Florencia Rodríguez Giles: Symptomary

In Sintomario [Symptomary], a solo show created by Florencia Rodríguez Giles (Buenos Aires, Argentina, 1978) for the Museo Moderno that brings together artistic and therapeutic practices, the artist presents a possible approach to the difficult construction of a common experience between the vulnerable and the excluded and those considered “normal” by society due to their ability to adapt to the demands of contemporary life.

The name of the exhibition is a neologism that combines the words ‘symptom’ and ‘glossary’. If discomfort is something that we find difficult to identify and name, Sintomario creates an archive of words, exercises and records that provide a non-pathological or non-stigmatizing meaning to sensations and feelings.

The project is one of the many outcomes of the collaborative productions that developed at CAOS (Club de Artes y Ocios, or Arts and Leisure Club) over the course of activities and encounters between health workers, users of mental health institutions, and neighbours of the city of La Plata. As in her previous projects, the artist has developed experiences that are linked to the relationship between the interior and exterior of artistic spaces. In this case, the inter-institutional working method seeks to blur the boundaries between the museum and care spaces, allowing for a mutual intervention of artistic and therapeutic practices that express the limits and disputes between the concepts of health and art.

Sintomario is comprised of two pieces that form part of a single installation: a large-scale drawing and a video. The former presents gelatinous bodies in a state of fusion as if a collective birth or a sensual, hybrid amalgam between collaborating species – humans, plants, objects and spectres – in search of integration and generation. The video was scripted by the artist together with outpatients from the Melchor Romero Hospital and other users of the mental health system. Between ritual and dance, new codes and atypical narratives are here created that dismantle what we perceive to be normal social behaviours and body language. Video and drawing are integrated in this single piece in order to create a new subjectivity that is capable of channeling desire in a communal exchange, both between and beyond humans.

Over the coming months, Sintomario will provide opportunities for participatory activities within the museum so that, as a community, we can name, listen and transform our feelings, questions and concerns about discomfort into words and bodies.

Guest curator: Osías Yanov

Florencia Rodríguez Giles (Buenos Aires, 1978) graduated from the Escuela Nacional de Arte Prilidiano Pueyrredón and continued her training with Diana Aisenberg, Nicola Costantino and Guillermo Kuitca.  She has won grants from the Fondo Nacional de las Artes and the Fundación Antorchas, as well as the Braque Prize (Museo Universidad Nacional de Tres de Febrero, 2015). She has held many exhibitions and performances since 2002, including: Biodélica (Galería Ruth Benzacar, 2019), Actividades premúndicas (in collaboration with Pablo Katchadjian, UV Estudios, 2017), Séance Liminoïde (Palais de Tokyo, Paris, France. 2016), Noctario (in collaboration with Barbara Hang, Club Silencio, París, Francia. 2016), Strabisme Interne (Galerie d’Art Contemporain Bendana-Pinel) and Mareaciones (Galería Ruth Benzacar, 2015). She has also held several residencies, such as FRAC Lorraine (Fonds Régional d’Art Contemporain. 2016), Cité Internationale des Arts (Paris, France. 2015), Paradise Air (Matsudo, Japan. 2015) and Arcus Studio (Ibaraki, Japan. 2014); Backers / Art Initiative (Tokyo, Japan. 2009).

Florencia Rodríguez Giles: Symptomary Exhibition Factory

Watch a new episode of “La fábrica” [The factory], featuring the exhibition, Sintomario [Symptomary], by artist Florencia Rodríguez Giles. Through the accounts of the curator, Osías Yanov, and the artist, Florencia Rodríguez Giles, we learn about the contributions they made during the processes of conceiving and producing the exhibition. Sintomario is one of the 11 exhibitions that make up the Museo Moderno’s 2022 program, Un día en la tierra [One Day on Earth].

Florencia Rodríguez Giles Portrait

In recent years, Florencia Rodríguez Giles’ has developed two complementary lines of work that she carries out both in and beyond artistic spaces. On the one hand, she produces drawings in large formats using a precise technique to present fictitious scenes and rituals that give birth to beings that are beyond human. And, on the other, she takes advantage of the possibilities offered by art, extending it to therapeutic contexts and practices. In Sintomario [Symptomary], a solo show created by the artist for the Museo Moderno, she presents a possible approach to the challenge of constructing a common experience between vulnerable and excluded people and those considered “normal” by society due to their ability to adapt to the demands of contemporary life.