Sebastián Escalona is an artist and scholar whose practice seeks to blend traditional disciplines into experimental hybrid languages. Consistent throughout his practice is the development of his pictorial language to communicate concepts of collective fear, violence and spectacle. Escalona is a leading theatrical set designer who has been involved with many recognized plays in Chile and abroad. In 2010, he directed the theater production American Jesus which was held in the suburbs of Santiago in an abandoned warehouse and was funded by the Chilean Government. At the Universidad de Chile, as a professor, he created the artwork MEDIUM, which incorporated a spirit channeler to invoke the dead souls of the artists Joseph Beuys and Andy Warhol into a university classroom. The work generated a great deal of attention and controversy. In 2013, Escalona founded the Imaginary School, a traveling school dedicated to teaching imagination workshops throughout Chile (Universidad Austral).
Josefina Dagorret is a performer, creator and theater director. She has been nationally and internationally recognized by numerous awards for best direction for productions “El Otro Baño” and “La Pieza.” Since 2015, her performance and assistant director role in the play “Access” from the film director Pablo Larrain ( “No”, “The Club”, “Jackie”), has toured several countries in Europe including Spain, Netherlands, Poland, France, Switzerland, Belgium, and in Latin America in Chile, Peru and Brazil. Most recently, she has been working as co-creator and director of a residency produced by the Goethe-Institut, Chile, involving Chilean and German artists. Dagorret’s work is focused on exploring different artistic disciplines in search of a particular and genuine mixture, one which contains the primitive human being in tension with contemporary aesthetics.
Sebastián Escalona (visual artist and art director) and Josefina Dagorret (director and performer) will continue the development of Extinct Rite – a research project that combines different languages of artistic expressions involving landscape, the body, the site-specific and the memory. The project is inspired by the Chilean, pre-Columbian tribe “Selknam” who was exterminated in 1923 by European colonizers in “Tierra del Fuego” located on the Chilean side of Patagonia. The Selknam’s most important ceremony, “Hain”, was dedicated to connecting the human being with the universe as represented in the stars and other natural earthly forces. The goal of Sebastián and Josefina’s residency is to awaken the Hain rite and bringing it back to the modern world, returning the instinctive memory to the body in order to produce links with contemporary performative practices.
Extinct Rite is sponsored by FITAM “Santiago a Mil” International Theater Festival, the University of Chile (room 19), the Teaching Center of Universidad Austral de Valdivia (XIV Region Rios, Chile) and the Museum of Contemporary Art (MAC) Santiago, Chile.