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.
“Swift in Swift” is a stencil of four stripes, four metres long each. It is printed on serigraphic paper and it is thought to be exhibited on the floor as a graphic installation, as I did in 1970. When I presented it, I added “situational graphic” so as to explain. Each stripe present texts taken from Jonathan Swift’s Gulliver, in which he criticises the exploitation of the poor, the war and the corruption. This work was presented when the company Swift called for engravers, and actually my work was a criticism to that company, that at that present moment was being emptied. I never thought that that piece could be awarded due to its size. The absurd thing is the artwork was awarded and the jury explained that they prized it because they believed that the artwork have a very important experimental nature. It’s terrible! My idea was that it couldn’t win because of its size.
2. In general terms, how would you suggest to approach your work?
Since I started, the fundamental idea was to involve the spectator in an active way. In other words, to leave aside their passive role as mere bystanders.
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 originally started to make kinetic artworks and I recognized myself in Vasarely’s work and Venezuelan Jesús Soto’s. Later on in the development of my work I oriented myself towards a conceptual slope. The Dadaist Joseph Cornell, Tàpies, Anselm Kiefer and the Argentinean Emilio Renart, Edgardo Antonio Vigo, Alberto Grecco and, in particular, the People Artists [Artistas del Pueblo]. As for later generations: Ralveroni, Ariadna Pastorini and a special mention of Graciela Sacco.
4. Choose works or exhibitions from the last ten or fifteen years which in your opinion were very significant and explain why
León Ferrari’s exhibition held at Recoleta Cultural Center (Buenos Aires, Argentina), because it meant the fight against censorship and intolerance, in spite of the fact that that it is always a pleasure to contemplate León Ferrari’s entire artwork.
5. What tendencies or groupings from common elements do you see in argentine art of the last ten or fifteen years?
Due to the fact that there is a large sum of tendencies and a great absence of groups that guide a tendency, I can only make reference to groups that made urban interventions, that developed fully their art after the events of 2001, in particular groups like Etcétera and GAC, that were already working years before that. And a special mention to Fernando Traversa, who hasn’t stop his significant urban interventions up to this day, developed in places where he works, particularly in the city of Rosario (Santa Fe, Argentina).