Wednesday, April 20, 2011


By Nick Nicholson

Throughout his adolescent years, Miguel Valasco dreamed of becoming a famous poet like his hero, Pablo Neruda, but at the age of 22 he realised that he had little facility with the written word so he turned instead to videotape. Valasco purchased his first video camera in May, 1984, and quickly discovered the endless possibilities afforded by the medium. He videotaped everything for which he had no words: the restless feet of pedestrians rushing along Calle Bandera; a game of chess played by old men on the banks of the Mapocho River; the decomposing body of a cat in an alley. On February 25, 1987, Valasco videotaped a fly crawling on his kitchen window for twelve and a half minutes and in the summer of 1992 he recorded 141 hours of his girlfriend, Maria Salazar, sleeping naked in his bed. After Miguel Valasco was killed in a car accident on March 5, 1994, a collection of 1,217 videotapes, hidden in boxes and organised by date, was discovered in his apartment. Maria Salazar brought the tapes to the attention of a curator who subsequently mounted an exhibition that toured the Americas. The exhibition was entitled: Miguel Valasco, The Poetry of Videotape.

© Nick Nicholson 2010, 2011. All rights reserved. Content may not be copied or used in whole or in part without written permission from the author.


This is the sixth part of Nick Nicholson's theme-adventurous, eight-part Travelogue. Subsequent segments will be published here in upcoming months.

Next Travelogue story: Sydney

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Throughout his life, Nick Nicholson has pursued a variety of creative vocations: music, photography, painting and, in recent years, writing. He lives in Australia.

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