El ladrillo is a book of economic policy that set the guidelines of the free-market system implemented in Chile during the military dictatorship. The text was written at the beginning of the 1960s by a group of Chilean economists, alumni of the controverted Economics Nobel Prize Milton Friedman (1912-2006) at the University of Chicago, known as the “Chicago Boys”. In its pages, radical economic measures are proposed, as an antidote that would cure Chilean society from the dream of socialism through measures such as the complete opening of markets, the lowering of customs duty and taxes, the reduction of public expenditure and the promotion of goods and services privatizations.
With the analysis of this book as departure point, Patrick Hamilton presents a series of works in which he employs elements from the field of construction and bricklaying like saws, gloves, bricks, and sandpaper in order to create –poetically– simple compositions. At the same time, he reformulates the understanding of certain concepts such as equilibrium/disequilibrium, equality/inequality, regulation/deregulation and individual/community. The word “ladrillo” (“brick”) is seen from its distinct meanings: the title of the book, the expression of the 2008 housing market or subprime crisis, as well as in its material and utilitarian dimension.
In the works presented in the exhibition, there exist references to social and economic history, to collective memory and to artistic movements like Russian constructivism, neoplasticism, conceptual Latin American art from the 1970s and 1980s, minimalism and arte povera.
Pintura abrasiva #79, 2020
Acrylic on sandpaper and canvas