Rodrigo Arteaga, “The Atlas of Our Time”

Book cover.


Content of the book.


Content of the book with hand to show size.


Passing through the pages.




Artist: Rodrigo Arteaga (Huechuraba, Santiago, Chile)

Title: The Atlas of Our Time (2013)

Medium/technique(s): Intervened found atlas

Number of pages: 83

Dimensions, open: 40 x 56 x 1 cm

Dimensions, closed: 40 x 28 x 2 cm


Artist Statement:

I am interested in proposing a dismantling of the functionality of things, transforming the explanatory role of medical illustrations, mechanic, cartography, etc. By giving them new meaning, or revealing a deeper one.

I make drawings, collages, sculptures, books and installations with direct reference to human anatomy and its projection into other organic and ordered systems, for example rivers and maps.

I tend to focus on crosses and intersections between disparate sciences or areas of thought, such as anatomy, botany, cartography and astronomy. And tensions between bipolar terms: science and art, micro and macrocosm, the individual and the universe, detail and structure, order and chaos, interior and exterior. Through a formal integration between drawing, collage, graphics and sculpture.

The work The Atlas of our Time is an intervened found atlas, in which every single name and letter of every place is manually blocked out. Therefore losing the sense of location of every place in the world.

The result refers to a “mute map”, which are maps that contain no information about names of places, but is in this case a “silenced” map.

The obsessive gesture of blocking-out is in this case comparable to the one of actually naming each place, questioning the ways by which we normally think about the world.

Also the extension of this piece is significant as it reflects an unusual insistence on meaning, and it is the first key for its interpretation.

Atlas of our Time takes a preexisting system, such as a world atlas, and imply a certain critique of its own infrastructure. In this way inviting us to think about the world that surrounds us in a completely different way, that emphasizes fascination and mystery over the standards.