Monthly Archives: December 2013

Performing in Public

Art is found everywhere in public spaces. Architecture, with buildings ranging from purely utilitarian to decorated in filigree, and advertisements, boasting stuff to buy, people to hire, vacations and political candidates, are somebody’s art. Other artistic expressions such as graffiti and sculptures are a more obvious form of public art. We walk through cities and towns, taking it all in, sometimes stopping for a moment when something interesting catches our eye.

But these are all sedentary. I’ve noticed, as I wander through the streets of Santiago, that live art brings more people together. It’s only there during the performance, whether it be music, dance, theater or a mixture of a variety of mediums. People gather, stare, wonder, smile, snap photos; all the things they might do with permanent art. Yet performance is unique because one can’t return.

I took some pictures of street performances in Santiago, just before I put my camera away to soak it all in.

A street performer begins crying as part of a performance in Plaza Italia on Oct. 18, 2013 in Santiago, Chile.

A street performer begins crying as part of a performance in Plaza Italia on Oct. 18, 2013 in Santiago, Chile.

Dancers perform at Gabriela Mistral Cultural Center in Santiago, Chile on Oct. 18, 2013.

Dancers perform at Gabriela Mistral Cultural Center in Santiago, Chile on Oct. 18, 2013.

People arrived by bike and on foot to watch a free dance performance at Gabriela Mistral Cultural Center in Santiago, Chile on Oct. 18, 2013.

People arrived by bike and on foot to watch a free dance performance at Gabriela Mistral Cultural Center in Santiago, Chile on Oct. 18, 2013.

There are tons of street performers in Chile that juggle, do acrobatics and spin flags at intersections or on streets for spare change. The performances I photographed above were extended performances that were similar to what someone might see in a theater, which is what made them unique. The artists were performing simply for the sake of art.

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Mil Tambores

A gathering of artists, spectators and musicians filled Altamirano Avenue in Valparaiso, Chile  on Oct. 6, 2013 to celebrate freedom of expression in public spaces. The festival was controversial due to the heaps of trash left by attendees the previous year. This year, organization of the event was kept secret until a week prior to discourage authorities from preventing its success.

An artists finishes up details on his human canvas at Mil Tambores 2013 in on Oct. 6 in Valparaiso, Chile. The event was an expression of freedom to use public spaces for art and cultural expression.

An artists finishes up details on his human canvas at Mil Tambores 2013 in on Oct. 6 in Valparaiso, Chile. The event was an expression of freedom to use public spaces for art and cultural expression.

A woman is painted at Mil Tambores 2013 in on Oct. 6 in Valparaiso, Chile. The event was an expression of freedom to use public spaces for art and cultural expression.

A woman is painted at Mil Tambores 2013 in on Oct. 6 in Valparaiso, Chile. The event was an expression of freedom to use public spaces for art and cultural expression.

A women searches through the trash at Mil Tambores to find salvageable items on Oct. 6, 2013 in Valparaiso, Chile. The time and date of the event was kept secret until a week prior this year to prevent being shut down by authorities due to the excessive amount of trash.

A women searches through the trash at Mil Tambores to find salvageable items on Oct. 6, 2013 in Valparaiso, Chile. The time and date of the event was kept secret until a week prior this year to prevent being shut down by authorities due to the excessive amount of trash.

A tambores group begins a beat at Mil Tambores 2013 in on Oct. 6 in Valparaiso, Chile. The event was an expression of freedom to use public spaces for art and cultural expression.

A tambores group begins a beat at Mil Tambores 2013 in on Oct. 6 in Valparaiso, Chile. The event was an expression of freedom to use public spaces for art and cultural expression.

A body painting model waits for her artist to finish his creation at Mil Tambores 2013 in on Oct. 6 in Valparaiso, Chile. The event was an expression of freedom to use public spaces for art and cultural expression.

A body painting model waits for her artist to finish his creation at Mil Tambores 2013 in on Oct. 6 in Valparaiso, Chile. The event was an expression of freedom to use public spaces for art and cultural expression.

Thousands of people arrive for the parade during Mil Tambores 2013 in on Oct. 6 in Valparaiso, Chile. The event was an expression of freedom to use public spaces for art and cultural expression.

Thousands of people arrive for the parade during Mil Tambores 2013 in on Oct. 6 in Valparaiso, Chile. The event was an expression of freedom to use public spaces for art and cultural expression.

Confetti litters the street at Mil Tambores 2013 in on Oct. 6 in Valparaiso, Chile. The event was an expression of freedom to use public spaces for art and cultural expression.

Confetti litters the street at Mil Tambores 2013 in on Oct. 6 in Valparaiso, Chile. The event was an expression of freedom to use public spaces for art and cultural expression.

Dancers of all styles performed at Mil Tambores 2013 in on Oct. 6 in Valparaiso, Chile. The event was an expression of freedom to use public spaces for art and cultural expression.

Dancers of all styles performed at Mil Tambores 2013 in on Oct. 6 in Valparaiso, Chile. The event was an expression of freedom to use public spaces for art and cultural expression.

People dealt with cold temperature and clouds to show of f their painted bodies at Mil Tambores 2013 in on Oct. 6 in Valparaiso, Chile. The event was an expression of freedom to use public spaces for art and cultural expression.

People dealt with cold temperature and clouds to show of f their painted bodies at Mil Tambores 2013 in on Oct. 6 in Valparaiso, Chile. The event was an expression of freedom to use public spaces for art and cultural expression.

A dancer in Caporales Reales Brillantes throws his hat in the air during the Mil Tambores parade that celebrated keeping public spaces free for artistic and cultural expression on Oct. 6, 2013 in Valparaiso, Chile. The dance group performs Andean and other Latin American dances.

A dancer in Caporales Reales Brillantes throws his hat in the air during the Mil Tambores parade that celebrated keeping public spaces free for artistic and cultural expression on Oct. 6, 2013 in Valparaiso, Chile. The dance group performs Andean and other Latin American dances.