Diego Alexandre: Under suspicion

Under Suspicion, an exhibition by Diego Alexandre at the Museo de Arte Moderno de Buenos Aires, was exhibited in a gallery that had been specially modified for the occasion. The space was made into a rectangular box containing a set of pieces that offered the illusion of one large unified landscape under a single horizon as seen through the windows. The effect could be hypnotic or meditative, or even make you dizzy, but it was certainly entertaining; almost as though you were at an aquarium, viewing the tragi-comic existence of mankind.

The exhibition addressed a feeling that we’ve all had at one time or another; that slight but insistent sense of paranoia that floods your consciousness with the usually ridiculous idea that everyone is watching you.

The scenes depicted by Alexandre are generally set in recreational, social or crowded environments such as bars, the street, the gym or the beach: a solitary character starts to feel harassed by their own fantasies, which have apparently been caused by the behaviour of a couple behind them. The couple is in constant movement at a slow, mind-numbing pace, conveying a recurring, circular sensation difficult to identify or shake off.

Its linear, fluid, diaphanous nature and freakish, nonsensical realism impose their personality on the influence of great Argentinian painters such as Ricardo Garabito, Pablo Suárez and Marcia Schvartz. He combined this approach with another of his obsessions: amateur electronics that transform his images into magical boxes of light, movement and sound. The artist thus becomes a neighbourhood inventor who, using just a motor taken from a microwave, a pair of screws and the pole from a hat stand, can build a kind of old-fashioned diorama.

Diego Alexandre (Buenos Aires, 1969) lives and works in Buenos Aires. Between 1988 and 1999 he studied with Ricardo Garabito and Héctor Giuffre. In 1999 he received a grant from L’Ecole des Beaux Arts de Saint Etienne to take part in the Saint Etienne Biennial and after that held solo and collective exhibitions in different countries as well as working as a designer.