May 11 is just beside the corner and the time is running out for the artists of each participating country of the 58th Venice Biennial. Already known the initiative of the Brazilian Pavilion -constituted by the duo Bárbara Wagner & Benjamin de Burca with the curatorship of Gabriel Pérez-Barreiro- and the Chilean Pavilion -conceived by the artist Voluspa Jarpa and the curator Agustín Pérez Rubio-, Argentina Pavillion gives some details of El nombre de un país (The name of a country), a project developed by artist Mariana Telleria and art historian Florencia Battiti, curator of the Argentine Pavilion.

By Matías Helbig
Processo: Nome Di Un Paese, 2019.



The selection of this duo for the representation of the South American country in the Venice Biennial was carried out, for the first time in the history of the country, through a public and open call, managed by the Argentine Foreign Ministry through the Directorate of Cultural Affairs. 68 were the pre-projects sent by artists from all over the country. Among them, El nombre de un país.

Under an "punk frankesteinean" aesthetic, the seven sculptures -of enormous dimensions, by the way- that make the project are presented as a sort of record, or archive, that witness transformation. The religious iconography, on the one hand, and the elements and objects of popular culture, on the other, are inserted in the same universe ruled by fashion, waste, spectacle and nature. They live there, in "the same horizontal hierarchy".

"In these sculptures I am interested in working from the shape of each one of the things and pointing out, in some way, that the only natural thing is, in reality, the chaotic coexistence between living and inert objects, between culture and nature, between order and destruction -explains Telleria-. Each thing has its soul, its formal imprint and its material history. There is tragedy in everything, but in everything there is also something of life ".

In relation to the project that is being mounted in the Weapons Room, Arsenal, Battiti warned that "when the artworks of Telleria put things (and their imaginaries) in relation to other things (and with other imaginaries) they trace unsuspected connections between the various signifiers of our culture (the sacred, the domestic, the urban, the natural), igniting by friction, by contact, new differences of meaning ". In this context, it is evident that the dialogue between the cultural and popular imaginaries that the artist from Santa Fe province develops is characterized by drawing conetcions between horizons that the viewer always believed parallels.

As a representation of the Argentine Pavilion, the name of a country is not only a work that participates in the 58th Venice Biennial but it is also a symbol and manifestation of the standards that sustain the democratic selection processes for this type of activities.