SPANISH. Conversation between Santillán and curator Amanda de la Garza regarding the artist's exhibition at MUAC (Mexico City). 2017

DUTCH/SPANISH. Interview with the artist while he was in-residence at the Van Eyck. 2014

ENGLISH. Artist Oscar Santillán lecturing about his artistic practice and experimentation at the Van Eyck (The Netherlands). 2013

AU, monographic book on the work of Oscar Santillán. Hardcover, 248 pages, full colour, 31x21x3cm. Mazzoli Publishing House, 2017. Edition of 500 numbered copies.

Edited by Chiara Ianeselli. Designed by Stefano Faoro. Text contributions by Alexia Tala, Simone Menegoi, Timotheus Vermeulen & Robin van den Akker, and Chiara Ianeselli.

€ 50. Orders placed via email: (shipped from Germany or Italy)

Oscar Santillán / b. 1980 Ecuador / lives between The Netherlands and Ecuador

Any given day, you are walking down the street, the sky is open, not a single cloud in sight, and suddenly one drop of water falls on your skin. You look up struggling to make sense of where this drop of water came from. It is almost as if this drop came from nowhere, as if it has materialized on your skin without any explanation. As one can see, there is nothing “important” in this isolated drop of water; however, this miniature entity is able to disrupt the fabric of reality.

By investigating these anomalies I aim to configure a different cartography of reality. This search is inherently critical as it breaks away from the building of Western knowledge, which asserts that reality is limited to binary contraries (good/evil, white/black, man/woman, subject/object), but reality exceeds the boundaries of both our cognitive capabilities and social categories, this is what in the Andean worldview is called “Oscurana”, a concept which describes the moment at dusk when the horizon line vanishes erasing the binary distinction of soil and sky into a single integrative darkness.

My latest works have clearly explored this direction, to name a few: Solaris, in which photographic lenses are made from melted desert sand, speculates about a self-conscious landscape, a landscape that is both object and subject; Baneque, in which a non-existent island sought after by Columbus is materialized, proves that an invisible land can become real; or, Phantom Cast, in which the amputated limb of a person experiencing a neurological condition called “phantom sensations” is retraced, reveals the paradoxes of the mind-body relationship.

/ BIO /  Santillán began as a self-taught artist within the environment of Lalimpia, a collective co-founded in Ecuador by him and other artists of his generation. He followed studies at the Miguel Donoso’s writing workshop and ITAE, and completed his BA at ESPOL. A fellowship allowed him to obtain an MFA in Sculpture at VCU—Virginia Commonwealth University, US. Over the past years he has been an artist-in-residence at Van Eyck, NL; Delfina Foundation, UK; Fondazione Ratti, IT; Skowhegan, US; Seven Below, US; and, Leiden Astronomical Observatory, NL.

His solo exhibitions include Oscurana, Château La Borie; Solignac, FR (2018). Mácula, MUAC; Mexico City, MX (2017). Una Cierta Edad del Mundo, Galerie Mazzoli; Berlin, DE (2017). Asterism, Martin van Zomeren, Amsterdam, NL (2017). Zaratán, Witte de With Center for Contemporary Art; Rotterdam, NL (2016); Codex, Metales Pesados. Santiago de Chile, CL (2016). The Messenger, Spazio Calderara; Milan, IT (2015). To Break A Silence Into Smaller Silences, Copperfield; London, UK (2015). El Triunfo del Placer, NoMínimo, Guayaquil, EC (2015). On Hesitation Marks, Kunstraum; Munich, DE (2013). Lucerna, Fundación ODEON; Bogota, CO (2012). Azor, and, Un Fantasma que Recorre el Mundo; DPM, Guayaquil, EC (2011 and 2009).

Santillán’s work has been shown at institutions such as NRW FORUM, Düsseldorf; SongEun Art Space, Seoul; LACMA, Los Angeles, CA; Museum Voorlinden, Wassenaar; Zadkine Museum, Paris; FRAC Île-de-france, Paris; IMMA—Irish Museum of Modern Art, Dublin; Ballroom Marfa, Marfa, TX; Rochechouart Musée d’art contemporain, Rochechouart; Album Arte, Rome; STUK, Leuven; Trienal Poligráfica, San Juan; Castlefield Gallery, Manchester; National Dutch Dance Festival—Bonnefanten Museum, Maastricht; Oud-Rekem Castle, Rekem; CAC—Centro de Arte Contemporáneo, Quito; Museo de Arte Carrillo Gil, Mexico City; among others.