Magazine article Artforum International

Galeria De Arte Ruth Benzacar. (Reviews)

Magazine article Artforum International

Galeria De Arte Ruth Benzacar. (Reviews)

Article excerpt

JORGE MACCHI

You couldn't think of a more deceptive title for this exhibition than "Fuegos de artificio" (Fireworks). There is nothing either spectacular or transient about these mostly white, gray, and black works that, even when not downright small, are rather discreet in character. Since the late '80s, Jorge Macchi has been making these cryptic works in diverse media. They're easily overlooked at art fairs or biennials, so it's not surprising that Macchi has not yet enjoyed great international success. A comprehensive view of his recent work, "Fireworks" showed it to be richer than many a more eye-catching oeuvre. Intimidad (Intimacy), 2001, consisted of eight small white balconies, each just big enough for one person, mounted on the wall at regular intervals. As in many of Macchi's works, there is a strong sense of muteness here, in this case paired with a feeling of solitude and impossibility. Despite Intimacy's Minimalist references and slick finish, its tone is understatedly poetic and melancholy. The Speaker's Cor ner, 2002, also evokes muteness and impossibility. To make this piece, Macchi cut out dozens of newspaper headlines and excised the words from them, leaving behind nothing but quotation marks, which have been pinned up and framed in a glass box. The title refers to the place in London's Hyde Park where people go to make public speeches. The quotation marks framing empty space assume elegantly sinuous lines as they hang loosely in the box.

This play with language and writing continued throughout the exhibition, always in a subdued way. Nocturno--Variacion sobre el Nocturno No. 1 de Erik Satie (Nocturne--variation on Nocturne No. 1 by Erik Satie), 2002, consists of a musical score written with nails that pierce the staff paper. La cancion del final (The song of the end), 2001, a video made in collaboration with Alejandro Gonzalez Novoa, shows the final credits of a black-and-white film, blurred and projected in a loop. …

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