A great artist is someone who can convey their vision of the world through their work, without any need for further explanation. Sebastián Gordín, (b. 1969, Buenos Aires), the fascinating artist who grew up among Ital Park, the legendary cinemas of Buenos Aires, the Escuela Nacional de Bellas Artes and football stadiums, has this gift.
His scenes and small-scale constructions draw on styles taken from science fiction films, old crime and mystery magazines, classic comic books and books of fables and unfold like music boxes. They do not just present us with a very unique scene – sometimes realistic, more often not – but a point of view, a lens that frames both reality and fantasy, creating climactic, eternal moments of intense drama, solitude and death. In his works, scale and detail are placed centre stage, becoming key to rebuilding a secret narrative in which viewers – who are placed in the position of voyeurs or peeping toms – only see a few of the material details. Gordín invites us to look at his scenes as though we were detectives trying to unravel a mystery. The exhibition ended in the large basement gallery with the series Museos (Museums), Bibliotecas (Libraries) and Nocturnos (Nocturnes). So Gordín creates little museums inside the larger museum, museums that visitors can’t enter but can still experience and tour in their imagination, as they did when they were children.
This was an exhibition of nods and winks, one that brought back our childhood fears, and offered up fantasies and charming nightmares. It was a show that could be thought of as a large magnifying glass inviting us to come over and look, very, very carefully.