Exhibitions | Current

Javier Tapia | Angst Journey, Where's the Dead Man's Chest
February 13 - March 6
Opening Reception February 12th, 7pm


El Dorado was the legend of a city made out of gold located on a hidden place in the Americas. The rumor of the golden city that the aborigines described back then, created such a gold fever in the new world's first explorers, that their own ambitions pushed them to make impossible journeys to the still virgin continent. A great portrait of that anxiety produced by the search of fortune is made in Werner Herzog's film Aguirre. In the film, a conquistador named Aguirre played by Klaus Kinsky, takes the men under his command on a trip into the Amazonas in search of the golden city.

El Dorado was never found, and even if the gold resources in America where big enough to produce such a city, it is in doubt that the city ever existed. However, the legend remains today as a metaphor for man kind's greed. Once reached, El Dorado could be the opportunity to access to a new life style, a mental space and a utopia.
In the Andes, the largest mountain chain in the planet, exists a mountain called Aconcagua that is located between the central area of the border between Chile and Argentina. At 6,962 m (22,841 ft), Aconcagua is the highest mountain in the Americas, and the highest mountain outside Asia.

The well-known physical characteristics of the Aconcagua have kept attracting people from all over the world with a wide range of purposes, from tourism and sport to science and religion, becoming for many a new type of El Dorado.
The quest for the mountains and golden peaks has a lot to do with the human necessity of conquer. These kinds of journeys are usually characterized for a big quote of drama, because there always been stories of death and struggle linked to them; it has created political debates, and in some locations even armed conflicts.

For the project ANGST JOURNEY, WHERE'S THE DEAD MAN'S CHEST the Aconcagua Mountain has been taken as a metaphor to the idea of El Dorado. Making the Aconcagua a new sort of golden city, the project builds a circular narration about some of the concepts that we have introduced, even though we speak about one specific mountain and one specific legend, there could be many types of Aconcaguas and many golden cities inside the human condition.

Press Release

The latest project of the Chilean artist Javier Tapia, with the title: Angst Journey, Where's the Dead Man's Chest, will be presented at WPA in China Town, Los Angeles.
The show, opening on Feb. 12th at 19 o'clock, is scheduled to last until March 6th of 2011.

In this project Javier Tapia will present an all over installation who aims to create a metaphorical space, commenting in aspects of the human condition and its struggles of ambition, weather they are mental or physical. In order to build up this work, Javier Tapia is using mixed narrations; the first one is a direct reference to mountain climbing, more specifically, the climbing of mount Aconcagua, located in Chile, combined with the legend of El Dorado, used by aborigines in the Americas by the time the Conquerors of the New World arrived back in 1492.

The installation is combining mixed elements of theatrical scenography with aspects of scale model making, all together with sounds and light effects. The work invites the viewer to enter a pseudo monument, or a reference to a museum of natural history, where a sort of an ambiguous drama is being remembered and portrayed.

Javier Tapia was born in Santiago, Chile in 1976, and has been living in Europe since 1999. His education in Fine Arts has taken him to the Faculty of Fine Arts of the University of Barcelona between 1999 and 2001 and to a 6 years MFA program at the Royal Academy of Fine Arts between 2004 and 2010. In 2009 he was invited by UCLA to follow the program lead by Prof. Mary Kelly (US), where he had the chance to open his work to the artistic community of Los Angeles.

The exhibition is an initiative of the board members of WPA and is sponsored by the Danish Arts Council.

Gallery hours:
Open 12-6pm, Friday - Saturday or by appointment.

Javier Tapia | WPA 2011