HACHE | Buenos Aires, Argentina / May 2 to June 9, 2018
When Ivana and I started thinking about what this show was going to be like, she ended up showing me a number of works that were scattered here and theresome of them finished, others only partly, and one or two only sketched out. (Most of them have never been exhibited before, a few have been modified or assisted in relation to a previous version, and some mayperhapshave been exhibited in identical form). At a certain point, we placed the images of all the works on the floor of her study and, looking at them one by one, reached the conclusion that they had a common invisible pattern. We had started working with post-trutha notion that Ivana has been interested in for some timebut we ultimately understood that adhering to a single topic jammed rather than facilitated discovery, and that it would be best to change tactics. It was in that atmosphere that the pattern surfaced.
There is, for example, the shrub that fluttershow we dont knowthe first mobile shrub in history. When we looked at the micro-video once more, it seemed that what the shrub covered upand the effects of that covering upwas more important than the shrub itself. Next the signs that read full and vacancies. Though their messages may be incompatible, arent they getting at the same thing, since the neutral background on which both are placed is the determinative? Both of them suggest the plane, the lot, the territory, the dimensionreal, imaginary, or fictitiouswhere emptiness and fullness alternate, coming and going as if at sea.
And what to say of the non-response to the recorded message that asks the caller to specify sex, and the resulting suspension of the logic of the message and of the system in which it functions, but mostly the sudden reference to an indefinite and previously unimagined third party? And of the series of barely distinguishable paintings produced by different authors and at different times taken from a photocopied book by Giulio Carlo Argan? (Ivana looked to that book not as a guide while studying art history at collegeit would not have been very useful to that endbut in gestating a way of seeing and of imagining that would have been inconceivable to Argan.) And of the broadcasts of soccer games where all we see are the fans in the stands, origin of a trend that will mean that in the future ninety percent of viewers the world over (the happily banished) imagine what they cant see? And of the verse by Gertrude Stein (Sacred Emily, 1913) that gives the show its title, a verse that appeared written in the street, but in incomplete form, perhaps as a way for the copyist to avoid the attention of the police? Extenuating circumstance! And of the arm of the worker that suddenly showed signs of rising up, of an incipient uprising, of the beginning of a change? (What uprising, what change? Is he perhaps addressing us?)
And of Copacabana? Of all the display signs of its typeso common until not long ago on the legendary Rio de Janeiro beachit is the only one that bears the magical name, both summing up and rendering abstract all of the places stories, gestures, and codes. What could be emptier, or fuller, of the possible than an imaginary? In the still from Now, Voyager (Irving Rapper, 1942), meanwhile, we see the ones seeing but not what they are seeing (and that is why it enraptures us: it puts us before an expanded field vastly larger than the largest panorama of the Rio beach).
What bound all of these works together wasit became clear at the endtheir power of reference. Their ability to summon an exteriority, even if within ones self. What non-world or non-worlds are signaled in that folding in and out, and where, amidst those non-worlds, is the one who steers our attention to them? The subtlest things of all, Ivana seems to say, are the waysalways different, never the samethat reality itself calls on us again and again to communicate with that which does not yet exist, with other ways of understanding that which is not yet present or never will be present. Subtle alternative constructions that reality itself produces, latent power of displacement, spaces of the irreal in the real, that the artist signals, and little else. How to get out of the image? she seems to ask. What unpredictable third party might arise in the infrathin differential between Duchamps corkscrew, which we are familiar with, and its shadow, which thanks to Ivana we see for the first time? The workif there is onefloats between what we see and what we dont see.
Santiago García Navarro