El contrapunto (del arte) (The Counterpoint (of Art).

The artistic project VÄLPARAÍSO: INterVENCIONES brought together artists from Spain and Latin America in the Chilean port of Valparaíso. Originally programmed as a parallel event to the V Congress of the Spanish Language in Valparaíso it proposed artworks related to language and context.

Vélez proposed El contrapunto (del arte), a performance in the form of a concert with popular poets and “payadores”. Paya is a Latin American folkloric genre. When a paya is sung as a duet it is called “counterpoint” and becomes a duel of questions and answers.

The concert was planned for the 28th of February 2010 at the Old Stock Exchange of Valparaíso, but it was suspended due to the earthquake that had occured the day before. Despite the terrible earthquake which occurred in Chile on the 27th of February 2010, the organizers, artists and curators decided to continue with the project, “as a way of integrating the arts to the recovery process after the tragedy”.

One week later the artists performed at the same location but with no audience. Their lyrics not only referred to “the controversy of art”, or the questions that Velez posed initially through the concert: What is art and who can create art today, as originally planned, but also shown the healing power of art after the earthquake. The concert was broadcasted by radio Valentin Letelier from Valparaíso on 15 April 2010 at 10 pm.