Alejandra Seeber, Argentine artist residing in New York, presents two works with a common discourse. On one hand, a wallpaper mural located in Gallery 5. Muro O´reverie, made specially for PROA, grasp, through Seeber´s gestures, the history, the memory, and the value of the image in order to reconstruct a period, a character, and way of observing the world.
The work Dialogville, 2009 consitsts by groups of dialogue bubbles distributes in several places around the Foundation´s space, meeting points, unfinished conversations, interrupted dialogues.
This works, made specially by the artist for Fundación PROA, demonstrate in a clear and sintetic manner Seeber´s artistic universe, linked to memory, the rediscovery of painting and the subjectivity of images throughout history.
Muro O’Reverie, 2009
Paint, fresco and layers of wallpaper
In Muro O’Reverie, a wall unveils the memory of a room through by layering different wallpapers, frescos and paint, later teared by the artist. It suggests the passing of time in an architectural interior. It’s about constructed and fictional history of a room that had different purposes: as a child bedroom, a teenagers punk rock shelter, a school classroom, a store on sale, a dancehall, and a garage. The wall lets the imagination run through the events and the lives of those who lived there.
Connected directly with the mural painting tradition, Seeber uses industrial elements: the wallpapers to tell stories. Each wallpaper becomes someone’s presence and expects that through the industrial imagery available, time, moments and occupations can be recognized. Trough this method, the images become archeological symbols in a big city.
In a corner, a black hole cuts through the chromatic effect of the mural through an empty shredded wall, making the artists touch even clearer: disclosing, re-discovering, this metaphor of the black hole that rests next to the remains of a staircase, from a past rescue operation, with abstract lines imprinted on a perished building.
Dialogville, 2009 – 2010
Dialogue bubbles lacking works. The work is composed of transparent glass sculptures created by means of the free blowing technique that reminiscent of the comic language, but located, in this case, empty of text, phrases or conversations. The absence of words or a space open for multiple conversations? The artist focused on grouping this dialogues of group conversations in the spaces of circulation within the foundation: outside the exhibition galleries, on the auditorium entrance, corners of reason.
The bubbles located in this corners mark the space of a past dialogue: loving, political, violent, artists…? Also in this piece, Seeber demonstrates her artistic field for the reconstruction of history, time though symbols, vulgar and universal imagery on the global age.
Alejandra Seeber, born in Buenos Aires in 1968. Lives and works in New York and Buenos Aires.
Took part in the young artists program leaded by Guillermo Kuitca in Fundación PROA (1994) and C.C Borges (1997).
Selected by the Atlantic Center for the Arts Residency Program (Florida) and developed a project for the Le Corbusier La Citè Radieuse building (2003) supported by Fundación Antorchas.
Has held solo exhibtions in: Hausler Contemporary (Zurich), Galería Fernando Pradilla (Madrid), Virgil de Voldere Gallery (New York), Sperone Westwater Gallery (New York), Galería Dabbah Torrejón (Buenos Aires), Parlour Projects (New York) y Alianza Francesa de Buenos Aires, among others.
Texts and Links
Alejandra Seeber’s proyect for The S-Files attacks the conventions of painting and the historical need that it present a “homogenous whole” (whether affirmative or destructive). Her work literally unravels the traditional layers of painting, to the extent of breaking the historical illusionary rendering of a space within the frame, in clear allusion to Fontana while still believing in the power of the mark and the complexity and possibilities of figuration. But her gesture goes further. As if questioning the validity of the media while asserting her belief in it, Seeber’s project acts as witness of a struggle, between belief (her renderings of ambiguous interiors are breathtaking) and disbelief. She even positions the viewer as part of her dilemma, as he or she is given a space simultaneously within and behind the painting: Seeber has cut oval eye-shaped wholes within the canvas that the viewer accesses from behind. In clear counterpart to Alberti’s visual pyramid as a necessary tool for the construction of perspective, Seeber reverses the strategy and offers the viewer the possibility of a double entendre: to look out, as if in the place of the painting, and to look at a painting that screams, through the other viewer’s eyes looking out from behind, that the painting has become a battlefield for thought. Seeber thus addresses the negotiation that painting implies between the artist’s interests and the viewers’ need to see and project; to respond to visual stimuli as proposed by the other—the artist.
Introductory text for the S-Files show- September 2002