Exercises of memory (Ejercicios de memoria)

“The dead claim the living: Remember it all and say it all, not only to fight on the fields but for our lives, by imprinting a personal mark, to maintain their sense” (1) Tzvetan Todorov

Video Produced by UNTREF Productions Department There are testimonies, as there are documents, photographs, sounds and moving images. It is not about representing when the issue itself is documented. There are certainties, even about the uncertainty left by absences. In here, images do not abate. They do not undertake the challenge of depicting horror. They are aids for thought processes. In that sense, and paraphrasing Godard, the works displayed in this exhibition are not political in nature, but are a political production of works of art. Perhaps therein lies an answer to the great aesthetic challenge of our century, where the idea by Adorno – After what happened in Auschwitz, writing poetry constitutes a barbaric act – clashes with the utter need to continue producing art. We have already seen, we already know. Eluding the harshness of naturalistic images does not abide negation nor does it justify being content by the evidence; quite the contrary, it must constitute the starting point of the work. Being aware of

and accepting the problem would be the required kick-off point of the aesthetic process. “When we show you pictures of napalm victims, you’ll shut your eyes. You’ll close your eyes to the pictures. Then you’ll close them to the memory. And then you’ll close your eyes to the facts.” states Harum Farocki in his documentary Inextinguishable Fire, 1969. Looking away from the image of horror itself is a natural act; not doing so might entail a perverse enjoyment. The important part is what to do with those things we’ve already seen. What to do in images, what to do in sound, what to do with their technological support, aesthetically. What has happened, why did it happen, how could it happen? The historical fact becomes a memory, this is a productive memory. Its aesthetic evolution is not allegoric, nor symbolic, not even representative; it is, above all, necessarily reflective. It does not speak about facts from the past; it turns them into a current problem. To achieve that, the works taking part in this exhibition generate two fundamental differences: the scope of communication and the baseness of advertising. The necessary function of communication has fulfilled its goal once before; keeping the work of art in its environment entails a negative effect regarding both practices previously mentioned. These works also depart from the banality of the stupidly beautiful, present in the malicious advertising image, which works with a seductive intention, in direct opposition to the thought process. Hence, this exhibition focuses on aesthetic thought. Aesthesis: It is the study of perceptions. The aim is to have an intelligent, critic sensibility present in the work, imperious upon the observer. “Memory is not only multiple, they are not only memories, it starts from those things that we went through, from experience, taking as a starting point that which we could call the mark: The mark that experiences imprint, imprint on the individual body or on the social body” The space proposed by “Exercises for the Memory” is plural; the variety of discourses leads the observer to meet its mark once again, on its skin, within their given context, from new perspectives generated in the dialogue held with the works that are a part of this exhibition. Gabriela Golder and Andrés Denegri curators (1) Todorov , Tzvetan. Frente al límite, México, Siglo XXI, 1993.

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