In this exhibition, the great Argentinian artist Eduardo Basualdo (b. Buenos Aires, 1977) invites us on an imaginary journey through the profundities of the human mind. Through dozens of drawings, he generously shares his researches into the power of the gaze both as a constituent act in the process of human development and a performative act transforming life – or, more specifically, human relationships. What is the sea that inhabits us like? Who infest our abysses? How do we visualise such images? In Pupila [Pupil], the artist shares his extensive research process – which he refers to as ‘a process everyone could do!’. With these words, he invites the audience on a fascinating journey of introspection.
Major catastrophes have the capacity to bring down the walls – or membranes – that separate one person from another, and the inner from the outer world. The artist’s eye turns outward to contemplate the same figures that had, until then, nestled only in their nightmares, as if the caverns of their brain could no longer contain this malignant seething. It is then they understand that these images do not belong entirely to them, that they arise out of the atavistic background of all the foregoing generations who bequeathed us the froth of their dread. The inability to know which way one is looking brings with it the most insidious of torments. To exit this unreality, the artist sets it down on paper: in ink, pencil or charcoal, traces signs that will not be erased before being deciphered, like the writing in the water of dreams, traces which can be looked at and looked at again, and which others will perhaps look at, too, and understand even better than they do. The future comes knocking at the door. The reward will not be to awaken from the nightmare, but merely the paltry but precious power to distinguish what is nightmare from what is not.
Curator: Victoria Noorthoorn, in collaboration with Alejandra Aguado and Clarisa Appendino
Eduardo Basualdo was born in Buenos Aires in 1977, where he continues to reside and work. He studied Fine Arts at the Instituto Nacional de Arte (UNA) and continued his training through different grants awarded for studies both at home and abroad, such as the Kuitca Grant (Buenos Aires), as well as a residency at the Scowhegan School of Painting and Sculpture (Maine, USA) and another with the SAM Art Project (Paris, France). He has taken part in different events at public and private institutions in cities around the world. In 2014, he showed his work Teoría 56ª cabeza de Goliat [Theory: Head of Goliath] at the Palais de Tokyo in Paris and, in 2016, he was invited by curator Okwui Enwezor to participate in the Venice Biennale. He also participated in the Gwangju Biennial (2014), the Lyon Biennial (2011), the Mercosur Biennial in Porto Alegre (2009) and the Pontevedra Biennial (2006). His artwork is part of different public and private collections, including the Hirschhorn Museum, Washington D.C.; the Musée d’Art Contemporain de Lyon; the Musée des Beaux-Arts de Montréal; Musée d’Art Contemporain de la Haute-Vienne, Château de Rochechouart, France; Les Abattoirs, Musée – Frac Occitanie, Toulouse; the CiFo (Cisneros Fontanals Art Foundation), Miami; the Museo de Arte Moderno de Buenos Aires, Argentina; the Colección Banco Supervielle, Buenos Aires; the Adrastus Collection, Arévalo, Spain; and the collection of Juan and Patricia Vergez, Buenos Aires. He has been a member of the experimental art collective Provisorio-Permanente.
Portrait - Eduardo Basualdo
Pupila [Pupil] is the first solo exhibition at a museum in Argentina for Eduardo Basualdo (Buenos Aires, 1977). For the first time, it brings together works from different periods of the artist’s output, allowing the viewer to appreciate the ideas he has explored since the beginning of his career. In observing his different artistic languages, such as installations and objects, we can witness his interest in the nature of space, architecture, drawing and their dramatic and narrative power. Pupila is primarily composed of a series of unprecedented drawings and a large installation that transforms the museum gallery, allowing the visitor to take an imaginary journey through the depths of the human mind. Through dozens of drawings, the artist openly shares his investigations into the power of the gaze and its transformative action on life and human relationships.