Solaris: The Desert Looking Back At Itself, 2017Vinyl print and lens made from Atacama Desert sandBillboard: 10 × 28 feet, lens: 8.5 Ø × 1 cm

For Solaris, Santillán gathered sand at the Atacama Desert, melted it into glass and then polished it into a photographic lens. This ‘desert eye’ was brought back to Atacama and used to photograph the landscape while capturing its relationship to the sun, stars and moon. The Atacama has been called an astronomer’s paradise and is home to numerous large telescopes because its arid climate provides clear skies. The piece suggests the desert is a knowledge-holding observing subject rather than a passive object of contemplation.

Santillán spoke about their work for our Exhibition Audio Guide. Listen by clicking below or by calling 646-217-4440 ext. 1#


Artwork images by Scott Lynch and Sara Morgan.