OVERVIEWNOV 26 to JAN 13Group Exhibition
- Group Exhibition
- Emerging Artists
Dates and Opening hoursNOV 26, 2012 to JAN 13, 2013
Information“This is a mirror, you are a written sentence”, one can read in a famous work by Luis Camnitzer. The intricate transformations resulting from the confrontation between the spectator and such a simple sentence, synthesizes a long history, a whole tradition of rewriting in Latin American culture. This tradition, however, has suffered so many mutations that it wouldn’t be fair to deal with it as one single concept, enclosed in itself, travelling serenely in time, but rather as a series of reading/writing devices that produce specific historical effects.
Those effects could range from the traumatic colonial impositions of maps on conquered territories to the several urban conceptions of our lettered cities –marked by tensions between replica and rupture, between the aboriginal and the original, between commemoration and entropy, between monument and non-site–, not to mention the countless appropriations that, even nowadays, keep taking place between several cultures and mentalities. Indeed, rewriting has a prominent position in our culture. Its consequences can be felt over and over again, sometimes as a post-colonial disease, as a cultural complex that stages the failed laboratory of Western fictions, a space where symptom and repetition are nothing but the same thing.
Sometimes, however, rewriting appears as a healing system which, as anthropologist Michael Taussig would put it, permits us to get rid of bad spirits by portraying them. Rewriting is thus transformed into a mimetic device that, just as Camnitzer’s rewritten mirror, destabilizes all solid viewpoints and creates loops of epistemological uncertainty, causing meanings to blur and intertwine. Health, we might say, depends on risk -an ontological risk that turns identity into an unceasing adventure rather than a metaphysical refuge. Likewise, the possibility of the new can only open through a cannibalization of the old, and tradition appears as the new that eventually resurrects and occurs for the first time in every repetition.
As it has been pointed out in many occasions, Borges’ work constitutes a turning point in this awareness about the mimetic powers of rewriting. Indeed, after Borges, plagiarism, copying or parody –instances of rewriting– became instruments for the empowerment of the reader, who was thus able to participate in the construction of narratives, while also questioning the subaltern place in cultural hierarchies. In that sense, for Latin American artists –necessarily Borgean as well as Duchampian–, rewriting procedures constitute their own particular approach to the paradoxes of history and the distribution of roles in cultural exchanges.
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