atelier mondial logo

Michelle Marie Letelier

Michelle-Marie Letelier was born in Rancagua, Chile. She currently lives and works in Berlin.

Her multimedia installations, photographs, videos, drawings and sculptures deal with staged transformations, so-called "natural resources";
interdisciplinary research on landscapes where exploitation and speculation take place. In her work, she mixes different eras, regions and societies and explores political-economic, historical and cultural aspects.

Michelle-Marie Letelier spent her early life in Chuquicamata, an area of copper deposits in the middle of the Atacama Desert, mined since pre-Hispanic times and annexed by Chile in the Saltpetre War (1879-84). The largest open-pit copper mine in the world is located there. When the town was to be buried due to new mining policies, Letelier returned to document the process - a pivotal moment that established her practice.

Since settling in Berlin in 2007, she has particularly explored five "resources": coal, copper, saltpetre, wind and, more recently, salmon. She strives to create a poetic work that reflects their properties, such as electrical conductivity, crystallisation and effect. In her practice, she experiments with chemical and physical transformation processes that produce the artworks themselves, as well as their poetry, beyond the extractive industry and its forms of control.

Michelle-Marie Letelier's work is strongly socio-political; in times of undisguised globalisation, increasing scarcity of raw materials and the crisis of the neoliberal model.

Atelier Mondial

Atelier Mondial Freilager-Platz 9 4142 Münchenstein

Further information

Origin: Rancagua, Chile

Destination: Basel, Switzerland

Time period: 01.02.2023 - 28.02.2023

Exchange: Incoming

Programme type: Visual Arts

Grant type: Studio