Thursday, May 24, 2012

Sin Titulo

I intended to write this to you in the form of a chronicle - an account of particular events as they occur over time; however, I am going a little out of order.

The title of this blog, "Sin Titulo" means untitled.  This is one of the first written phrases I recognized while being here.  My Spanish is weak and my understanding of Lunfardo (a dialect spoken in Argentina) makes my Spanish comprehension seem almost passible - that's not saying much.  However, having spent the past four years of my Visual Arts degree looking at wall text in museums and galleries I became familiar with the format.  "Untitled" is a very popular title for visual art so when I began to see Sin Titulo in the title line of the wall text, it clicked.  A simple phrase, not very difficult to decipher; however, my decryption of this small phrase helped me feel a bit more comfortable here.  It seems fitting that I would begin to feel more comfortable in a gallery space.

ArteBA is a congregation of galleries, an art fair that brings together an eclectic assortment of some of the most vibrant art I've seen in a single place.  Collectors flock to ArteBA when it comes through Buenos Aires to peruse galleries that they would normally travel all around to go to.  Understandably, it is a desirably place to show your work if you are an artist.  Galleries will present their artists and the result is a blast of culture.    

It was inspiring to see such a diverse collection of work.  Christina Fresca's red tinted photographs were very different from Jaques Bedel's 30x30" transparent prints of ocean-side cityscapes.   Although both series are completely different from one another they both appeal to me.  The experience of ArteBA is unlike any gallery or museum because gallery owners and directors have different tastes and those different tastes come together in this one, large, space - essentially combining them all into one exhibition space.  

I enjoyed many pieces in this art fair, particularly the work of Esteban Pastorino: an artist that I had the opportunity to meet and speak with.  Predominantly interested in photography, Pastorino's piece in ArteBA was a positive print on Acetate from the negative roll of film that he shot using his slit exposure technique.  This technique allows for the film to be exposed as it is being rolled through his home-made camera and the result is an outstanding, long, continuous image.  Esteban Pastorino attached his camera to his car and drove around Argentina while his camera was taking his long picture.  What I find most interesting is his attention to his process and the presentation of his work.  The linear and sequential presentation of the work alludes to the continuous nature of his process.  Just as the film rolled from one spool to the other so it was presented, spooling across the wall.  The film was backlit and the surrounding space was empty and dark, which drew the viewer's attention to the small details in the film.  From afar, the piece is an illuminated band of light stretching across a wall.  The work touches upon themes of subjective and objectivity in Photography as well as the concept of truth in photographic portrayal.  The element of time is also a major contributing factor.

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