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Tyler Young - People of Ecuador

Friday, March 29 at 7:00am to 11:30pm

Erb Memorial Union (EMU), Aperture Gallery
1395 University Street, Eugene, OR 97403

The EMU Visual Arts Team welcomes UO alumnus Tyler Young’s second exhibit in the Aperture Gallery: People of Ecuador.Tyler completed his Bachelor of Science degree in Environmental Studies in the summer of '18. Tyler's "Hiking to The Enchantments, Washington" exhibit will be on-view through mid-February in the gallery. Artist's statement:

People of Ecuador

The People of Ecuador. They are different from the places, in fact, separate entirely. One can travel, see the world, take in the sights, the sounds, eat the food, and take the tour, but getting to know someone is an ordeal. Listening takes courage, and time. It cannot be done while traveling. Being stationary, absorbed in the moment and intent on communicating with another allows you to listen. Many people say to live in the moment, but there is no other way of being. No one exists in the past or the future, there is only the now. This moment, however fleeting will actively shape what’s to come. This burden is most difficult enough, let alone adding another person into the mix. Altogether separate morals, ideals, religious beliefs, friends, family, problems, and worries, why in the world would anyone want to inexorably tie their own life into another, even for a moment? And  It is harder than it seems, especially when there may be a language barrier.


Sometimes I chose not to. I ignored people, walked away, remained silent, or pretended not to understand, missed opportunities… everyone has their limits. As I spent more and more time in Ecuador, I began to become comfortable, I knew my way around several cities, towns, and communities, I could navigate my way on foot from Quito’s Basilica to La Plaza De Foch without the help of a friendly taxi driver who would sometimes take the long way around with Americans. I knew the bus routes, and could make my way from the Andean Cloud Forests to the Amazon where I spent most of my time. I knew more about medicinal, and fruit bearing plants than a few of the locals, but substantially less than the few who were in the know. It was somewhat of a lost art which I longed for. But I didn’t live there, I was only there filming for a documentary. I was a traveler. I could easily pay the dollar per hour fares on the bus, I was American after all. Eventually I got by with my Spanish, without trouble, without fear. Soon enough, no one realized I wasn’t a local, and after about 8 months of my year there, I certainly felt like one. I began going through the motions, doing things without the want or need for more deeply connected interactions between myself and the locals. No one would second guess my doings like they might some of my lighter skinned friends. I don’t look American after all.


They were interested to hear where I was from, they thought I was Colombian, or Brazilian, my presence often brought a smile to their face. Once we spoke for more than brief interaction, they realized I wasn’t a local, and they began to treat me as such. It’s funny how we might more easily connect with an outsider than an insider. Everyone has their own way of connecting. I was offered meals, and places to stay, I was encouraged to try locally grown coffee and chocolate. I did not like the fried maduros, I preferred the patacones, I didn't try the cuy, I was examined with a microscope, I was glanced over as a tourist, I was robbed, I was drugged, I was chased and bitten by rabid dogs, by mosquitos, and by the local flirts. Someone asked me to marry their daughter, I laughed, he laughed too. I asked to take his photograph.




@ TylerisYoung