La VI historia del rostro (El Rojo Camino Negro), 1989
Santiago, Chile, 1943; lives in Santiago
La VI historia del rostro (El Rojo Camino Negro), pintura aeropostal # 70, 1989
photo-silkscreen on 10 sections of non-woven fabric
Eugenio Dittborns airmail paintings began to circulate in 1983 and were originally a way for the artist to relate with artistic contexts outside his own country, Chile, then isolated by the military dictatorship (19731990). These works are generally made by the techniques of painting, collage, sewing and printing on a canvas of cheap material, which is folded, placed in an envelope and sent by airmail to the given exhibition venue. La VI historia del rostro (El Rojo Camino Negro) (1989) has traveled for more than 20 years, on a path that began in Santiago and which includes Berlin, Manchester, Banff, Boston, London, Rotterdam, Wellington, Guanghzou, Porto and, finally, Brumadinho, to where the set was mailed in 2005.The images amalgamated in this work include faces extracted from different sources: Indians from Tierra del Fuego portrayed in a book on anthropology by anthropologist Martin Gusinde in the 1920s, composite sketches made by the Chilean police, graffiti works found on bathroom doors and telephone booths, and pictures from drawing manuals. The pink faces were made by the artists daughter, then seven years old. All of the images were photographically processed and printed by silkscreen. Although they were made using methods of reproduction, the artist insists on claiming the status of painting for these works. Oscillating between the documentary and the scientific, between the temporal and the performative, Dittborns paintings have been described as Zen-like by English critic Guy Brett in light of the economy of their making and their open relationship with time and travel, which also relates them to the postal ar t of the 1960s and 70s.