Critics’ Picks

View of Fabián Bercic’s “Meteora,” 2021.

View of Fabián Bercic’s “Meteora,” 2021.

Buenos Aires

Fabián Bercic

Calvaresi Contemporáneo
Defense 1136
March 11–May 7, 2021

Fabián Bercic’s exhibition “Meteora” disrupts a sense of linear time, mingling realities from distinctly different eras. The sculptures on display are saturated with the futuristic aesthetic of 1970s sci-fi cinema, which in turn revived the architectonic designs of Constructivism. The two tripodlike metallic “spaceships,” both titled Meteora, 2021, could be perceived as archaeological discoveries from our past, or maybe as visitors from our future. A similar temporal slipperiness can be ascribed to a totemic structure made of snow in the middle of a Patagonian forest, presented through a series of three photographs from 2017. Alongside the vessels, Bercic presents a fleet of five polyester-resin-and-fiberglass helmets (2020–21) that presumably belong to the spaceship’s residents. Here too, the artist mingles past and future, naming each headpiece after forgotten women from ancient mythology—Osée, Balkis, Sara, Nicée, and Iole—in a nod to Monique Wittig’s 1969 novel of sexual warfare, Les Guérillères. These wearable objects are fashioned in a neoclassical style, simulating the coiffure and ornamental headdress of each character.

Bercic has been developing the “Meteora” series since 2016, taking his inspiration from the eponymous Greek heritage site. These works rely upon a narrative construct in which the past arrives in the present by way of the future. Bercic’s ability to tap into this temporal paradox is on par with his technical proficiency, even when the artist is applying two materials as radically different as solid, permanent metal and fragile, ephemeral snow. This exhibition foregrounds the artist’s dexterity, as he nimbly reinvents stories of the past as visions of a possible future, generating his own mythology.