This publication describes the making of a multiple-screen video installation made by Mario Pfeifer while living on Navarino Island, Chile. This anthropological film looks at the life of the descendants of the area's indigenous Yaghan people, and portrays a nation and community that is violently undergoing cultural and religious, social, political and economic transformation.
Mario Pfeifer developed his latest project, Approximation in the digital age for a humanity condemned to disappear, in Puerto Williams, the southernmost settlement in the world on the Chilean archipelagos of Patagonia bordering Argentina. The publication, designed by Markus Weisbeck equally as an artist's book and research compendium, engages—through essays, annotated texts, and a conversation between Thomas Seelig and Mario Pfeifer—discourses of cultural production from an anthropological-artistic approach about indigenous representation, territorial politics in the postcolonial age, and the traces of German missionary and anthropologist Martin Gusinde in Chile and beyond. Included is Hugo Palmarola's essay, “Folding Culture,” the first in-depth investigation published on the Yagán—a jeep built in cooperation with Citroën in the 1970s—as a socioeconomic and political symbol of Chile's turbulent coup d'état and relationship to its indigenous population in the far south.
This publication documents Mario Pfeifer's multiple-screen video installation and production process as well as his archival research at the Martin Gusinde Estate at the Anthropos Institut in Sankt Augustin and in the ethnomusicology department of the Museum of Ethnography in Berlin. A special LP edition was released with the bilingual publication on the occasion of Pfeifer's first institutional solo exhibition in Latin America and further presentations in Belo Horizonte, Berlin, Brussels, Concepción, Newcastle, New York, Seoul, Santiago de Chile, and Winterthur.
Published on the occasion of Mario Pfeifer's touring exhibition at Museo Anthropologico Martin Gusinde, Puerto Williams, Chile; Museo Nacional de Belles Artes, Santiago de Chile; KOW, Berlin; International Photography Festival, Belo Horizonte, Brazil; Circa Projects, Newcastle, UK, Fotomuseum, Winterthur, Switzerland, from 2014 to 2016.
Mario Pfeifer (born 1981 in Dresden, lives and works in Berlin and New York) is a German filmmaking artist.