Critics’ Picks

Hugo Aveta, Síntomas (Symptoms), 2015, 84 doors, dimensions variable.

Buenos Aires

Hugo Aveta

Centro Cultural Haroldo Conti
Av. del Libertador 8151 C.A.B.A.
March 18 - July 30

The door may well be one of the most ingenious human inventions ever. How could we envision culture—or life itself—without the image of opening and closing doors, making way or blocking passage, and, most of all, isolating ourselves? Síntomas (Symptoms), 2015, an installation by Hugo Aveta, looks to the symbolic power of the door without losing sight of its function. The severe architectural block that rises up in the back of the gallery indicates what cannot be seen. Yet, as is often the case, the very act of imposing a limit is an invitation to cross it. And so one of the eighty-four doors laid out in a prism opens, and the visitor has access to an experience that this review cannot even attempt to convey.

The show, “La conciencia íntima de los objetos” (The Intimate Consciousness of Objects), consists of four installations, as well as photographs, videos, and drawings that Aveta has shown individually in different venues in Latin America and Europe. It is not coincidental that he has brought them together in this space, the location of a clandestine detention center during this country’s last military dictatorship. Though not overtly political, Aveta’s work demands constant engagement with memory, both individual and collective. What at first glance may seem like the staging of a closed metaphor immediately goes astray due to the marks that time has left on the objects and the drives that those same objects unleash in our own history. We find ourselves alone, then, in a sort of limbo.

Translated from Spanish by Jane Brodie.