Precarious Symmetry

Vue expo4
Untitled (Landscape) 11:16 minutes, color, silent, 2014-2017

Precarious Symmetry

Carolina Saquel / Ariel Bustamante. Curated by Camila Marambio as part of the making of the webseries Distancia. MADA Gallery, Melbourne Australia, April – May 2018

Precarious Symmetry is a face-off.
Precarious symmetry is what might emerge from a game of call and response between artist Ariel Bustamante’s Untitled sound composition (10 minutes, 6 channels, 6 active speakers, 2017- 2018) and Carolina Saquel’s Untitled (Landscape) video work (11:16 minutes, color, silent, 2014-2017).

Precarious Symmetry is a set-up.
Precarious Symmetry is what could momentarily occur if, in the tradition of the Baile Chino, the curator Camila Marambio’s prediction about the encounter of Ariel and Carolina’s distinct works was to come true.

The Baile Chino is a spiritual technology that knots together the sound of the universe and the image of reality. In the Baile Chino, a pre-Columbian ritual dance still practiced today along the Chilean Andes Mountains, the dancers respond to each other’s strident flutes, exciting one another into a dialogue that lasts for hours, inducing a trance-like state aimed at sustaining the dissonant emissions. Dissonance is sought-after because it is through it that a rajadura (rip) occurs.  This rip, or tear, is a cut, an opening, towards other dimensions.
Ariel, Carolina, and Camila are dancers attempting to tear each-other-together-apart, to slip through the slit, into a fantastical new dimension they call Distancia.

For more on Distancia and on the artistic processes of the works on exhibit visit

* As an offering to Precarious Symmetry, the anthropologist Michael Taussig wrote the poem “Borderlands of Being”. As a further offering to you, the poem was printed and stands in a pile below this sign. Take one.

Borderlands of Being

On the edge of nothing and everything where dust rises and
settles and rises some more, where the earth dissolves in
formless forms and the northern desert of ghost towns and
copper mines breathes its lullabies as night falls, here we
settle, here we dissolve. The minutiae of particulate
matter, aural and optical, evades our long inherited
schemes for understanding understanding. If it wasn’t for
the littleness, if it wasn’t for the quiet and the slowness
of a rhythm as old as the hills, gentle, gentle, more,
more, again, again, learn to listen, once again, learn to
see, once again.

What am I, after all?

mick taussig