By María Galarza | November 24, 2022

MALBA presents a panoramic exhibition by Anna Maria Maiolino (Scalea Italy, 1942) with more than fifty years of works that include paintings, drawings, woodcuts, sculptures, photographs, videos, sound pieces and installations in an attempt to capture the prismatic spirit of the artist.


The paradoxical and multidimensional human nature allows an infinite and unfathomable expression of the self, with a great number of media explored –and exploited– throughout the history of the arts to portray fragments of one's own experience.

Anna Maria Maiolino translates this search into a varied and eclectic work, traversed by places, ties and affections, political struggles, routines and experiences that have marked her. She organizes her story in forms, words, videos, photographs, maps, her own name and much more in a strive to make sense of what she lives.

In her series Mapas Mentais [Mental Maps] the artist arranges her mother and father, places and years she lived in a system of relationships to synthesize memories, places, moments and people. The map is a way of visualizing space with perspective and, thus, show another dimension of the territory, of history, or of affections.

The punctuation marks break with the pretension that linearity gives meaning by default. The artist exposes the opposite: it is the play between multiple identities, the fragmented and the unforeseen that ends up shaping her life. Maiolino's own history and identity was never understood in a linear way, there was never an intention to establish a temporality and this is transferred to her plots with dots, commas, maps, stains and spirals.

The artist finds value in the repetition of gestures, rescuing the power of the everyday, the essential actions that have been reproduced since the beginning of humanity. She knows how to move away from solemnity and connect with humor through actions and primary forms that go between stains, maps or landscapes.

Performance has been an important part of Anna Maria Maiolino's work. From Entrevidas, when she walked barefoot on a cobblestone covered with eggs, to a deeper search, in which form is combined with matter: the act with consistency. The artist inaugurates the neologism of Fotopoemacciones (Photopoemactions), intertwining performance with photography to continue organizing, giving shape to a multifaceted character.

The time spent in Rio de Janeiro was key to Maiolino's artistic development. It was there that he deepened and committed himself to politics through expressions that communicated rebellion and discontent, denouncing violence. It is said that one is a child of one's time, and the political events that the artist went through did not pass by in the conformation of her universe of meaning.

The challenge of translating one's own experience and give it a meaning through words, photographs, installations, drawings and more is a quest that remains in force and seems almost impossible to finish; but after a life of varied artistic production, one could say that Anna María Maiolino comes pretty close. The "life-work" as she calls it, intermingles to resignify events, reaching the conclusion that everything, somehow, is connected, just not in the ways we think.

Schhhiii... by Anna Maria Maiolino.

Temporary exhibition at the Museo de Arte Latinoamericano de Buenos Aires (MALBA), Buenos Aires, Argentina.

Curator: Paulo Miyada.

Until February 20, 2023.

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