April, 4th, 2000
Buenos Aires, Argentina.
Claudia Aranovich at Centro
The Shapes of Memory
Por Fabián Lebenglik
(Translated by Inés Sánchez.)
Aranovich (Buenos Aires, 1956 - ) is back in Buenos Aires after having
recently finished two artist-in-residence programmes along 1999, supported
by Fundación Antorchas: first in California, at Villa Montalvo
Center for the Arts, and then in England, at Kent Institute of Art and
Design, Canterbury. Both programmes included in situ open-studio shows
which normally serve as an evaluation and monitoring of each artist´s
work. In this respect, Aranovich reveals a remarkable growth in the
setting-up of her works.
Her latest exhibitionis presented with great display, at Centro Cultural
Recoleta. The sculptor, through the extensive use of resin, tends to
the production of highly metaphoric and monumental pieces. “Monumental”
does not necessarily refer here to size, but rather, to the direct appeal
to memory (individual and social) and to the concept of ritual. Both
characteristics have been part of ancient sculptural traditions since
sculpture started gaining, over twenty centuries ago, an incipient autonomy
from funerary art.
Polyester resin, raw material of these works, contributes through the
texture itself and its wide range of transparencies and opacities, as
well as its malleability and the way it is deposited in layers, (almost
resembling the description of the formal and constructive aspects of
memory) to the specific meaning intended by the artist.
Yet, it is not only the materiality of resin and the shapes Aranovich
makes that lead the viewer into the paths of memory, but also the images
and objects the sculptress shuts in and fixes inside: mainly photos.
The whole exhibition displays great formal and thematic density -leaning
towards drama-, though at the same time she keeps distances with the
theme in search of a design paradigm.
Some of the incrusted sequences have been borrowed from Anglo American
Eadweard Muybridge (1830 - 1904), photography and cinema pioneer, who
carried out obsessive experiments on motion, with people and animals.
In fact, Muybridge aimed at having his beautiful recordings used by
artists and scientists. Jobs, attitudes, gestures, are all considered
by-products of history and culture.
A pair of transparent boxes with inlaid images of death–masks
stands out from the rest. These works remind the viewer of the series
of faces of corpses that great Austrian artist Arnulf Rainer (1929 -
) photographed and touched up in the seventies for the Biennial of Venice,
also exhibited in the last but one Biennial of San Paulo and in 1997
at the Museo Nacional de Bellas Artes, Buenos Aires.
Cultural Recoleta –Junín 1930- Buenos Aires, Argentina.
Closing April 9th.)