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Exercises of memory: Gustavo Galuppo

Gustavo Galuppo. The Other Side of the Bonfire (2006)


Starting from the cinematographic myth, in this case Renee Falconetti, killed in Buenos Aires in 1946 and forgotten, going through the super 8 family record related to my grandfather on my father’s side killed in 1980 and finishing with recent videos of my daughter, who will be 2 in 2006. The video is structured as a small collection of letters, building as we go and producing an attempt to update the catastrophe. Not only the past, but also the present since, at the end of the day, as the Leitmotiv text of the work states: “It is not true that no one knows anything. The most terrible things still happen in front of everybody.”

In previous videos, such as “Theory of the Liquids”, “Theory of Drifting” and “Persistence of darkness – Theory of Igneous Elements” I had, in a somewhat elliptical and almost transversal way, dealt with the subject matter of the genocide perpetrated by the last Argentinean dictatorship. Now, as the central theme of a video, I had to think the whole matter over so as to achieve an unprecedented focalization regarding the development of my work. How should I talk about such facts without falling into the dangerous banalization of obviousness? How to deal with it so as to provide an active and mobilizing look that does not easily fall into the course of useless political correctness?“ There is no point in knowing and repeating that 6 million Jews were killed by the Nazis”, says Claude Lanzmann regarding the production of his monumental “Shoa” and the transposition of such an assertion to our historical context allows us to forge the idea that, besides the urgent need of the memory, it is essential to rethink the facts from their deepest intimate consequences in order to elaborate visions that go beyond the dangerous idea of the closing of a historical period. Therefore, “The Other Side of the Bonfire” is proposed, first of all, as a personal interpretation. Here, the letter, the diary, the deep confessions are combined into a patchwork, giving way to a poetic structure through which the real “testimony” can emerge. Then the testimony, but testimony of what? If “The Other Side of the Bonfire” testifies what is important, it is the testimony of the evolution of a conscience afflicted by the fear of oblivion and hypocrisy by guilt and fear.

Gustavo Galuppo

More information

“The Other Side of the Bonfire” – Gustavo Galuppo – 2006
Video – 7 minutes

About Gustavo Galuppo

Gustavo was born in Rosario in 1971. He is studying Audiovisual Production in Rosario city and researching the theory and history of art. He is a founding member and the first director of the film and video magazine EL ECLIPSE. Since 2002 he has been a member of the electronic music trio Vera Baxter and has also devoted himself to the production of video-performances, installations and videos. Since 1998, he has participated in several exhibitions in Argentina, Brazil, Mexico, Spain, Colombia and the United States. Throughout his career, he has been granted, among others, the following national and international awards: Award to the best local video, for “Juan”, at the Festival Latinoamericano de Video of Rosario, 1999; the Video Communication Award, for his piece “El Ticket que explotó”, JVC Tokyo Video Festival, Japan, 2001; and first prize in the category Experimental Video, for his piece “La progresión de las catástrofes” (2004); MAMBA Award-Fundación Telefónica/Arte y Nuevas Tecnologías, 2004. Through the use and

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intervention of films, documentary and family records, Galuppo poses questions about representation, emotional ties, fear of loss and death.

Participant artists

Alejandro Schianchi / Carlos Trilnick / Claudia Aravena / Edgar Endress / Eduardo Molinari y Nicolás Varchausky / Graciela Taquini / Guillermo Cifuentes / Gustavo Galuppo / Iván Marino / Julieta Hanono / Leandro Nuñez / Mariela Yeregui / Raúl Minsburg / Ricardo Dal Farra / Ricardo Pons