In 2017, Chilean forests were burning. Hundreds of thousands of acres were devastated. For economical reasons, the forest industry made the choice of ecological simplification by planting two tree species in majority : Pinus radiata and Eucalyptus globulus. As a consequence of this monoculture, forest fires can spread very quickly.

In his series Monoculture, Rodrigo Arteaga presents a repetition of leaves and branches’s silhouettes. He draws by burning the paper manually. He thus reverses the principle : the destructive fire becomes the creator. ARteaga shares the opinion of the Indian writer and activist Vanda Shiva. They both put in parallel forest monocultures and cultural homogenization which very much looks like spiritual monoculture.

Rodrigo Arteaga’s work also reflects the dutch artist and botanist Herman de Vries’s naturalist principles. He declared “We’ve become so detached from nature, we modified it so much, manipulated it, destroyed it, we’ve done so well in forgetting that she is art by excellence, and that only one more artifice, the human art one, can help us find it back. Because we lost all relationship of immediacy with Nature, we need another mediation with art to restore our former unity.”

Rodrigo Arteaga, Monocultures (eucalyptus globulus), from the Monocultivos series, 2019, manually burnt paper, 200 x 120 cm.
Rodrigo Arteaga, Monocultures (pinus radiata) from the Monocultivos series, 2019, manually burnt paper, 200 x 120 cm.
Rodrigo Arteaga, Practical Zoology, sculptures made from the paper pulp of a book on Zoology, table and mirrors, 134 x 120 x 60 cm.
Rodrigo Arteaga, Practical Zoology, sculptures made from the paper pulp of a book on Zoology, table and mirrors, 134 x 120 x 60 cm.
Rodrigo Arteaga, Herbarium of botanical studies, 2015, cut-out from botanical books, variable dimensions.
Rodrigo Arteaga, Herbarium of botanical studies, 2015, cut-out from botanical books, variable dimensions.
Rodrigo Arteaga, Ramifications, 2015, cut-out maps, variable dimensions.
Rodrigo Arteaga, Ramifications, 2015, cut-out maps, variable dimensions.
Rodrigo Arteaga, Encyclopedic drawings, 2015, graphite on paper, 25 x 18 cm (each).
Rodrigo Arteaga, Encyclopedic drawings, 2015, graphite on paper, 25 x 18 cm (each).
Rodrigo Arteaga, Encyclopedic drawings, 2015, graphite on paper, 25 x 18 cm (each).
Rodrigo Arteaga, Encyclopedic drawings, 2015, graphite on paper, 25 x 18 cm (each).
Rodrigo Arteaga, Encyclopedic drawings, 2015, graphite on paper, 25 x 18 cm (each).
Rodrigo Arteaga, Encyclopedic drawings, 2015, graphite on paper, 25 x 18 cm (each).
Rodrigo Arteaga, Herbarium of botanical studies, 2015, cut-out from botanical books, variable dimensions.
Rodrigo Arteaga, Herbarium of botanical studies, 2015, cut-out from botanical books, variable dimensions.
Rodrigo Arteaga, Herbarium of botanical studies, 2015, cut-out from botanical books, variable dimensions.
Rodrigo Arteaga, Herbarium of botanical studies, 2015, cut-out from botanical books, variable dimensions.
Rodrigo Arteaga, Öekologie, 2016, aquarium with live fishes, live plants and miniature elements, 80 x 30 x 40 cm.
Rodrigo Arteaga, Öekologie, 2016, aquarium with live fishes, live plants and miniature elements, 80 x 30 x 40 cm.
Rodrigo Arteaga, Atlas of the Physical and Political History of Chile, 2016, cut-out illustrations, 140 x 120 x 8 cm.
Rodrigo Arteaga, Atlas of the Physical and Political History of Chile, 2016, cut-out illustrations, 140 x 120 x 8 cm.