SHARED ABSENCE, A DIALOGUE ON MEMORY
Within the framework of the twenty-fifth anniversary of one of the greatest terrorist tragedies that stalked Buenos Aires ―the attack to the Argentine Israeli Mutual Association (AMIA)―, Rolf Art gallery exhibits a collective exhibition focused on memory. Eleven artists, all of them Latin American, approach from different languages the absence that the crimes of Latin American history mean. Moving representations to its limits, Falta Compartida (Shared Absence) proposes to restructure and redesign the stories that build individual and collective memory from poetic and creative gesture.
Seen from outside, the gallery is a kind of mnemonic collage. A piece of black marble is located on the floor of the gallery, as if the river had dragged it there. Memory is a sediment, a remainder of something that permeates something else. Discovered by Marcelo Brodsky, the block belonged to the facade of the AMIA and had been towed to the river, among many other rubble, to fill the Park of Memory.
To the rear of the gallery, La Causa (The Case), by the Chilean artist Voluspa Jarpa, is a false file compilation in relation to the attack. The documents, made in the original format of the investigation files, form an incomprehensible information network with typefaces that are sometimes made more or less visible de data. Empty spaces, as if pages were missing, and handmade Hebrew annotations are the allusion Jarpa makes to the concealment and indifference of justice and government departments towards victims, history and, above all, the construction of memory.
In relation to the AMIA attack, La Ausencia (The Absence), by Santiago Porter, is also exhibited. A photographic project that borders the documentary, probably the most impressive oeuvre of the exhibition: a series of photographic triptychs composed of portraits the victim’s relatives, an object of the victims ―mostly one who wore the day of the explosion― and an austere description of the link between all of them. Thus, Rolf's walls read: "He was wearing this watch that is still working today," "This cup, which belonged to his grandmother, was his most precious object" or "This was Silvana's camera." Comments that name those things that remind those who are missing, that make forgetting impossible, but which are also objects of memory in themselves, catalytic elements of time. Grandma's porcelain, the photographic device, the minute hand of the clock.
However, Falta compartida also includes dialogues with memory from other places. That is the case, for example, of An oscillating shadow, by Celeste Rojas Mugica (Chile, 1987). Through a slide show, the artist reconstructs the photographs her father took during the Chilean dictatorship and his exile to Ecuador. In a game of opposites ―concealment and demonstration, dictatorship and revolution, homeland and exile, etc.― Rojas Mugica makes an appropriation of the story that her father recorded and turns it into another, resignifies it. All this accompanied by the rattle of the device, which not only becomes a metaphor for her artwork, but for the entire exhibition, marking a circular tempo in which the slides are repeated, the time is repeated.
The works of Graciela Sacco, Silvia Rivas, RES, Cristina Piffer, Juan Travnik, Ezequiel Verona and Oscar Muñoz are also part of the exhibition. As a compendium on memory, Falta compartida, curated by Florencia Giordana Braun ―founder and director of the gallery―, Camila Knowles ―gallery codirector― and Julieta Tarraubella ―Rolf's artistic director―, is a dialogue between artists seeking to disarm hegemonic tales of history and rebuild them through visual, experiential and corporal experiences.
Falta compartida (Shared Absence) is exhibited at Rolf Art (Esmeralda 1353, City of Buenos Aires, Argentina) from Monday to Friday, from 11:00 a.m. to 8:00 p.m., until September 22. The exhibition was planned by Rolf Art gallery with the collaboration of the French gallery Mor Charpentier.