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.
“Microepaces”. The work comprises three parts (“Oxymoron”, “Mercury” and “Window”) which talk with each other and present/represent/construct/destroy/reconstruct my bedroom as a mental space and a space of physical interaction, swarming with circular ideas and psychic (and optical) distortions. Installation/direct shot/digital setup. “Oxymoron” is a poetic device which implies the association of two ideas of (totally or partially) opposed meanings. The mattress as a mental space/conjunction of opposites: slumber/insomnia, loneliness/company, having/wanting, tangible/intangible, concrete/abstract. A place to think oneself. The image itself (color photograph/direct shot) hovers between abstraction and concreteness: it summons dream-like, desert and metaphysical landscapes. The reference to the mattress is finally created in the setup. As regards “Mercury”: forced rest, boredom, cyclical thinking, becoming engrossed in ourselves and abstracting ourselves (feeling like breaking the thermometer.) Drops of mercury obsessively repeated, fascination for the silvery metal and its spasmodic movement across the parquet flooring. The game advances along the bedroom floor, through monotonous microworlds which I deconstruct and capture with an inverted lens, in a millimetric approach, in physical/psychical interaction, in a distorted vision, that makes reference to the need of disrupting memory rather than to memory itself. Setup: The parquet flooring is laid out on the horizontal ground. On top of it, heaped on the center, slides printed with the word “Mercurio”. Size: 120 cm. x 80 cm. x 15 cm. “Window”: the (de)construction of my bedroom window, through the day’s course; against the wall, the image fragmented in time and space; underneath, on the floor, a heap of slides with hours, ideas and residual “sounds” (from within and without.) Size: 150 cm. X 100 cm. Note: The installation is in process of production and mutation.
2. In general terms, how would you suggest to approach your work?
My work should be read in a circular fashion: the relation between the parts is dialectical. The following could be a possible order:
•“Microspaces” is the root of “Mercury”/“Oxymoron”/“Window”, which are part of the group and at the same time independent from each other.
•“Manuela Bedoya (melodrama)” Act I/Act II/Act III
•“Monoconsciousness: failure in the longevity plan”
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 don’t think I’m part of any specific tradition, though I’m attracted to some of conceptual art’s preoccupations about language and the possibility/impossibility of communication, about the body as experience. I am fascinated by David Lynch’s filming Id; by Federico Fellini and his provincial memories and imagination; by Peter Greenaway and his (mental and visual) obsessions, like counting the leaves of a tree or filming the decay of a body; by Werner Herzog’s chaos and poetic fury (especially in “Even dwarfs started small”); by Michael Gondry’s self-referential filming and his visual virtuosity (in this regard I also like Matthew Barney and his cinematographic performances); and by Mariko Mori’s visual ostentation. Also, the reflection on language in Bruce Nauman’s work, the stress on the process and references to himself, to art and life; the symbology of elements (felt, fat) in the works of Joseph Beuys; Alejandra Pizarnik and her scrutiny of language (And what are you going to say/I’ll only say something/And what are you going to do/I will hide in language/And why/I’m scared); Miles Davis and his innovative genius, the freezing nature of his music; Artaud; Rimbaud… I am also interested in Thomas Demand’s reconstruction, with life-size cardboard models, of places photographed a long time ago in newspapers or magazines (rooms, brothels or crime scenes), which he photographs again: I’m moved by the questioning on spaces: What does photography do to places? What does the mind do to photographs of places (and of things that happened)?. I also have an interest in Vanessa Beecroff’s photographs, in the poetic strength of Zoe Leonard’s “Strange fruit”, in Tracey Moffatt’s, Sharon Lockhart’s and Jeff Wall’s frozen frames; in the works of Esteban Pastorino, from Argentina: I have an interest in the relation with the generation of photographic devices capable of boosting discourse. I am currently devoted to creating microworlds, which necessarily fall into self-reference: I create mental microspaces. The artists I admire and who shape me are not necessarily related to that objective (because of the obvious nature of their genius), and I’m moved by the beauty of their work, and they are like beacons to me.
4. Choose works or exhibitions from the last ten or fifteen years which in your opinion were very significant and explain why
An exhibition I consider important was the retrospective The useless truth by RES, the photographer, held in Córdoba in October/November, 2003. Besides from RES’ work in itself, the importance lies in that an institutionally-important space, such as the Emilio Caraffa Provincial Museum, would use all of its facilities for an exhibition focused exclusively on photography. I believe most things arrive at Córdoba with a certain lag, because of its society’s conservative nature. In 2004, perhaps as a consequence of RES’ exhibition, perhaps thanks to the endorsement and the coordination provided by Michael Weseli, the German photographer, the collective project called Sisizononón was given a hall in the aforementioned museum. Marcos López’s work is, at a national level, a clear example of the insertion of photography in artistic circuits, especially his “Latin Pop” and its critique of society during Carlos Menem’s time as president. I am particularly moved by the photographic work of Esteban Pastorino: his images are fundamentally conceived in a playful and technical way, and it is through his use of invented or manipulated cameras that his technical discourse is manifested. His “Airborne” series is an example of this: it shows landscapes seen from high altitudes, randomly captured by cameras mounted on kites, and “technical fiction” makes them look like models; or long panoramic shots that show an endless journey across the plains of the Pampa, in meters-long frames. Even though I think Alessandra Sanguinetti was born in the US, the work she produced and exhibited in Argentina, “Guille’s and Bellinda’s Adventures and the Enygmatic Meaning of their Dreams” moved me because of its take on games, and its play with the dreams of a possible life that take shape during childhood. I consider it a work with great sensibility. I was also shocked by Eduardo Gil’s last production, “Landscapes”, though I could only see a few images. I admire the depth of Juan Tess’s series called “All Models18 and Over”. They seem a set of exhausted topics: the aesthetic of fashion magazines, flamboyant homosexuality and pastel shades in advertisements, all pointing to “more of the same”. Yet, the picture managed to intensely capture the desperate emptiness of adolescence. The photo appears as a medium: without pursuing hyperrealism, the result is ambiguity. The pictures work imprecisely: paintings of photos, which are neither paintings nor photos. Small formats, images of natural attitudes and situations: some exemplify the “urge to shoot” in adolescents, as members of a group of friends. The social ritual of photography is a symbol of that “institution” that rises outside the family in that particular period of life. Photography, in this case, following Sontag’s reflection, is a way of certifying experience, and also of rejecting it, by limiting experience to a search for what is photogenic. In the realm of cinema, Lucrecia Martel is a captivating artist who brought fresh air to Argentine film-making. In her two feature films, “The Bog” and “The Holy Girl”, she provides an intelligent image of provincial society, creating geographies which are recognizable but which do not really exist, devoid of “markings” and “clichés”, while at the same time submerging us in the most intimate and autobiographical experiences. Lisandro Alonso, on the other hand, represents a style of film-making almost doomed to disappear, almost devoid of dialogue, with stories of extreme solitude and introspection, of sensitive patience before the breath of what is alive, circular in the case of “Freedom”, lineal in the case of “The dead”.