Ruth Benzacar
Buenos Aires
Florida 1000
Liliana Porter
dal 29/3/2005 al 7/5/2005
+54 11 43138480
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Ruth Benzacar Gallery

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Liliana Porter

Ruth Benzacar, Buenos Aires

They and Some Others

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Ruth Benzacar Gallery opend the 2005 season with an exhibition of works by artist Liliana Porter never shown before. This is her first solo show in Buenos Aires after a successful retrospective held at the Centro Cultural Recoleta during 2003.

Liliana Porter's work has strongly approached the literal space, impelled, maybe, by the characteristic bareness and austerity of an aesthetic shaped over many years. Her works forced approach the literal, the obsessively literal, cautiously leaving behind the literary. In other words, Porter does not call things by their names: she creates a space in which things are their own name. Everything is either object or word, and based on this premise, she articulates a rhetoric and a poetic where language is no more than a constant impossibility and a closeness to something mysterious and impenetrable.

In works from the late 70s Porter explored the idea of writing with objects and/ or drawings of objects, graciously separated by punctuation signs as if the image were a list, pure text presented to be visually devoured. In these recent works, beyond the travesty of a syntax, Porter insists on presenting animated objects, condensing the focus in the specifics of the thing she literalizes, demanding "from here", from this side of fiction, to continue the game of representation. In this way, each one does what they need to do, or, what they did before being forever fixed on an image: designers design and sweepers sweep, accusers accuse, and a melancholic gazes dismally at a spot on the wall.

Each thing is also a way of naming that thing. By being presented and re-presented in a scene, the figures acquire the density of a metaphor and, in this way, also become figures of the language. These things represent thought strategies, artilleries of the imagination that bring them to a rhetoric - and its metonymic games that exchange parts for the whole in all parts- than to the prolonged breath of a syntax.

In this way Porter raises a rhetorical thought from the literal, a writing style many times understood as literary. And, although, without a doubt, authors such as Borges and Carroll have informed their artistic practices, Porter's works resist being a mere illustration of literary strategies used to prop up fiction. Porter does, however, play with writings, with objects summoned in a space to the point of turning them into ideograms, with sign-scrawls traced on the wall by an idle person.

It is a writing that is a travesty and is merciless with its own scribe, who seems to be its clearer sign. It is not reversible, but it is logical: cause and consequence, before and after are open elements now in the scene. And by opening up, they disarrange, they align or change places, discarding the tyrannical relationship that preceded them. Nonetheless, they resist chaos. Instead, they celebrate the mystery.

José Luis Blondet February 2005

Born in Buenos Aires in 1941. In 1954 she began her studies at the Escuela Nacional de Bellas Artes Manuel Belgrano. (National School of Fine Arts Manuel Belgrano)
From 1958 to 1961 she lived with her family in Mexico City, Mexico. At the Universidad Iberoamericana of that city she studied with German artist Mathias Georitz and specialized in engraving techniques with Colombian artist Guillermo Silva Santamaría. Upon her return to Buenos Aires, she continued her training with Fernando López Anaya and Ana María Moncalvo. In 1964 she moved to New York. She worked at the Pratt Graphic Art Center and created the New York Graphic Workshop together with two artists: the Uruguayan Luis Camnitzer and the Venezuelan José Guillermo Castillo. In 1977 she co-founded the Studio Camnitzer-Porter, in Lucca, Italy, where she was also an engraving instructor.
In 1980 she received a Guggenheim Fellowship. Since then, she has been granted seven research Fellowships in photography, video and multimedia at the City University of New York (PSC-CUNY). In 1991, the Bronx Museum in New York, presented a retrospective exhibition of her work and achievements. Since that same year, she has been a professor at Queens College, City University of New York.

Image: Trabajo Forzado, Tejedora, 2005. Mixed Media

Ruth Benzacar Gallery
Florida 1000 Buenos Aires, Argentina
Hours: Monday through Friday 11:30 am. - 8:00 pm Saturday 10:30 am to 1:30 pm

Liliana Porter
dal 29/3/2005 al 7/5/2005

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