Solar Chamber (Inversion)

“Solar Chamber (Inversion)” is inspired by the pre-Columbian astronomical observation constructions. It sets itself upon the recovery of the bond between human and the [natural] surrounding cyclical, cosmological and ritual, so to set and reconnect the human body with local landscape at [specifically these] times of ecological crisis and climate change. The work proposes a chronological observation architecture, at Fontelo Park, and holds an external belvedere (South-East oriented) for the observation of the surroundings and an inner space (North-West oriented) in which a rock from Fontelo itself is placed and serves as support (through a mirror) for the reflection of the sky while it inverts the Sun’s position, which gazed from within the chamber mimics what would be an observation from the southern hemisphere. In turn, the construction itself is aligned with one of the most relevant ritual marks since ancient times: the Summer Solstice, when the Sun reaches its highest latitude and, immediately, start its journey back to the southern hemisphere (where several cultures still celebrate the beginning of each new solar year).
On the 21st of June, at 12:30h, one can observe the full projection of the Sun, entering through the upper opening of the chamber.

Technical Details

Solar Chamber (Inversion), 2019

Authors: Elisa Balmaceda with Luis Balmaceda
556 x 325 x 355 cm
Wood, metal, stone, mirror
Fontelo Woods / 40.6584930, -7.8995160

Author's Word

Elisa Balmaceda

Elisa Balmaceda (Santiago de Chile, 1985) lives and works between Berlin and Santiago. She studied Visual Arts at Universidad Católica de Chile and later obtained a master’s degree in media arts at the Academy of Media Arts Cologne thanks to a DAAD scholarship (German Academic Exchange Service). Through a multidisciplinary practice that incorporates objects, photography, video, installation and light art, the artist explores the intersections between art, landscape, technology and magical thinking. Her work has been exhibited in several institutions and cultural spaces in Chile, Spain, Germany, Belgium, Serbia, Colombia, Argentina and the United States. She was recently awarded the first prize in a public art competition for a collective sculpture that will be built in 2019 at the University of Cologne, Germany.


Fontelo Woods
Viseu, Portugal
40.6584930, -7.8995160