Marcelo Brodsky was trained as a photographer during his exile in Barcelona in the 1980s. In 1997 he edits and exhibits for the first time his photographic essay “Buena Memoria” (Good Memory), that deals with the personal and collective evolution of a group of students from the Colegio Nacional de Buenos Aires, marked by the disappearance of two of its members at the hands of State-sponsored terrorism. This exhibition has been showed more than a hundred times between 1997 and 2006 in more than 18 countries.
The Buenos Aires Book Fair 2000 and the CC Recoleta have both exhibited "Los condenados de la tierra" (The damned of earth), an installation made out of books that, fearing State repression in 1970s Argentina, were buried underground. In 2001 he edited and exhibited "Nexo" in Buenos Aires, his second photographic essay, exhibited, so far, in 5 countries. In 2002 he did an installation out of remains of granite blocks that used to be part of the facade of the AMIA. This installation has also been shown at the Synagogue on calle Piedras and, in 2003, on Buenos Aires' Plaza Houssay, on the occasion of the 9th aniversary of the AMIA terrorist attack.
In 2003 he edited Memory Works, a work that puts together pieces from Buena Memoria and Nexo, and that was also exhibited, that very same year, at the Universidad de Salamanca, and also did the intervention called "Imágenes contra la ignorancia" (Images against ignorance), covering a Nazi monument in Hannover, Germany, with his entire oeuvre. In 2006 he edited Memoria en Construcción: El debate sobre la ESMA (Memory in construction: The ESMA Debate), gathering works from 60 different artists and ideas and essays on the subject written by several intellectuals and Human Rights organizations from Argentina. Such work was later on exhibited within "Estéticas de la memoria" (Aesthetics of memory), at the CC Recoleta, which he also curated. He is a member of Derechos Humanos Buena Memoria (Human Rights Good Memory) organization, and takes part in the Comisión pro Monumento a las Víctimas del Terrorismo de Estado (Monument for State-sponsored terrorism victims Commission) that deals with monitoring the implementation of the Parque de la Memoria (Park of Memory) for the memory of those killed and dissapeared during Argentina's military dictatorship.
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.
The work that represents me the most is a one that many people know sometimes without knowing it's mine. It's the school photograph of my Division at the Colegio Nacional de Buenos Aires, taken in 1967, over which I wrote a series of manuscript texts referring to the actual life of each of my schoolmates, highlighting texts and circles over the portraits of Claudio and Martín, my two schoolmates that have dissapeared during the military dictatorship.
2. In general terms, how would you suggest to approach your work?
I'm particularly interested in the tension between my more abstract works -images that invite the viewer to enter a new dimension- and my memory-related works. Both visual discourses contain crossed references, that is to say they complement, boost each other. In recent projects I've even began to exhibit them together. Despite the fact that my most well-known and widespread work is related to the issue of amemory, "Vislumbres" (Discernments) and other series have begun to circulate through galleries, art fairs and museums.
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 see myself as part of the photographic tradition and its dialogue with other discliplines from the world of contemporary art. Within my work, I also use found footage, video, installation and public performances. My main references would be Cristian Boltanski, Duane Michals and a series of artists that combine image and text in their auratic production, boosting the respective languages and opening them, thus, to a wide range of possibilities in terms of its possible interpretations, proposing different layers of meaning. Richter's Atlas, Photographs by Oscar Pintor, and those from my master, Manel Esclusa. Conceptual strategies by Joan Fontcuberta.
4. Choose works or exhibitions from the last ten or fifteen years which in your opinion were very significant and explain why
León Ferrari is a key reference of my generation, because of his combination of excellence regarding his creations and the commitment of his vision of the world. His exhibition at the CC Recoleta and his participation in the Sao Paulo Art Biennial, the vitality when dealing with the passage of time, his friendship, wellbeing, humour and his lack of pityless criticism configure an attitude towards art that I find as an example of liberty, creativity and coherence with one's own obsessions.
5. What tendencies or groupings from common elements do you see in argentine art of the last ten or fifteen years?
I see groups in terms of disciplines, of means. For example, those of us coming from the world of photography and from there create with our visual proposals, do this trying different ways but still keep a common root that unites us all.