Packing the Hard Potatoes (Chile 1: Last Months of Allende Regime. Words by Plath and Lorca)

  • Date: 
  • Material: 
    Spring wire, magnets, metal sheet and vinyl
  • Technique: 
    Acrylic and Indian ink
  • Descriptive technique: 
    A variable relief of painted figures fastened to wire rods and magnets
  • Dimensions: 
    112 x 211 x 10 cm
  • Category: 
    Variable structure
  • Entry date: 
  • Register number: 
  • Long-term loan of Sharon Avery-Fahlström collection, 2011

Packing the Hard Potatoes (Chile I), 1974, utilizes a wall-hug shelf cut in Chile’s map outline. Long wires with magnet bases are positioned along the shelf, and atop each wire is a large element. This piece alludes to dramatic changes in the social and political fabric of Chile in the days preceding the coup. It suggests a garden of blossoms that vibrate slightly with air-currents or human approach. Is it an allegory for the fragility of Allende’s regime and the struggle of the Chilean people: flowers easily crushed under the tread of tanks? Certainly this […] is one of the most spectacular and passionate works of the artist and implies that the he is at his best when he identifies, as clearly he does here, with valiant but, nevertheless, doomed political struggles.

Sharon Avery-Fahlström