Patricia Domínguez

I would like to introduce ex hunter, professional architect and self taught archaeologist Chalo Dominguez, mi abuelo. For years, he has excavated a specific area of the Atacama Desert in Chile. A couple of km2 where he has discovered mummies, new species of whales, 16 million year old sharks, indigenous devices and artifacts, old toys, colonial devices left by the Spanish, carved bones, the most southern colony of green turtles of the world, old flags, indigenous paintings on the rocks, bullets, and collect garbage coming from the other side of the ocean. With those things, he has made jewelry, historical pirate boats, doors, furniture, paintings, activists revolutions, toys, abstract objects and a whale cemetery. 

Along the years, I have seen him re-arrange his discoveries and crafts in cabinets made of fishnets discarded by the sea in a “museum” that combines the layered discoveries of that terrain with almost no filter; The Museum of the Seagulls.  All those objects were found colliding into each other throughout and beneath the surface of the same place in the desert. Every new specimen that was found confirmed or disrupted formal ideas of that specific place, and helped putting together an alternative history of that part of the desert. The terrain acts as a possibility of both accessing history and rearranging history at the same time.

He had invented a new genre; he has webbed and connected indigenous art, popular culture, historical events, humor, and his own crafts. My grandfather has invented a radiant, impure and contaminated new genre in the desert - an urgent and personal life-gesture that has affected and inspired me dearly.