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.
It’s not one work, but probably my whole activity in the art field (not just the production, but the theoretical, pedagogic and curatorial areas as well) what could be defined as rechen or Roberto Echen (for the same reason, I wouldn’t define me as an artist, but as someone moving broadly inside the artistic concept). Thinking of something that can stand for what I say: Last year I married in and from the artistic field (ceremony officiated by Fernando Farina) as an artwork for a show I was invited to in Cruz Alta. My partner is from that city and that was the way we grounded our relation, not a simulation, but my truth in relation towards art and towards her. And we live happily in our home.
2. In general terms, how would you suggest to approach your work?
In relation with what was previously said and with certain production and artwork reading concepts that I have been thinking of for some time now, I don’t think I could, or be the right person, to suggest any kind of reading. When it comes to materials, support, format, etc, there’s no really image that could emerge without having as a part of it, its format, material and technological support in which the work will develop (let’s say the language). I think this shows the birth on an artwork. Referring to this, I think (perhaps in a very “Derrida way”) that technique and sense are not at all independent one from the other.
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 can’t (nor desire) deny that I began my journey through this field (and this world) in the 80’s and that there were ways to do, to think art and names whose marks are inevitable to me. Basquiat would be one of them. But I cannot either deny that I grew in an academically environment and that, for example, in my beginnings I related to pop in intense hate, criticizing its supposed “frivolity” and “comfort”, such, that it took very little time for me to understand that was love. Certain avidity of knowledge and some friends who affectionately contributed with their experience, are what took me to find works and artists that have not stop to surprise me since then, like some great artists from Rosario (Santa Fe, Argentina) who still don’t have the recognition they deserved, such as Schiavoni’s case, Musto, or the great teacher to many, Juan Grela. In that road I’ve travelled (thinking only about Argentine artists) from Testa, neo-figuration or Seguí to Grippo, Liliana Porter, Lamelas, but also Leon Ferrari or the group that produced Tucumán Arde, Kuitca. Inevitable names such as David Hockney, Sophie Calle, Gilbert & George, Yves Klein, Jeff Koons. It is evident that I do not place myself in any flow. The amount of names turns into a plague. I can’t forget the impact I received when I first saw the work of Schiliro (mainly), of Gumier Maier, Pombo. I find relation with works of very diverse artists like Graciela Sacco, Claudia Del Río, Daniel García, Esteban Alvarez and Tamara Stuby, Roman Vitali, Lucio Dorr, Mauro Machado, Valeria Maculán. From latest artists, I’m pretty excited about Diego Bianchi, Leopoldo Estol and Adrián Villar Rojas’ work. Carlos Herrera as well, of course.
4. Choose works or exhibitions from the last ten or fifteen years which in your opinion were very significant and explain why
The change of view proposed by the Rojas Cultural Center (Buenos Aires, Argentina) group. I specially remember an exhibition at the Patricios’ Bank Foundation. The possibility to see Joseph Beuys’ production in Argentina. Some of Eduardo Medeci’s pieces in which every layer was a whole universe. Lux Lindner at the Recoleta Cultural Center (Buenos Aires, Argentina), when he was still too young, and I could feel his power in his work. The possibility to see Noé, Benedit or Testa’s whole production in their retrospectives. The emersion, if I’m not wrong, also at Patricios’ Bank Foundation of Ballesteros, Siquier and Kacero. The impact of Porter, Lamelas and Katz at the Spanish Cultural Center in Buenos Aires, exactly in the moment that I thought, in art, nothing without concept or thinking in representation could be done. Macchi at Ruth Benzacar gallery. Graciela Sacco at the Castagnino Museum (Rosario, Santa Fe, Argentina). Nicola Costantino en el macro (Museum of contemporary art in Rosario). May Gardens [Jardines de Mayo] at the National Art’s Fund Culture House, specially Diego Bianchi. The shows of Rosario’s artists in the Castagnino Museum with the start of something we haven’t had until then: serious studying material about Rosario’s art and artists. Of course, the creation of the macro (Museum of contemporary art in Rosario), since I’m one of its parents, and the place where I can execute the concepts in which I believe (with a team that backgrounds and the artist’s response).
5. What tendencies or groupings from common elements do you see in argentine art of the last ten or fifteen years?
I think that what is interesting about this (and desirable) is diversion, more tan common elements. I believe in technological change, specially information and communication technologies – strongly related to this. Zapping and cell-phone mobility, computer and Internet, not only distance relations change(space concept), but also the way of reading and producing (time).
See complete production at: http://www.rechen.com/information