La vuelta al mundo…August 6, 2014
To see the program, click here.
In the form of an event that combines art exhibition and live performance of visual stories, La vuelta al mundo… [Around the world ...] projects various trips—stories or journeys made or projected, assumptions and discarded or forgotten images, imagined or speculated scenarios—uses as its main support the slide projector.
In separate sessions, La vuelta al mundo… will present four works, by the artists Lothar Baumgarten; Mario García Torres; Gilda Mantilla and Raimond Chaves; and Pedro Manrique Figueroa from the Colección Patricia Phelps de Cisneros that are supported by the 35mm slide projector.
Additionally, it has convened a group of people active in the cultural field of Buenos Aires to bring their own slides to the Sala de Exposiciones for a screening and never before seen account, to show images that, though preserved, were usually filed and neglected after the obsolescence of the slide projector. These presentations will be conducted by art historian José Emilio Burucúa, playwright Vivi Tellas, architect Paul Pschepiurca, writer Paola Cortes Rocca, the musician Emilio del Guercio and artists Mary Alché, Leandro Katz and Martin Legon.
La vuelta al mundo... was developed by Inés Katzenstein and Sofía Hernández Chong Cuy, and organized by the Department of Art UTDT in collaboration with the Colección Patricia Phelps de Cisneros.
The slide projector is a device that facilitated academic and scientific study and which, in its original large format transparencies, led to the disclosure and comparative analysis of the relationship between cultures, objects and eras. Created in the sixties, and continuing until about ten years ago, the model of the reel or carousel for 35mm transparencies, more compact and affordable than the original, was widely marketed and its use soon exceeded the original pedagogical purposes; the apparatus was found in workshops and domestic spaces of amateur photographers, travelers and people interested in recording and recounting events, discoveries and sequencing experiences, whether their own or others’.
The ceremony of the projector thus became a ritual of knowledge that lead to a situation of concentration and amplification; either in the classroom or the living room, the slide projector has served to bring geographies, cultures, travel, architecture or family situations, inaccessible by other means, closer. And while the technology is on the verge of extinction, many current artists concerned with alternative ways to understand image, have found in it a valuable tool of perception and exposure.
By showing, in La vuelta al mundo…, different ways in which contemporary artists approach analog technologies, yet propose to concentrate on the slide projector as a technology with scenic and perceptive individual characteristics (darkness, heat, sound, light and even smell), this exhibition, organized as a circular sequence of projections, in carousel fashion, aspires to be a chance for the experience and discussion of the conditions of audibility and visibility we use in order to share information in the digital age.
Lothar Baumgarten's work juxtaposes images found, purchased or taken from historical publications (including photos of indigenous communities from the Chaco by Guido Boggiani) and photographs of the first works that Baumgarten made during the sixties (installations and ephemeral actions created with natural elements), to compose conceptual routes that the artist developed in the following decades. Gilda Mantilla and Raimond Chaves create a diptych, where different approaches to a single image of the sky are accompanied by short textual fragments taken from a guide to the Amazon written by a Peruvian soldier who was a nature aficionado. On the other hand, in the first effort of what would be several attempts in the search for the One Hotel in the Afghan capital, Mario García Torres recounts his own journey towards the Italian artist Alighiero Boetti, who developed his most emblematic work while living in Kabul.
Meanwhile, the slide projector of Pedro Manrique Figueroa, who is known as the precursor of collage in Colombia and manager of the Poverty Museum founded there in 1973, shows a selection of his poems. Both the emblematic work of Baumgarten and that of Chaves and Mantilla use the slide to emphasize the distance of the ethnographic gaze; in cases like that of Manrique Figueroa and García Torres, the choice of the slides points to mimicking this work with contemporary rhetoric, to the historical moments that they evoke, whether in research in art history or espionage.
Paola Cortes Rocca’s presentation is a reflection on the projector technology and its public conception, while Martin Legon—who has been collecting anonymous slides through the Internet—poses an essay on the power of an image and the pursuit of aura in contemporary times. Paul Pschepiurca considers discarded architectures and geographies, seeking the origins of the generic city in his own image file, and José Emilio Burucúa makes a selection of images from his extensive collections of slides used in his classes, revising some hypothesis that failed to create a thread or to come to any conclusión. Also, in relation to pedagogy, Leandro Katz presents some of his academic challenges during the seventies, taking as a departing point his The Catherwood Project. From her personal photographs, Vivi Tellas revises her experience growing up in Hollywood in the early sixties; María Alché also delving into her family archive, will present a theory of the slide as space for the fantastic; and Emilio del Guercio narrates what could be considered three musical sequences of a life.
Besides being posed as an exercise of perceptual contrast in relation to the current ways of transmission, itinerancy, and working with images, La vuelta al mundo... re-stages the rituals of the translation of lived experience into projected experience, and emphasizes the sequential and ritual time of the slide as a tool for the construction of stories, knowledge and memories, to pass on stories and to propose possible scenarios. The sound of the reel, of the carousel, of the mechanism in the device that contains the slides and operates on an image yet to be discovered, will be the tick-tock marking the time of La vuelta al mundo... The tiny fan of its motor will blow.
The program is here, to register click here.