Marcela Moraga Salvemos el río Renaico

Algunos documentos del Museo comunitario del Agua, río Renaico, 2020

Installation view © Benjamin Renter
Installation view © Benjamin Renter

Installation consisting of a wall painting, a video and two photographs. Variable dimensions.
Video: 4 minutes. Original idea by Marcela Moraga and Salvemos el río Renaico, 2016.
Camera: Miguel Rozas. Music: “Raíces” by Weychan.
Photo of the fisherman: scan of an analogue photograph donated to the Museum’s collection.
Fine Art paper 42,0 x 29,7 cm. 
Photograph of the mural by Salvemos el río Renaico. Fine Art paper 29,7 x 21,0 cm. 

The artist recreates at nGbK’s space a mural painting by the collective and social organisation “Salvemos el río Renaico” from the community of Renaico, in the Araucanía region of Chile. It depicts two animals characteristic of the region: the bandurria and the trout. Moraga paints the waters of the river and portrays people with an affective bond with the river. The Renaico River once provided salmon, trout and carp, was the site of personal and collective memories, and today remains a major tourist attraction. By means of vignettes, the Chilean artist living in Berlin makes a selection of her testimonies, thus proposing a symbolic and synthetic reading of a research process with the community to form an institution that will stand the test of time: the Museo Comunitario del Agua.

The institution in the process of formation – still without a physical space – is constituted through the collection of objects and information about the river and its importance for the community. The museum has also represented the people of Renaico in lawsuits against large corporations and even the state.

A video documentary produced in 2016 with this association and collective of young environmentalists denounces the collusion between the State and large companies for the indiscriminate exploitation of the Renaico River for the benefit of the timber, paper and pulp industries, among others, and to the detriment of the water flow, which has been progressively reduced for nearly ten years. This video production is part of the Museo Comunitario del Agua’s collection, along with old photographs and children’s drawings, among other vehicles of collective and environmental memory.

Marcela Moraga San Fernando, Chile 1975

[Salvemos el río Renaico – Renaico, Chile, 2013.]

Marcela Moraga (Chile) currently lives and works in Berlin. She obtained her Bachelor of Arts from the Universidad de Chile in 1998. In 1999 she received a scholarship from the Universidad de Chile to attend the Magister in Visual Arts at the same institution. Subsequent to that she received the German DAAD scholarship to attend a Post-Graduate program in visual communication at the Hamburg University of Arts (HFBK). In 2013 she completed the Postgraduate M.A. Course “Art in Context” at the Berlin University of the Arts (UDK).

Her work has been shown internationally in galleries, museums and institutions, including: Museo de Arte Contemporáneo MAC Santiago (Chile); Kunsthalle M3 Berlin (Germany); National Center for Contemporary Art Saint Petersburg (Russia); Museu de Arte Contemporânea da Universidade de São Paulo (Brazil); TENT Centre for the Arts Rotterdam (Holland); National Museum of Contemporary Art (Republic of Korea); and the Mercosur Biennial Porto Alegre (Brazil), the Nuevos Medios Biennial Santiago (Chile) and the International Cairo Biennal (Egypt). Her work is represented by Die Ecke Arte Contemporáneo in Santiago, Chile.


Expanded research: Documentary presented during the public program

The film Save Renaico River presents a two-year investigation conducted by with the activist group Salvemos el río Renaico (in Chile), where the residents narrate their memories and perceptions regarding the situation of the river today. The aim is to inform on the abusive water extraction by the forest industry. In the same way, it attempts to be a reminder of the emotional bonding between the Renaico community and their river.
This documentary has been produced in collaboration with the activist group and it belongs to the collection of the Water Community Museum, Renaico. Original idea: Salvemos el río Renaico and Marcela Moraga. Image and editing: Miguel Rozas
Music: Rodrigo Prado – Mauricio Gutiérrez
Photography : Pablo Ocqueteau
Renaico, Chile 2016