Critics’ Picks

Ferrowhite, preparatory drawing for 8 Wagones, 2005.

Ferrowhite, preparatory drawing for 8 Wagones, 2005.

Buenos Aires

La Normalidad

Palais de Glace
Palacio Nacional de las Artes Posadas 1725
February 14–March 19, 2006

As the third installment of “Ex-Argentina,” an exhibition series organized in response to the country’s 2001 financial crisis, “La Normalidad” gathers protest ephemera, video documentaries, experiential installations, and public projects that examine the relationship between artistic collaboration and social resistance. For example, the Brazilian collective Contra Filé consciously traces the process of art’s role in political dissent through a series of charts, newspaper clippings, and texts explaining the replacement of a monumental statue with a turnstile. Erring on the side of political subtext rather than graphic statement, curators Andreas Siekmann and Alice Creischer selected work that reiterates art’s potential to insert itself into the political debate. Siekmann and Criescher’s contribution—a series of suits embroidered with alternately delicate stitching and crude scrawls announcing corporate misdemeanors—demands a careful reading of both the art object and the accompanying material to ground their references in a specific political context. “La Normalidad” and its proposition for viable artistic production is most legible in Graciela Carnevale’s Dos Propuestras, 2006—a “space of encounter” in which walls are marked with the graffiti of visitors and tables are available for reading and talking. Through this inclusive, decentralized, and process-oriented model of exchange, the exhibition suggests artists are responsible for articulating their political ideals while the audience must participate to implement such theories in practice.