Galería Distrito 4, Madrid

By Mariano Mayer | February 21, 2013

Curator Sonia Becce
Carolina Antich, Angela Detanico & Rafael Lain, Carlos Motta

“Extranjeros para nosotros mismos” is the title under which, in 1991, Julia Kristeva inquired into the development of a type of multiracial coexistence in 21st-century Europe. The book may still be read as an inquiry into the singularity of a difference, not validated by modern modes of integration and cultural assimilation but by laissez-faire, or to put it another way, by allowing others to live in a different way.


This type of “burned happiness”, this foreign face which, according to Kristeva, burns with enthusiasm needs not to be dehumanized in order to experience its difference. Neither an intruder nor an exotic creature, the foreigner is the figure of ‘the other’. But this figure is also that of the person who experiences an uninterrupted state of migration. This characteristic of multiple belongings is common to the work of the four artists featured in “Extranjero”, the exhibition curated by Sonia Becce at Distrito 4 Gallery. Without emphasizing cosmopolitanism, the utopias of coexistence or the administrative and political difficulties, Carolina Antich (1970, Argentina), Angela Detanico (1974, Brazil) together with Rafael Lain (1973, Brazil) and Carlos Motta (1978, Bogotá), transform their artistic practices into a channel through which to convey and converge different situations close to cultural hybridization. Appealing to poetic syncretism and to emotional disarmament, the figures in the paintings and sculptures of Carolina Antich seem to render the foreigner an emotional subject that pays attention to the immediate; while Detanico and Lain transform the experience of translation into a mechanism in which language becomes an invention. Using as their point of departure a catalogue of stars arranged according to their visual magnitude by a 17th-century astronomer, the artists transform this progressive classification into a sound scale and employ it as an alphabet to write Sappho’s words on the sky of the Northern Hemisphere.

With the aim of reflecting on events of political tension and historical situations, Carlos Motta develops works and projects as a way of understanding the effect that such narratives have on the individual’s experience. His methodology is frontal and it renders that area in which narrative and event seem to coincide permeable. Extrapolating the level of hyper-conscience that undermines their own condition, but without resorting to any behavior manual, each artist presents a type of otherness.


From January 24 through March 1, 2013