlos Palacios, la posibilidad de tener una sesión con un clarividente, el maestro Kirón, quien mediante una lectura de los ojos de Carlos tendría acceso al momento de su muerte.
Esta es la documentación tanto de la sesión como del reenactment del curador interpretando su propia muerte acorde con la narración del clarividente. Todos los elementos, incluyendo la música, provienen estrictamente de lo revelado por Kirón.

Finale fue posible gracias al aporte y las ganas del Museo de Arte Carrillo Gil, en Ciudad de México, para ellos muchas gracias por producir y financiar este trabajo.
Así mismo, gracias especiales a Carlos por su arrojo y valiente apertura, así como a Paola y todos quienes hacen el MACG.
El trabajo de cámara fue realizado por Alexandra Barao y Oscar Santillán,
Los equipos y datos técnicos fueron provistos por Jasso.
La música proviene de la película "Las Islas Marías" dirigida por Emilio Fernández, y presenta a Pedro Infante en el papel principal.

Seven Below Residency Program

The Annunciation   /  Photograph of baby powder on a forest   /  100x150 cm  /  2012 

Accompaniment for a Falling Leaf   /  Event documented on video  /  2012


These are posts and reviews about Lucerna, the solo show that is currently taking over the four floors of the amazing Odeon Foundation, in Bogota, Colombia:
Download PDF Catalogue (english/spanish)
Review at Esfera Publica (spanish)
Interview at Exclama (spanish)

And here, a couple of the new works included in the show:

A cloud trapped inside of a marble volume

All The Eyes Of The Universe
All the eyes from every Star Trek movie

La Clairvoyance

Works accomplished on the last months

Slide projection documenting an action carried out by artist Oscar Santillan.

Photography by Alexandra Barao


La Clairvoyance (I)
Photographic documentation of the moment in which a horse stares at bubble made from his own semen
100x66.5 cm

Ed. 3+AP

La Clairvoyance (II)
Photographic documentation of the moment in which a horse stares at a bubble made from his own semen
100x66.5 cm

Ed. 3+AP

Color Semen (I)
Photographic documentation of the result of a masturbation by the artist after being injected vegetable pigments into his seminal vesicles
100x150 cm

Color Semen (II)
Photographic documentation of the result of a masturbation by the artist after being injected vegetable pigments into his seminal vesicles
100x150 cm

New Videos

The Telepathy Manifesto / Video loop / 2011
Performing: Daniel Beckwith and Oscar Santillan
Camera: Alexandra Barao and Stephen Williams

Cascade / Video loop / 2009-2011
Produced by: Josie Lewis and Daniel Beckwith

The Cannibals / Video loop / 2011 / in collaboration with artist Signe Schmidt

VCU MFA Thesis Show

/// general view of the show ///
Special thanks to artists Jessica Dodd, Josie Lewis, Will Machin and Josh Bennett for their support with the installation.

Twins / Cast light and cast cake / 2011
Produced by Stephen Williams

A Knife To Defeat The Night's Breeze / Ashes of a coyote / 2009-2011
Produced by Daniel Beckwith and Oscar Santillan
Special thanks to Verena Schatz, Alexa Leister-Frazier, Josie Lewis, and Stephen Williams

Juana Ines de la Cruz
/ Several beings with long hair /
Produced by Alexandra Barao
Special thanks to the participants: Melissa Lesh, Loie Hollowell, Georgi Ivanov, Emily Sydnor, Jackie Rhines, Renee Doorly and Jackie Picariello
And, thanks to Aileen Painter for her support with this work

Ornst / Cast of Adam Smith’s Wealth of Nations, and something that expires on Yuri Gagarin’s birthday / 2011
Produced by Luke Harman and Alexa Leister-Frazier

Some new works

Map and Dust
100 x 123 cm

For Juana Ines de la Cruz, Five persons with long hair are somehow within the gallery wall
Their actual hair comes out at random intervals. By removing the caps, their hair is seen through five holes, being the only visible part of their body to the viewer. 

The participants come in and out from within the wall whenever they want and they stay or leave as they wish.

Juana Ines de la Cruz
Five beings with long hair

Ashes, glass, and wood pedestal

Strawberry Puddle

The Permanent Blink

The Permanent Blink
Video installation

Every single James Dean’s blink was collected from all of his movies. Then, the 951 blinks were aligned together, creating a video of several sequences of smooth spins of his head.
A projector installed inside the wall projects the video, that glows through the skin of the wall. When the viewer approaches the wall there are no marks, hole, or any sign of modification on the wall, but the very tiny video (about 2 x 1.5 inches, or 5 x 4 cm.) that is running, with no traces of the technology that makes it possible.

Statement - Contact info

The gap between the possible and the impossible, between reality and fiction, has been the creative territory from where my practice departs.
The repertoire of strategies is always expanding and includes means such as: the transmutation of materials; documentation of unorthodox actions; or, the actual deception of the eye without the use of post-production methods.
Then, these strategies interweave with a phenomenological approach committed to creation as a physical action in the world, as the embodiment of reality.
As every new experiment requires a different set of skills, a prominent amount of effort has been devoted towards the dialogue with others. The igniting spark comes always from unapologetic speculation, from the simple curiosity of asking “what if” to others and myself.
I consider my practice as a vindication of curiosity. I hope to find what is epic in the small, in what is obvious but somehow unnoticed, in a blink, in a falling leaf, in a newspaper, in a casual encounter.

Oscar Santillan is represented by dpm