MARCOS BENÍTEZ AT TEXTILIA: A TOUR OF PINTA Sud ASU
In the context of the second edition of Pinta Sud ASU –from August 7 to 13, 2023 in Asuncion, Paraguay– the Textilia complex presents the exhibition Oquedad (Hollowness) by artist Marcos Benitez. It is curated by Lia Colombino.
The former Textilia factory will be transformed into an exhibition space. Oquedad by Marcos Benítez houses a series of objects and installations related to three Paraguayan pottery villages with which the artist works. The exhibition presented by the artist is made up of installations, objects, photographic and video recordings.
Marcos Benítez's work has always been intimately related to the four elements shared by ancient Greek culture and Buddhism: air, water, earth and fire. In recent years, his research has explored the artistic, poetic-aesthetic production of popular and indigenous cultures. This production is closely linked to these primary elements.
YRYRU or the contour of water is one of the artist's recent works in which he works with clay, tracing the limits of the material itself and its capacity to contain, store, save.
He explores with his own body the Lacanian notion of a vessel: a container holds and builds a sort of emptiness. All the work presented in this exhibition is born from the idea of the vessel as a vacuum builder. From the idea of emptiness to be filled with water. Marcos Benítez thinks of the body as if it were the contour that allows the limit, that separates from the overflow.
The artist presents elements resulting from an action at the home of Ediltrudis Noguera, a great ceramic artist from Tobatí. In collaboration with Benítez, Noguera prepares the clay as if she were to make a vessel. Instead, the "chorizos", longitudinal pieces of kneaded clay, were wrapped around Marcos Benítez by Ediltrudis' hand until they covered him completely. The clay dried, the artist came out of that wrapping as if from a sarcophagus to bake these pieces that can be seen today in the exhibition, as well as the record of the action.
In Mutations. Proyecto Aregua, the artist begins with a tracing of his own head in order to repeat it serially and convert it into an empty vessel. This gesture is related to the production of death masks and symbolizes plagiarism, the multiplication of one's own expression.
But then, Marcos Benítez gives these portraits to a group of potters who, according to their different aesthetic traditions, portray figures from television, advertising or fiction. It deals with lost characters to bring them back close and bright, renewed in their expression.
Marcos Benítez is a contemporary visual artist from Paraguay. He developed a work on the border between academic traditions of Paraguayan modern art, and contemporary and popular expressions, with engraving productions that dialogue with Paraguayan popular art from a conceptual perspective.
Textilia S.A. is part of the old cotton industry, collaborating with the development of Paraguay. Being in a strategic location in the city of Asuncion, it has adapted to the new times, becoming a cultural, gastronomic and technological pole. Its founder was Mario Comero, an Italian immigrant from the beginning of the last century, and his grandson Luis Duclos Peña, accompanied by his nephew Santiago Garcia Canteli, is still in charge of the company.