Vision of art
1. Choose a work that represents you, describe it in relation to its format and materiality, its relation with time and space, its style and theme; detail its production process.
As a work that represents me I choose the last one I exhibited: Damages (Daños) in Beauty and Happiness (Belleza y Felicidad). Damages was different to my previous production because it had a clear reference. It intended to recreate a frozen hurricane inside the exhibition room.
I used the central column of the space as an axis and I arranged all the objects to build the body of the tornado. I used the existing structure to make it grow upward and to give to it a conic shape, trying to recreate a sensation of movement in a static structure.
During several days I collected objects from the street: boxes, bags, plastics, paper, furniture, broken chairs, light tubes, etcetera. I went through drawers with old belongings, I found fabrics, pipes, broken glasses, wood, hoses, cables, threads. I took polystyrene, branches, plants, flyers, documents, expired invoices, photos, tapes, diskettes, magazines, sheets, jumpers. I used all the cushions of the room, garden chairs, two of Fernanda Laguna´s paintings, doors, plastic chairs, the telephone, the table, the staircase and the stools. I bought some little glasses, small bags, trays, rubbers, matches, clips, sunshades, filming paper, brooms, a small shovel, and I recycled many things from previous shows also.
Once everything was there, I started to turn all this around the column, I began mixing the things, I twisted, I tied up, I coiled. I stuck the things that I could to the ceiling, I built the structure with plastic, masking tape, I hung some things with a fishing line, I nailed, hammered, and took care that none of the supports would be seen. For one wall I employed a carpet and pieces of black plastic, piled up chairs, mud and broken furniture trying to diagram a violent and excessive situation.
In another wall I went for a situation that was more formal and composed, I located a door that hung diagonally, a staircase was put across, a long and wavy pipe that functioned as a thick line, a pot with screws coming out tacked with fishing line recreating in a homemade way a Matrix effect, and napkins flying above the wall, together with a rope with clips and clothes coiled on the floor. The floor appeared full of millions of leftovers and objects, earth, newspapers, matches, post cards, invitations. The place seemed to have been the victim of a looting or a brutal act, the neighbours put their hands against the dirty dusty glasses, astonished, the “cartoneros” (people who pick up cardboard in the street) were summoned there, and during the whole month of the show many things were incorporated and modified the work as a whole.
The main problem was the short time I had to make it although I finally recognise that I took advantage of the rush of the construction. The urgency, chance, working without being able to go back or to fix something, enriched the final result.
Even when the directive line was readable very quickly, the whole space created an impact, and infinite relationships were generated between all the summoned objects.
To think of how an irrational wind would have treated all the things, was the way of escaping from almost all the personal decisions or from choosing almost all the solutions to the work.
2. In general terms, how would you suggest to approach your work?
In general, I try to understand the logic of things, to take advantage of the possibilities they themselves generate, to provoke certain fissures where the objects´ possibilities will happen and will generate determined aesthetic actions.
To roll and to wait until that which has a remote chance of happening, happens. Never to go too far away from the feasible is to me another key point. It interests me in some way to represent and “design”, with strict control, the fury, the savagery, the irrational.
I believe that the observer has a sensation of suspicion, recognises the phenomena that are mentioned in the work, recognises a gaze, feels a bit close, gets contagious and can understand this vision about many other things.
3. In reference to your work and your position in the national and international art fields, what tradition do you recognize yourself in? Who are your contemporary referents? What artists of previous generations are of interest to you?
I do not find myself inside a determined tradition, I have strong points in common with a conceptual position but I do not leave aside the formal aspects, although I choose not to evidence my gestures. I do not consider the expressive as a value. I am also interested in questioning the inner proceedings of art, the subjectivity of the artist, the exhibiting formats, I believe in those artists who take art to the edge of its dissolution.
As some contemporary referents today I recognise Mark Manders, Sara Sze, Matthew Barney, Thomas Hirschhorn and Francis Alÿs.
Other artists that also interest me, for one reason or another, are not defined by generations and are not exclusively visual artists, from Beuys to Louise Bourgeois, Mike Kelley, Maldonado, Jacoby, Carreras, Luciana Lamothe, Gondry, Jeff Wall, Amespil, Estol, Friedman, Forcadell, Orozco, Mark Dion, Szalcowicz, M777, Garrido, Fernanda Laguna, Jane Brodie, Krygier, Goldenstein; designers like Saul Bass, Makela, Ros, Zerrizuela, Gatti.
4. Choose works or exhibitions from the last ten or fifteen years which in your opinion were very significant and explain why
Lux Linder versus Benito Laren at the Rojas Cultural Centre, because it had an unusual humour and intelligence, they generated a lucid dialogue that ranged from personal problems to the history of Argentine art.
The show of Beauty and Happiness (Belleza y Felicidad) in Proa, because for the first time that space was taken over by a personal view, alive and contemporary, of a group of artists.
The show of Estol in Sendrós Gallery: Leo unfolded with astuteness, humour and intelligence hundreds of relations between daily objects, inaugurating a new type of sophisticated installation, simple, sensitive and original within the local environment. After two months I had to occupy that same space and in all the issues that I raised there were dialogues and crossings resonating with that previous show.
A mega set-design installation done by the people from Juliana the Journalist (Juliana Periodista) at the San Martín Cultural Centre. Journalists and designers recreated different spaces where continuous interviews occurred.
The drilled line on the wall of the Rojas Cultural Centre done by Jane Brodie; I would have liked very much to make it. The little papers thrown from the tower of the Barolo passageway (Pasaje Barolo) by Juliana Iriart, it was an intense rhythm, brief and beautiful.
You are Here (Usted está aquí), by Subscripción (Subscription Group) at the House of Culture (Casa de la Cultura), displayed hundreds of people’s personal diaries. All the people’s stuff (photographs, writings, drawings, collages) was displayed in plastic folders; this time the place that was chosen by this collective group was exclusively a generating platform.
The virtual space that works like a gigantic and democratic album and like a room in constant renovation: www.fotolog.net.
5. What tendencies or groupings from common elements do you see in argentine art of the last ten or fifteen years?
In general, we the Argentine artists continue to be attached in major or minor ways to the formats that relate to the object.
Painting has been the hegemonic practice, followed by photography, installation, video and, further away, the “other formats”.
There were artists who made very sensitive and personal formal appropriations.
There were others who made their topic from the everyday and the non-discourse. There were plenty of pictures of “my dog” and of the backs of necks.
Contrary to this, after 2001, a wave of “political art” but with a pop feeling returned.
There are always artists committed to causes.
There are always melancholic people and people who get stuck in paradigms of previous decades.
There is a group that rejects sense and discourse.
There are also sectors that rescue popular cultures.
Some artists have adopted trash and/or the easy thing.
Others are young artists, some others are childish artists, others Japanese-like, others European-like.
Some make big paintings. Some use technology.
There was a big amount of artists that came from design who introduced more current aesthetics and carried a certain love for shapes.
There were others who directly declared themselves decorative.
Others try societies and collectives that allow them to reach more people or to have more complexity.
Some find their little niche. Others attempt spontaneous poetry. Others pretend to be foolish, others want to look like teenagers.
Others take it very seriously. Others study a lot and they study “art”.