GERARDO GOLDWASSER: REPRESENTING URUGUAY AT THE VENICE BIENNALE
Goldwasser (Montevideo, 1961) will be representing Uruguay in the 59th Venice Biennale 2022 with his project Persona. Curated by Laura Malosetti Costa and Pablo Uribe, Persona disputes uniformity and disputes the idea itself of persona. Goldwasser's project was chosen by the National Visual Arts Commission in an open competition declared by the Uruguayan Ministry of Education and Culture. The Uruguay pavilion occupies a privileged spot in the Gardens of the Biennale, flanked by those of France and the United States.
Ever since his earliest works, Goldwasser has evolved a line of reflection connected with the profession of tailoring: as a trade, as drawing that is bound to precise rules, as repetition and as the institution of norms, and all of this linked to memory, beginning with the history of his family of émigrés from Germany to Uruguay in 1938.
Persona offers a critical reflection that stages one aspect, as basic as it is complex, of human societies: their ways of covering and exhibiting bodies, of disciplining them and also of distinguishing them. The question he takes up here refers to the manners in which every human being is perceived as a person by constructing his or her appearance, his or her way of entering onto the scene every day of his or her life. The etymology of the concept goes back to the classical theatre: the persona is "the actor's mask," and this mask lies at the origin of the culture of dress.
In the new setting of post-pandemic world crisis, of the danger of extinction of our species -the only one capable of extinguishing all others, and all else- this strongly humanistic exhibition confronts us with projects, past and present, which seeks to transform human beings into infallible machines, precision-timed, well-ordered, obedient, constructive, and at the same time destroyers of all that cannot be put to use or regimented.
Goldwasser's Persona invites and urges us to make history. To look and think about the representation of bodies and their metamorphoses, about the doubts that beleaguer the sciences, the arts, and the myths of our time, in black and white, like the anonymous and undated sartorial manual he inherited from his grandfather.
Gerardo Goldwasser (Montevideo, 1961) studied at the Centro de Expresión Artística, under the direction of Nelson Ramos, papermaking with Laurence Baker and metal engraving with David Finkbeiner. He is an adjunct professor in the undergraduate program in Visual Communication in the Department of Architecture, Design and City Planning at the Universidad de la República.
He was awarded a Pollock-Krasner Foundation fellowship, New York (2001), Second Prize in the Second Biennial in Printmaking of Mercosur, a grant from the Fondo Nacional de las Artes, Buenos Aires, (2000), the Paul Cézanne Prize (1997) the Third Bienarte Grand Prize, and a grant from the Uruguay-United States Cultural Alliance (1990-1992).
He represented Uruguay in various visual arts biennials, most notable among them: First International Art Biennial, Panama (2013); Ninth Cuenca International Biennial (2007), Second Mercosur Printmaking Biennial, Buenos Aires (2000), Sixth Havanna Biennial (1997), and First Mercosur Visual Arts Biennial, Porto Alegre (1997).
Since 1985 he has been in solo and group exhibitions in Uruguay, Argentina, Colombia, Brazil, Cuba, France, the United States, Spain, Panama, and Ecuador.
*cover artwork: El saludo (detail), 2010-2022. 85 black fabric sleeves pinned to the wall. Dimensions variable.