Ana Gallardo

Untitled (2008)

During the days I spent at Montbeliard, I knew two women, Marie Ange and Mouguette. I worked with them on their life stories. Each of them at their own time, and during our private encounters, told me about little fragments of her lives. We decided together what fragments were we going to represent. Finally, using a graphite, we drew such stories onto the walls.

Marie Ange, 62. She had been a nurse at a state psychiatric hospital. She took care of autistic patients. One day, all of them went for a walk, and one of these patients said that he would want to live in the forest along which they were walking. That was the only time in the boy's life that he spoke. This fragment was particularly moving for Marie Ange. We drew the place where, that afternoon they’d gone for a walk.

Fragments for a sad girl (2008)

Le 19, Centre Régional d'Art Contemporaine, Montbeliard, France. Installation with furniture and masking tape. And another installation with chairs taken from a Convent school.

It's important to have a soul in order to preserve it... carefully.

My orphanhood does not leave me

In every piece of furniture found or borrowed lies a story that may well watch over my life. Of such stories I take over. I grab them and make them mine, savagely and by force. The masking tape plays the part of a mother, holding the stories that I steal. It protects, tames, holds, takes care and orders for me, as if I were a child. It fills my emptiness, feeds my soul; and takes care of it like a mother.

Motorhome (2007)

Performance and video. Galería Appetite.

During 2006, we’ve been homeless. We decided to wait because we wanted to rent a house that we had loved, very affordable, but with some legal issues that apparently were going to be fixed up anytime soon. We started moving in and out once a month. We stayed at my brother's living room, at my sister's too, we took care of a friend's house while he was on holiday, and another friend's when she was at the art biennial. Later on, we stayed at somebody's little room in the terrace and that's how the year went by. During that period, we kept our belongings in a shed. We just kept a suitcase, some books, records and the computer with ourselves. And a whole year went by. One day, Esteban showed up with the keys of the house we are now living in. But the furniture we had kept in the shed eventually did not fit in here. Plus it was old and worn-out, but I love every piece of it. They were inherited from people I liked and loved, and they stood by and witnessed my daughter Rocío as she grew up. They are our patrimony, and it is with them that I built up my motorhome. One sunday afternoon we hit the road, and kept on going for 8 km.

My uncle Eduardo (2006)

29th Art Biennial of Pontevedra. Curated by Victoria Noorthoorn. Galicia - Spain.
He was born in Granada, Spain, 78 years ago. He had lived in Rosario, Argentina, for the past 50 and never returned to Spain; though he had always wanted to. I proposed him to do the trip together. The first stage was, just using the memory, going back to the places he had always yearned for. We spent one whole summer planning our itinerary together. At the end, he refused to go, so I went by myself, using the little map that he had drawn on my notebook. I arrived at Granada, filmed all those deared landscapes which he would have loved to meet again. Back in Rosario, he finally saw them, projected on a wall, in the kitchen of his house.

The Ivy (2006)

In this exhibition, there was also was a couple of sofas to sit down in and watch classic love movies, there was also a bolero concert and a love tarotist.

The Ivy (Rogelia) (2006)

Rogelia, 78, she had sewed a dress back when she was 18, so that an old schoolmate she liked would fall in love with her. She would fantasize with opening the door and that him, when seeing her, would immediately fall in love. But after having sewed all one afternoon, someone else opened the door. This dress was made, following Rogelia's guidelines, by Marina de Caro and myself.

The Ivy (Lidia) (2006)

Lidia Barreiro, 78. One afternoon she read to me a farewell letter from a fine waltz dancer like gale-force winds. She then wrote this text and brought me the picture:
Run, faded lettters. I don't know whether it was that grey, rainy saturday afternoon what made me dig up those cardboard boxes that had been long stored in the corner of a small closet that I used as a junk-room. Since when they were there, gathering recollections and memories? Pictures, cut-out newspaper articles, little drawings made with coloured pencils, childish birthday notes or "You're the greatest mum" "Happy birthday Daddy" or "Wake me up early, I've an exam", the inevitable letter to the Three Wise Men, the ridicule wedding photo, mine and my children's, season's greetings postcards, wedding invitations, sweet sixteens, all of that mixed up, always saying to myself that I would tidy that mess up and burn so many yellowish letters that have never been read again. And as I was going through this, I realized that, in those boxes and letters lied, moldy and curled up, all my life since the moment I got married. I read some of them at random; some made me laugh, some remembered me of moments as if they were not mine but from others, different moments but, yes, always very clear the reason why they'd been written. I was about to stop reading, too touched, maybe, for such souvenirs that happen to be way too intense for someone my age, when I bumped into a group of letters that were tied up with a yelloy ribbon. They were letters that have only been read by me, my teenage letters. But among them I recognized a beige envelope addressed to Mrs. Lidia (the stamp was dated March 5th, 1943, and all of sudden, everything was clear to me. I felt vanishing and becoming ethereal and somehow getting into that envelope that was waiting for me....... It was the neighbourhood's social club. Way before you even got there. you could hear the music, so we used to hurry up, me and my sister, climbed up the stairs towards the 'little lovers terrace'. That's how it was called, because since it was open, you could see the starry sky with a silver moon during summer evenings, sometimes a storm in the distance that made us leave quickly and head for the big hall where everyone was dancing, though not so pleased as on the little terrace. It was always crowdy. Boys and girls making eye contact, others looking for a good dancer. I, I was only looking for that tall, gawky, sad-eyed boy, with a gipsy look that I'd many times seen as being with my cousin; I guess they were friends, until I finally saw him, I had the impression he was looking for me too. He dropped the cigarette he was smoking and I saw him come towards me, smiling but without saying anything. He asked me to dance; when the waltz finished -I still remember what it was- we stood there, talking. No matter how hard I tried, I can’t remember what were we talking about, silences were so long.. and I was 15, he was 19. Several months passed, and we only used to see each other at the club, without saying anything that could make people think we were dating, nothing more than a couple who got along very well on the dance floor. But I know that we both felt that feeling for the first time, that feeling of being in a cloud, that nothing else existed beyond us, that everything around us was not tangible, just dreamy images. After several months, the first date, on a cold and foggy winter sunset, at a corner. As he was getting closer, it started to rain, drops were falling slowly as if they were emerging sadly from my inner being. I guessed his silhouette with the inevitable cigarette, and when I got closer to him, in his eyes I saw all the love that he had always had for me. There was like an inner light coming out of that gaze of deep, almond-shaped eyes. Mine were tired and reddish, since I'd been crying before leaving home: my mother had said "No", and back then, for a good 15 year-old child it was "No". We walked for several blocks under a persistent drizzle. One next to the other, without even touching each other, Me, coming up with excuses; he, trying to convince me otherwise. We said goodbye in a corner, but this time sharing tears. And of course, our encounters on the little terrace ended. His pride prevented him from more. Later on,... the usual, each one took his own way. I married, had children, had been happy. But I’d never been able to get rid of that farewell letter that I now have in my hands and that has made me go many years back in time, to that lost and far-away first love, almost to that end of the life of mine, I remember I let my tears fall, doing a smudge where he had written my name and address and locked his goodbye, in this envelope that I now put back on its cardboard box, next to other envelopes tied up with a yellow ribbon.
Lidia Barreiro, 2006

The Ivi (Gabriela Zajur) (2006)

Gabriela Zajur, 45 years old. Oil on canvas, 2005/2006. Jorge, 84, he is the only love she has truly had. She has always been with him. In love for all her life, and beyond. She has chosen to enjoy him eternally. She paints him in every possible shape and colour.

The Ivi - Eva Love (2006)

Eva Amor, 78 años.
No tuvo hombre.
Jamás.
No cree que fuera una decisión difícil de tomar.
Ella dice que decidió estar sola y entregarse al canto.
Vivió la pasión a través de las mujeres heridas de sus personajes.
Y Cantó.

Medidas variables

The Ivy (Staircase) (2006)

The Ivy - Galería Alberto Sendrós. I interviewed women in their homes, surrounded by their objects, and only after intimate, extense, highly emotional dialogues, this work began to take shape. Using each of these stories of life, I came up with a personal and joint work. I chose women that were old enough so as to dare going through such intimimate process dealing with the feeling of love and the crossroads that this implies (between 40 and 78 years old). We used different and varied elements that we thought were representatives of their stories, and with them we did this installation.
On the other hand, everyone willing to take a personal object related to a particular love story was summoned by email to do so, This was an open call, and during the course of the exhibition, people kept bringing things in.

Patrimony (2003)

Installation made out of furniture, masking tape, drawings and audio. Galería Alberto Sendrós. Text by Jorge Macchi: I imagine a starving man in his prehistoric cave, drawing on the wall the silhouette of his long yearned victim. At a certain moment he decides to shoot some arrows that would go through such shape, so as to assure the success of the sorcery. The man finishes the drawing, goes hunting and returns with a marvellous antelope that will provide him with enough food for the following days to come. He is a believer, he thinks there is a direct connection between the drawing on the wall and the animal he has brought onto his cave. I imagine this as I see how Ana`s painting evolves. On one side, a series of objects appear as if they have been piled up together and held onto a wall in a quite fragile and desperate manner. As if the material she uses to keep them together is the first thing she could found (curiously, the so called masking tape), and what satisfies her urgency more rapidly. On the opposite wall, there is an agglomeration of drawings kept together using the same masking tape. These are sketches of objects such as pillows, books, mattresses, suits, sofas, lamps, the objects seen in between the tapes on the other wall. It seems as if she stopped and decided to represent them in such unique way, before tying them up like that. In Ana, the caveman’s magical thinking becomes absurd: that character that she has made up of herself does not pile up objects together, but ties them onto a wall and represents them obsessively in order to possess them, for she already possesses them. What the palaeolithic hunter does before going for a hunt, Ana does it within the so-called quietness of the home these objects have been living in for quite a long time. So, why does she do all this? A song, barely hearable coming out of a device that takes part in this mess of objects proves that these objects were gifts or sediments from old couples and past relationships. Is this information really relevant? These two questions aim at something invisible, beyond these objects, beyond the possession of these objects. The representation of objects, the agglomeration and fixation of objects is not a magical rite in order to possess them. Before that, it is a rite to prevent them to vanish. I think that the objects are there to talk us about the fleetingness of everything that is human. I remember, now, that terrible image of Goya's Saturn eating one of his children, with that particular and disturbing mix of anxiety and melancholy.