Architectural Artifact

written by José Luis Uribe Ortiz
architect Cristián Axl Valdés

At the exhibition Down the Deep Lanes, the English photographer James Ravilious captured a part of the everyday life of rural North Devon, England. His gaze focused on the link between the inhabitants and the area’s agricultural production processes. The interesting thing about these photographs is the way in which each composition speaks of the constant transformation of the land, a space that folds, cracks and is molded as a result of this activity. The photographer recognizes, through human nature, the way in which, throughout generations, people have given shape to their territory. Something similar occurs in Chile’s Central Valley, a place where new landscapes are constantly discovered, which allows us to approach the construction of a narrative by observing its structure. It is a staging of sorts, where the elements that make up those landscapes have been gradually arranged over the course of long working days and generation after generation of laborers who, unconsciously, have created a local identity based on this productive landscape.