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.
I will chose the work Pencils´ Race (Carrera de lápices), which is a painting, in fact it is a race carried out by holding the pencil by its back and placing it perpendicular to the page, then you release it and it produces an action that creates a line, a semi-straight line, and at the point where it ends, you indicate up to where it went. I invited 14 artists to compete on top of a fabric; the race was overseen at that moment by the attorney Bruzzone; it was videotaped by Max Gómez, and the participants were: Siquier, Elisa Strada, Guillermo Iuso, Valeria Maculan, Marcelo Grosman and others. That was in the year 2000/01. This work interests me because it gives a good example of what happened to my work after that year. I stopped representing certain things and started to present specific actions; in some other works I created premises that I had to carry out, such as to draw a specific quantity of lines, or to make lines for a specific period of time and to mark their intersections. This work is more radical in that sense because it was done by all of us. In the work there was an area of boxes in which each one could test his or her pencil and temper it. Pablo Siquier won the race. It was a canvas thrown on a table, of 1,20 by 1,20 metres. I also participated, but I did not try to win because I was receiving the visitors and as soon as the race started it was clear that it would last a couple of hours, and it was good because I also offered a good snack. I had designed a circuit, sanding the circuit particularly so that the pencil could move without problems… The work was exhibited at Benzacar, at the show I did in 2001. I put it on a stretcher because I liked the fact of taking this action back to the classic shape of the canvas; the work was, in the end, a drawing. There is a previous test, in a smaller circuit, of a race played between Fabio Kacero, Siquier and I, in that opportunity Fabio won and Pablo was, more than anything else having fun. But because Fabio won, Pablo wanted a rematch , hence for the big race he prepared himself and when Fabio realised he could not win again he retired before finishing, as we say, he “chickened out”.
2. In general terms, how would you suggest to approach your work?
Let’s see… I do not demand, anything. The way in which to read my work…, no, nothing. Legible ideas that appear in my production…. no, nothing. What I actually present are actions that are carried out which are totally useless. The reflections I tend to think are very much extra-artistic, because the point I have reached with the spectator… it would be quite sad if we both reached the same conclusions. The thought that I reflect the most has to do with quantities: quantities of things, of apples, of space or of time, of people, etc. It is about the idea that, once they surpass some thousand dozens of whatever they are, there is something that changes; one could say that I have the hope that at some moment interstellar trips will be carried out, and maybe my work can add something to that.
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?
The truth is that I do not know very well to which tradition I belong, and that is a problem because in many opportunities I was not included in shows or by curators because they did not know where to place me. I am not so sure if I am an abstract artist, because I see that a line is something figurative, I can mention it, it is something concrete. The majority of my works could not have been done by someone else, because the stroke is mine and it has to do with my energy.
I do not find contemporary referents within the visual arts, outside of it… I do not know if they are contemporary but it was very helpful to read David Bohm or Ilia Prigogine, because the subject of my work was to observe, for instance, the atomist way in which the universe was tried to be understood at a certain period, and to have once again that endless attitude of drawing thousands of them and to count them, and to work with that like a scientist who has lost their bearings and remained trapped there, grabbing parts of problems without arriving at any type of solution or answer.
Artists that interest me from previous generations, I’ll make a Top 3. What has always nurtured me was when I saw the pictures of the artists working in their studios, for example Morandi, Anish Kapoor. Within the visual arts there is not a lot that moves me, nor am I a big consumer of visual art. With Kapoor something amazing happens to me, it is very touching. Then, previous ones, it has to do with people I love, people who are starting their career, and their work does not interest me so much but in a more collective way or manner, how they are shaping their lives, how previous artists have designed theirs and how new ones are entering this life, they give me that energy that they have to enter into this strange land that does not give many securities to you.
4. Choose works or exhibitions from the last ten or fifteen years which in your opinion were very significant and explain why
Significant exhibitions: I will go for my friends again, for example to Pablo (Pablo Siquier), just here beside me, I see him working and I find it very fair to see when his work is exhibited and where he has arrived at. No one else. In the same line of thought where the important thing is not so much the work but how artists shape their lives and their relation to the world, I can choose one of Pablo´s murals, any of them, not because any of those works got to me in a subjective way, though they did, but because of the way in which they culminate a path that begins every morning when he arrives, with his first sketch, and how he observes the charcoal tests, if it falls or can be fixed, etc.
5. What tendencies or groupings from common elements do you see in argentine art of the last ten or fifteen years?
What I notice, and that I like, is that young artists are less attached to the object, less afraid of how they will sell their work, they accept that what they are doing is for the time being not sellable but they carry on, it is almost heroic, more heroic than when we used to feel ourselves heroes because we painted and did not go to work in an office. Well, they surpassed us, and I like the fact that with their work they challenge the exhibition spaces. That is to say, there are spaces that are not useful to contemporary art anymore, their ceilings are too low or they are too clean, therefore there are artists that go there and all they need to do is to knock down a few walls, because they break up with many limits.
Before you used to group in a different way, in relation to the object; now they are more concerned about a corner of the ceiling or the floor, there are even artists whose work cannot be seen, which is something that fascinates me in the visual arts, I mean, at a given moment you see it. For example, Luciana Lamothe in Harrods sanded the floor around some columns, that is cool, it disappeared, that interest me as a moment, but as a non sacred moment.