On view: Denise Lira-Ratinoff studio visit: in Santiago Chile
Denise Lira-Ratinoff explores the connections and relationships between humanity and nature through the installations that try to establish the closeness of the two. Her work is a continuos combination between photography, video, sound, organic materials, plastic waste and
a direct contact with space in search of awakening and experimenting with each and every one of the senses.
Denise’s investigation is on connecting the pristine earth through the devastation of running out of time through human ambitious.
In collaboration with Patricio Aguilar Díaz, recently portrayed a multi disciplinary scenario through the importance of time: CHRONOMETER, an installation made by bails of solid waste, installed from floor to ceiling, demarcating a space with only a narrow hallway that the
spectator visits, a highly reflective steel flooring emulating a mirror, feeling the suffocation of the waste that surrounds him. Continuing the walk within this labyrinth of waste that surrounds him he finds glass that ends the walk through which a photograph of a glacier attached to a
black wall can be seen.
Under the glacier's photograph there is a digital chronometer that indicates the passage of time. The pulse, the constant throb of time. The pulse, the constant throb of threat. All of this being able to hear in the environment the striking chant of the whales.
This site-specific installation needs to be felt, experienced and contemplated in order to isolate oneself in the silence of the architecture, put together by the waste bails, in order to completely isolate any noise, so that the sound of the whales can dialogue with the
inner-self of each human being.
A symphony in devastation.
A sea of images exhibited as a viewpoint, where a cascade of solid waste falls as a manifestation of the deepest fault in the ocean.At the highest room the spectator was able to visualize, feeling the elevation of his own body, this great precipice.The silence of the animals that suffer...how can we stop the destruction?
The noise accumulation is completely changing the ecosystem underwater.The installation creates awareness and educates with information regarding oceans, its contamination due to plastic waste and the growing threat that this signifies.
This project is a battle cry and an action to defend our planet and life in our oceans, therefore our present and our future.Beginning with this fact, it hopes to be an alert and a call for action
to our society regarding the growing and alarming problem of contamination.
The large industry is filling our planet with plastic that mostly goes to the oceans,contaminating the water and affecting life, from microscopic organisms to large mammals such as whales and with that said all the ecosystems in the planet.This is already threatened by climate change and deforestation also originated by the industrial activity.CHRONOMETER wants to contribute making the danger that threatens us visible, helping us in changing our consumption patterns and explaining the need to lessen the production and usage of disposable plastics and caring for our oceans, so important for the biodiversity and ecological balance. It is an active manifestation searching for a better life and environment for the present and future of mankind.No-one can remain indifferent regarding the continuous death of marine
animals caused by eating plastic, the alteration in their environment and in addition the generalized contamination in the ecosystems.“The ear is the entry of the soul of a whale".
The time is now !
In Tokyo, Japan at Jica Global Plaza Denise presented one of her emblematic photographs of her trilogy Breathe-Respirar. Under Enrique Rivera as curator the exhibition called Waves and Ripples presents desert 101, from the series Desert, portraying the Lascar volcano crater with a 5,592 m.s.n.m altitude in the North of Chile.
“This life experience leaves you with a legacy of humility insofar as the perception of the world. It is a before and an after” Denise commentates.
In Düsseldorf, Germany at the Photography Museum NRW-Forum, Denise was proud to present her fantastic crater photograph (270 x 180 cm.) of the Lascar volcano, at the Grieger Relaunch exhibition together with some of the most renowned photographers in the world.
“She succeeds in creating these magnificent works using her camera, courage and endurance, traversing landscapes otherwise inaccessible without extreme training, determination and focus; her discipline, endless energy and vision allowing for the perfect marriage of the marvels of nature and photographic art. We are very proud to have worked with Denise on this series. The effect of depth is supported by Denise’s choice of material – a combination of 6mm acrylic glass, high gloss, rich contrast Fuji Flex paper, DIASEC® mounted on AluDibond, and presented without a frame to achieve a borderless impression of the image.” Hannah Pierce commentates
Denise was proud to be part as one of the chilean photographers at a conference on Woman Photographers presented by The National Museum of Woman in the Arts, UBS and Christie's, Santiago, Chile.
Denise’s just received a nomination with her photograph ALMA, The Atacama Large Millimeter Array, at the 10th Annual International Color Award Photography, Worldwide.
In 2017, Denise Lira-Ratinoff had a solo exhibition in Switzerland on her trilogy sand ice water.
Denise Lira-Ratinoff’s photography book 16:03:27 is now part of the collection at the libraries of Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum, Museum of Modern Art MOMA and International Center of Photography ICP in New York, The Museum of Fine Arts Houston, Houston, United States, Musée National d’Art Moderne, Bibliothèque Kandinsky, Centre Pompidou in Paris, France and Museo Nacional de Bellas Artes in Chile.
Denise’s received an Honorable Mention at the 9th International Award Honoring Color Photography, with her photograph Atacama Desert from the Trilogy Natural Cycles of Nature, Worldwide
A photograph from Denise’s series Glaciers was featured at Christie's New York. Christie's Green Auction, the 40th Anniversary of Earth Day a Bid to Save the Earth.
PINTA New York 2009, The Modern & Contemporary Latin American Art Fair, MBA Lazard Bank bought a photograph of Denise Lira-Ratinoff ́s series Glaciers for its itinerant collection of Latin American Art.
Denise Lira-Ratinoff’s Installation At First Sight II was named "Best Art Event of the Year". Best of Atlanta 2008, United States.
Openmade publishes Denise Lira-Ratinoff’s Photography Book 16:03:27, a 300 copy limited edition book, each copy numbered and signed.
This book explores the concept of time and questions the public awareness of the importance of time through images of glaciers.
Commission for Chilean Government for a Monumental Installation, SCL, CL
Awarded Best Young Artist, First Prize, XXI National Competition of Art, CL
She has received numerous awards including Honorable Mention at the 9th International Award Honorig Color Photography, the 2008 “Best Art Event of the Year”, Atlanta, Georgia, United States and 1999 Best Young Artist of the Year, Chile. Denise’s works are included in public and private collections in Europe, North America and South America. She has held individual exhibitions in Chile, Peru, Cuba, United States, Switzerland and participated in numerous group exhibitions in Chile, Argentina, Brazil, Peru, El Salvador, Mexico, United States, Japan, Germany and Switzerland.
Denise was born in Chile and currently lives and works between Chile, United States and Germany.
In Chile, one of the most emblematic installations took place in 2000. With her peer video artist Isabel Garcia, Denise Lira-Ratinoff created “Art for the Sighted, KM 9 Route 68”, an installation placed close to the airport and along the highway. The installation was seen at high speed from the connector, from cars arriving or departing the city and from the planes taking off and landing. “Art for the Sighted, KM 9 Route 68” was based on the principle of visual perception, understanding and association of reality; the subject was to relate the image and the reality as the work itself with the place.
Openmade publishes Denise Lira-Ratinoff's Photography Book 16:03:27, a 300 copy limited edition book, each copy numbered and signed. This book explores the concept of time and questions the public awareness of the importance of time through images of glaciers. The book 16:03:27 is now part of the collection at the libraries of Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum, Museum of Modern Art MOMA, International Center of Photography ICP in New York (USA), Musée National d’Art Moderne Bibliothèque Kandinsky, Centre Pompidou in Paris (France) and Museo Nacional de Bellas Artes in Santiago (Chile).
Utilizing architectural elements, it poses a game of perceptual relationships between the territory and the ones that function within it. The project was a triptych that consisted of an enormous straw house made of 5000 bails of a geometric volume of 140 square meters and two billboards of 12 meters by 4 meters each with 4 photographic images generating in the spectator a reflection between the “image and the imaginary”.
Later, amongst boldo modules (a tropical herb that only blossoms at night) and total darkness in one of the spaces at Museo Casa Colorada (Red House Museum), in Santiago, Chile, Denise presented a new installation named “Nicatgenias” (flowers that only open in the dark).
This was an invitation based exclusively on the senses of smell and touch. In the form of bricks, it was built of four large walls the size of the entire room, allowing only a narrow walkway to be traversed through the perimeter and for the spectator to encounter a massive wall of boldo bails, disallowing any other view. There was a great vacuum in the space, but it was contained by the scent.
The intention was to make us re-direct our perception, exploring plastically seldom-touched territories.
It was presented as a photo-installation where the viewer was able to see horizontal lines of light within total darkness. The only source of light came from the images.
It was through this project, that Denise Lira-Ratinoff was invited to present her photo-installation “Chepica-Bermuda” in Lima, Peru, utilizing photographs, videos and Bermuda grass.
Its objective was to establish a rapport between nature and culture, observing the vegetable versatility with all of its senses and confronting the simplicity of things.
The monotony and monochromatic shape of this element, induces recognition of the strength of nature.
The intense scent of the earth within a given light space transports us to a special frame of mind, quiet, sensitive and makes us want to travel through memories and sensations.
After experimenting with several organic matters and interacting not only with the audience, but as well having a constant dialogue between nature and the use of new technologies, Denise Lira-Ratinoff presented her new proposal “at first sight I ”, where she did an in-depth analysis of the senses. Her subject matters were reduced to the essentials: sky, water and grass. These were direct and precise images that deal with universal elements and need no translation. Here is, when her primary objective opts for anonymity of the photograph taken.
After the results of “at first sight I ” by using new technologies and using the physical space as an element to allow the audience to interact with each photograph, Denise developed a new concept not only regarding the photographs, but also the importance of the environment as a scenario of visual impact.
Here was when “at first sight II ” was born.
“at first sight II ” was created as a multi-disciplinary project presented on three different platform: a book, a website and a photo-installation. Through photographs of melting and receding glaciers, this trilogy witnesses the immense environmental devastation that is occurring on our planet. Not knowing for how long they will last, is the mystery of time and the state of nature’s changes. These photographs constantly questioning the public’s awareness of the importance of time, life and death. At a crossroad where life and death meet and from a different perspective, this project was created to invite the audience to see what will no longer exist and what has already melted.
Choosing a loading dock of 8,856 square feet and 177,120 cubic feet (825 square meters and 5775 cubic meters) as the site-specific and preserving it in its raw original condition (with a dumpster and the building’s equipment), the photo-installation opened its 14 ft. silver doors and closed them at midnight.
It was comprised of 9 light boxes, 1 HD 47” LCD flat screen display and 2 speakers. The selection of the light boxes was to stress the awareness of time, in terms of the life of each image and how the images disappeared during the period when the light was turned off after the event.
The light became a key element not only to reproduce the images. The absence of light in the entire space created the mood for the audience in the otherwise dark space. The objective of the screen that was the same size as the light panels was to present a closed-loop video of all the individual images included in the book.
In addition, Denise decided to fill the space with a particular sound. The idea was born from the non-stop sound of nature and the glaciers that were always screaming. This sound was mixed with the industrial sound of the loading dock, allowing the audience to leave the space with a silent beat in their minds.
After the 6 hours photo-installation, the space returned to a loading dock, without any evidence of the event having occurred. Everything was gone, as were the images of icebergs that have now also vanished.
After the website was launched, the photo-installation ended and the book was sold out, “at first sight II ” is shifting to a different phase in the same manner as the glaciers are. Never again in the same setting, the series Glaciers will be presented in different scenarios. The disappearing is what will stay in our memory and is what makes us see things from a different perspective.
“at first sight ” is an ongoing project in which each different phase is envisioned on a search to discover the senses through the emotions of a first glance. It is a meeting of the senses produced by facing the unpredictable.
After a successful experience with her projects “at first sight I ” and “at first sight II ”, which was named Best Art Event of the Year, Denise presented “at first sight III ”, which is called Breathe-Respirar and was presented at the Patricia Ready Gallery in Santiago, Chile with a massive people reaction. Actually is researching on plastic and acoustic pollution in the Ocean.
Visuals regarding these projects are available upon request. If you would like to know more about the work of the artist Denise Lira-Ratinoff, please go to contact and you can complete the form.