In the exhibition How to Mentally Form a Machine, Hernán Soriano (Buenos Aires, 1978) presented his alterations of old books, photographs and a series of 19th century lithographs taken from La Ilustración Artística. Periódico Semanal de Literatura, Artes y Ciencias (Artistic Illustration. A Literature, Art and Science Weekly), a magazine published in Spain between 1882 and 1916. Images representing the foundations of modern thought are thus turned into vessels for the artist’s imagination. Through a limited number of precise operations: duplication, cut outs and transfers, Soriano manipulates images of European painting, the pre-Rafaelites, landscapes and medieval religious imagery. Underlying each of these processes is the guiding concept of the ‘copy’ as a creative act. His interventions are surgical operations on the material of each medium that seek to poke holes through the images to release new meanings. A cut, the appearance of a colour or an unexpected volume bring the images into the present and insert them into new contexts, mediums and circuits, testing their ability to establish a dialogue with the present.
Soriano seeks to horde knowledge. He obsessively, painstakingly learns new techniques and trades that allow him to make his ideas a reality. He researches every available option for transforming the objects that accumulate in his workshop, seeing himself as an archaeologist striving to uncover the structures hidden within the images: micro-histories that gather like layers of dust over time, creating a connection that stretches back to their original contexts.
Hernán Soriano was born in the City of Buenos Aires in 1978. He studied the Art Degree at the Escuela de Bellas Artes Prilidiano Pueyrredón for two years and spent another two years at the Escuela de Diseño y Comunicación. He attended the art clinic given by Diana Aisenberg and Rafael Cippolini at the Centro Cultural Ricardo Rojas in 2006. In 2010, he received a grant from the Centro de Investigaciones Artísticas. Since 2004 he has been a member of the Provisorio-Permanente collective together with Victoriano Alonso, Eduardo T. Basualdo and Pedro Wainer.