CHAPTER III

AFFECTS

Adriana_Lestido,_Madre_e_hija_de_Plaza_d

Affects investigates different experiences of the body. Bodies legally deprived of freedom; bodies taken to a scene of urban transit where their existence goes unnoticed; bodies posing; bodies of questioned sexualities; bodies that relate to transitional emotions. Affect theory addresses intermediate states, intensities, the passage from body to body (human, nonhuman, things, body parts); the “not yet,” what is “in-between” (in-betweenness, becoming/non-becoming, belonging/non-belonging). Baruch Spinoza wrote, “No one has yet determined what the body can do.” The body is configured in the not yet. This chapter contemplates that still-open process, which has no conclusion, that seeks the affectivity of what is to come, again and again and again ......

Andrea Giunta, Rethink Everything notes.

In 1982—when the Argentine dictatorship reached the crisis point that would lead to a return to democracy—Adriana Lestido, at just twenty-seven years old, covered a march against the regime that was taking place on the Plaza Alsina de Avellaneda for the daily La Voz. There, among the participants, she photographed a mother with her daughter, both their heads covered with white handkerchiefs. This photograph is probably the most famous Adriana has ever taken. An emblematic image of the resistance to the dictatorship that would eventually lead to a process of discovery. Who was that woman? What woman would that girl be today? Adriana searched for them for years.

Andrea Giunta, Rethink Everything notes.

When I made this series I was already involved in the video-installation work that I timidly began in the 1990s, with the moving image as a tool in order to have a temporal syntax with which to transmit experiential situations. That is my work. Generating a solid experiential association, even if it comes from oneself, is not self-referential. The relationships apply to any human being. Here the woman is enclosed in a space, a minimal cube, in which she creates resistance against the walls, against that limit, which is a box, without a really clear spatial identity, and at the same time enclosed in the television cabinet, that box that encloses life, today more than ever. Devices possess a reality from which it is increasingly difficult to differentiate ourselves. Yet one organizes oneself in a space like these boxes in which there is a woman, a human being—in this case is a woman and my daughter. I made it in 2002, at a time of terrible crisis in Argentina. I tried to convey an experiential situation that encompasses more than just the crises and circumstances that one experiences as a person. One may be clinging onto a moment in which making a false move is not an option, where the only certainty is being alive, be it in jail or at home. Circumstances like the ones we are experiencing today.

 

Silvia Rivas, "Think everything again", Conversation # 1, May 30, 2020.

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Imprisoned woman. Adriana Lestido lives with them. Photography and texts gather information that changes daily. Prosecuted, punished, dismissed, absent; the words are written with chalk on a blackboard to be erased and the numbers rewritten. They are mothers of children who live with them. Children who are imprisoned with them. In isolation, the bodies of these women touch between themselves, rest, and vibrate forms of sensuality. With the pandemic, the world’s prisons are bursting at the seams. In Argentina, the public debate installed the social contradiction that the pandemic had only numbed. Now one must confront the conflicts traversing the day-to-day. Tomorrow’s horizon is still too close to the urgency of today.

Andrea Giunta, Rethink Everything notes.

When I began the project on women prisoners, it was with a slightly romantic idea of motherhood. And what struck me most is that, while in prison, having a child or not having one is the least of their worries. The toughest part is being in prison. Children have a secondary role inside the prison, and in a way they are all everyone’s children. The strength of the bond comes from the children being the only “thing” that a female prisoner can have, the only “thing” she is allowed and about which she can make a minimum decision, because I think that being a prisoner is being powerless to decide.

 

Adriana Lestido, interviewed by Anna-María Hollain, To photograph is to remove darkness from myself, El País, Madrid, June 13, 2010.

»» See We Are Memory with Adriana Lestido , Encuentro channel

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ST-Tela estampada-140 x 300cm_Asseff WEB

Ananké Asseff  documents a stunning image of forms of erasure, of herself, of her own presence, still in the urban traffic of people in constant motion. Her expression shifts, first serious and then with an almost frozen smile. The grammar of the crowd is based on the contagion of bodies. In Crowds and Power, Elias Canetti’s extensive analysis of multitudes, patterns are examined, but there is no mention of the possible contrast between the movements of the body infected by the urban traffic and absolute stillness, as embedded by the artist’s motionless presence. The film allows us to think about the affects that are not contagious. Here nobody notices the body, the immobile and inappropriate presence on the zigzagging paths of those who go by. Vacíate—empty yourself—the word on the banner allows us to think of that absence/presence in the monumental format of a placard: red, as if its large vertical surface has the power to introduce a dissident subjective voice.

Andrea Giunta, Rethink Everything notes.

It is a video performance I did just before the lockdown began here—already aware of what was happening in the world—in which I stand motionless in a place where there are a lot of people, in this case the center of the city of Buenos Aires. Looking at a fixed point, my job is to show up in the emotional and existential state I am in and begin to self-generate the highest possible state of well-being through thought and gesture. I feel that we need to generate a state of well-being and somehow spread it. The work was very intense, because entering into a feeling of well-being requires a great deal of concentration. The overall project is called Un otro-lugar (An other-place), where I reformulate old statements and explore in depth the concepts of order and chaos, to reflect precisely on the idea of change. I am working with simple elements to reach the viewer. I investigate the stigmas that disturb us with the very idea of change. The world had nothing more to give. I believe that chaos is necessary, seeing it as disorder for a new order, for new ways, for a new logic. [...] It is a statement for this time of chaos. The color red references spaces that the collective unconscious recognizes as a sign of drama, of something dramatic, more so being a fabric, a banner of these dimensions. On the contrary, it has a very subtle word stamped in the middle, the word “vacíate” (empty yourself), and which invites us, I believe, to recognize an emotional space that needs to be relieved.

 

Ananké Asseff, Rethink Everything, Conversations /Talk #1, May 30, 2020.

Affects and experiences of the body: Juan Travnik’s Adolescentes (Teenagers) captures the transitional time of profound change in the body, the affects and emotions. It is the time when the first person, the “I,” establishes agency, constructing their self, the signs of a sexual identity that investigates its borders, that questions binarisms. Its agenda touches on many of the gender issues that feminism addresses.

Andrea Giunta, Rethink Everything notes.

This work is from the first part of the 1980s. My interest while working on adolescent portraits was in developing my ideas on the subject of the portrait: characteristics, the recognition of sexuality, the discovery of the body, with certain, I would say, aggressive attitudes, especially on the part of the young men. It seems that during adolescence we carry the world ahead of us, until we find a wall that makes us come back to reality and realize that not every- thing is as straightforward as it seems. At the time, I wasn’t interested in researching social classes differences. I could have done that too, but what I was more interested in, with the figures in my study—from different social classes, friends of my children, young people who were on the street—was in getting closer to them and looking for those characteristics that I considered typical of adolescence, a vital age, full of contradictions, an age of new beginnings yet mournful at the same time. It is a moment that produced a change in my photography—which was more of a humanist street photography—to photographs taken in the studio.

 

Juan Travnik, Rethink Everything, Conversations /Talk #2, June 13, 2020.

In these photographs, Vivian Galban investigates the frontiers of binary sexuality, the relationship between the body and the female image, the body and the male image. The emotional haze surrounding the definition of these singularities complicates the heteronormative ways of understanding sexuality and bodies. Similar, complementary, opposite, different? The repetition of the pose and the similarity between the models portrayed establishes the question of identity. How are they constructed? How do they act? How do they complement each other?

Andrea Giunta, Rethink Everything notes.

This work is ten years old, which has given me the opportunity to revise it and understand that the genesis of many of my current projects lies in it. In all of my work, including the 450 portraits that I made in the last photographic performance, I always worked with the others. This series in particular, working on aspects of gender, set the stage for nonbinary ideas. I have always maintained my interest in these minorities. It raises the idea of not being classified, like an idea that is too strong and is engulfed by another. For opposites to exist, and so the idea of the intermediate void must also exist. There must be a balance. Seeing this work again, with its crudeness, allows me to show things that refer to other current projects in which this genre is merging in an undetermined state, in actions with small interventions using the digital medium.

 

Vivian Galban, Pensar todo de nuevo, Conversatorio #2, June 13, 2020.

Nicola Costantino activates the memory of the body as constructed by the history of art, the female body. She returns to the archive of poses and gestures as observed by the male gaze. She strikes the Botticelli pose, the Bacon pose, and unfolds her body, explicitly exposing the construction of the gaze as it plays out in their famous paintings. In the photograph shown here, an interstitial moment is recorded, in which the referenced scenography has not been set up. As she looks at the printout of the painting whose posture she is going to replicate, Nicola finds herself in an intermediate state. The gaze becomes disordered, navigates between the body and the representation. A statue body, in a sense, and a body in its own inner self.

Andrea Giunta, Rethink Everything notes.

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It appears without my having looked for it; it is a behind-the-scenes image that I saw after the photo session; when it appeared I found it really valuable. My productions are very thought through; there is nothing accidental, spontaneous, or random; they are very composed, and here it is the opposite. I hardly noticed its existence until the moment it materialized. Sometimes there is information that ends up in the artworks that you didn’t know about. I was breastfeeding my son, who was five or six months old, and at that moment I must have taken two or three pictures, but this one, with those breasts full of milk, has a lot to do with emotion. The photo I was originally taking was this cross between Botticelli and Rembrandt, Rembrandt’s half-carcass. Bacon cites Rembrandt, those two half-carcasses that make up those very heavy wings, but because of that animal carcass they will never be able to take flight. At the same time, it contrasts with that Botticellesque sweetness of the Venus being born. Such opposites. For me, it has this idea of an angel, but a dark angel. At that time I fell in love with a kind of photography that I discovered almost by chance—I am a sculptor and I spent many years doing sculpture— but at that moment I had been left without a house, without a workshop, I was building, I had no place to live, nowhere to create sculpture. I met Gabriel Valansi, who embarked on the same construction project where we were going to live and have studios, and that’s how I discovered photography and began to think of works in photography, guided by Gabriel, who did the photography, took the pictures. When the pandemic broke out, I thought: Isn’t this going to interrupt this women’s revolution that has been exploding throughout the world? I thought that I could interfere, then I realized that no, on the contrary, we were in the foreground of the discussion in all areas. Women are going to have a great role in this return to build a new life. Raising a person aware of the changes that we urgently have to implement, they will have the possibility of saving the world. It is, above all, in the hands of women.

Nicola Costantino, Rethink Everything, Conversations / Talk #2, June 13, 2020

BIOGRAPHIES | CHAPTER III

Adriana Lestido (b. 1955). Buenos Aires, Argentina.

She was the first Argentine photographer to receive the prestigious Guggenheim scholarship. Her work is recognized nationally and internationally, she has won awards and grants, such as the Hasselblad Prize in Sweden (1991), the Mother Jones of the United States (1997), the Konex (2002), and the Achievement Award. , by the Argentine Association of Art Critics (2009), among others. In 2010 she received the Bicentennial medal and was named Outstanding Personality of Culture by the Legislature of the City of Buenos Aires. Since 1995 she has developed an intense teaching activity coordinating workshops and clinics on the use of photography as a means of expression. She is the author of five books: Mujeres preas, Argentine Photographers Collection, Buenos Aires (2001, 2nd edition 2008); Mothers and daughters, La Azotea Editorial, Buenos Aires (2003), published with the support of John Simon Guggenheim Memorial Foundation; Interior, edited by Capital Intellectual, Madrid (2010); La Obra, edited by Capital Intellectual, Madrid (2011) and Lo Que Se (anthology), edited by Capital Intellectual, Madrid (2012). Her work has been exhibited in individual and group exhibitions in various countries such as Argentina, Uruguay, Brazil, Mexico, the Dominican Republic, Guatemala, the United States, Spain, France, Germany, Sweden, Scotland, Denmark, Belgium, China and Japan. Today, her work is part of national and international collections, both public and private, such as the National Museum of Fine Arts and the Museum of Modern Art in Buenos Aires (Buenos Aires, Argentina), Museum of Contemporary Art Castagnino + MACRO (Rosario, Argentina), Museo de Bellas Artes (Caracas, Venezuela), Museum of Fine Arts (Houston, USA), Fondation Cartier pour l’art contemporain and Bibliothèque Nationale (Paris, France), Hasselblad Center (Göteborg, Sweden), among others. She lives and works between Buenos Aires and Mar de las Pampas.

Ananké Asseff (b. 1971). Buenos Aires, Argentina.

Ananké Asseff is a visual artist, with a formation in scenic arts and integrates different disciplines and languages. Her work includes photography, installation, video, object and performance. Her work belongs to renowned private and institutional Collections such as Tate Modern in London, J. Paul Getty Museum in Los Angeles, Museu de Arte Moderna do Rio de Janeiro, Centro de Arte Contemporáneo Wifredo Lam from La Habana and ARTER in Istanbul. From Argentina: Museo de Arte Moderno de Buenos Aires, Fondo Nacional de las Artes, the Museo Castagnino+MACRO, FOLA Fototeca Latinoamericana, the Museo Emilio Caraffa and the Museo Nacional de Bellas Artes Argentina. She has represented Argentina in international Biennials such as La Habana (2010), Bienal de Curitiva (2017), BIENALSUR (2017-2018). Her work has been featured in numerous solo and group exhibitions in Argentina, Uruguay, Brazil, Chile, Bolivia, Peru, Mexico, Colombia, Cuba, Germany, Holland, Mexico, Paris, Spain, Switzerland, United States and China.She was nominated by the Infinity Award (USA) in Art category (2017). She has received different awards and distinctions such as Konex prize in Photography, awarded by the Fundación Konex (2012), Grant from the Fondo Nacional de las Artes in (2001, 2012,2014 and 2018), ), Premio Mamba-Fundación Telefónica Arte y Nuevas Tecnologías (2011), Premio Federico J. Klemm a las Artes Visuales (2009), scholarship from the Academy of Media Arts KHM in Germany and a residency at the Banff Centre for the Arts in Canada (2004 - 2005), Premio Leonardo a la Fotografía awarded by the Asociación Argentina de Críticos de Arte (2002), Premio Salón Banco Ciudad (2002), Premio Rioplatense de Artes Visuales (2004), subsidy from the Fondo Metropolitano de las Artes de Buenos Aires (2007), among others. Her work has been published in diverse specialized publications since 2002. In 2012 she published her book ANANKÉ ASSEFF: WORKS 2001- 2012. Ediciones Lariviere, Buenos Aires. Asseff has developed in the Performing Arts (dance and theater) between 1990 and 2005. She was in charge of the artistic direction of the Biennial Foundation Medifé Arte y Medioambiente 2016-2017. She lives and works in Buenos Aires.

Juan Travnik (b. 1950). Buenos Aires, Argentina.

He began his photography studies in 1966. He is a photographer, curator and teacher. He has served as a photojournalist, portraitist, and advertising photographer. He participated as an artist, lecturer and curator in international colloquia, meetings and festivals. He is a founding member of the Argentine Photography Council. From 1998 to 2015, he directed the Photo Gallery of the San Martín Theater. In 2001 he created and leads until 2015 the Photographic Space of the Teatro de la Ribera. He is a Full Member of the National Academy of Fine Arts. He works as a teacher in the field of photography. He directs the Photography Degree at the National University of San Martín. He has written numerous catalogs, presentations, notes and essays on the subject. His photographs were presented in countless individual and group exhibitions in Argentina, the US, Mexico, Venezuela, Colombia, Brazil, Uruguay, Spain, France, Belgium, Italy, Russia, and Slovenia, among other countries. His works appear in different monographic books and anthologies of Argentine and Latin American photography. Among the most important collections that his works have are: National Museum of Fine Arts of Buenos Aires, Argentina; Museum of Modern Art of Buenos Aires, Argentina; Maison Européenne de la Photographie, Paris, France; Museum of Fine Arts, Houston, United States; Bibliothèque National de France, Paris, France; University of Salamanca, Spain; Musée de la Photographie à Charleroi, Belgium; Federico Klemm Foundation, Buenos Aires, Argentina; Museet for Fotokunst, Odense, Denmark; Lehigh University Collection, United States.Among other distinctions, he obtained the Platinum Konex (2012), the John Simon Guggenheim Memorial Foundation Scholarship (2006), the Silver Pyramid for Career, the Academic Foundation for Visual Arts (1998) and the Foundation Award. Klemm to the Visual Arts (2004). His works have been published in numerous anthologies, and in the following personal books: Juan Travnik Paisajes. Antennae Collection. Text by Julio Fuks. New York, United States, 2014. Falklands. Portraits and landscapes of war. Photographs by Juan Travnik. Lariviére editions. Argentina, 2008. the remains. Argentine photographers collection. Dilan Editors. Argentina, 2006. Juan Travnik. Editions University of Salamanca. Spain, 1997.

Vivian Galban (b. 1969). Buenos Aires, Argentina.

Photographer specialized in the investigation of supports, processes and contemporary technology applied to artistic creation. She studied architecture at the Faculty of Architecture and Urbanism of the University of Buenos Aires (1993) and completed the Postgraduate Diploma in Conservation and Rehabilitation of Architectural Heritage at the same Institution (1996). She founded the first Interactive Multimedia Development Agency: MediaLab Argentina, Buenos Aires and Mexico City (1996/2012) and the first Center Layout and 3D Modeling in Buenos Aires (1994/1996). She participated in the Draft Program Artist residence in Kyoto Art Center, Japan (2005) and made specialization Beyond The Silver Gelatin Print in Penumbra Foundation, New York (2018). Her works were selected in the Buenos Aires Photo Award (2015); at the ArtexArte Biennial (2015); in the Metrovías Contemporary Photography contest (2011) and the XVII Biennial of Visual Arts in Santa Cruz de la Sierra, Bolivia (2010). She has taught numerous workshops and seminars. She currently heads the chair of “Aesthetics, Contemporary Art and Culture” at the Institute of Photographic Arts and Techniques Audiovisual of the National University of Avellaneda, Buenos Aires. They stand out among her exhibitions “Valley of the Yosemite, from the Rocky Ford, 1872” at the Museum of Contemporary Art of Buenos Aires (MACBA) curated by Teresa Riccardi (2016); “We do not know what a body can” curated by Valeria González (2014) and “Exhibition in Real Time” (2019) by Rolf Art.

Nicola Costantino (b. 1964). Rosario, Argentina.

In twenty years of production her work has evolved from sculpture, clothing, mechanical objects and installations to photography and videoinstallation. The body is the constant focus of her field of investigation, and the artist refers to the violent treatment it receives at the hands of consumption and fashion. Over the last decade, Costantino includes herself autoreferentially in her photographic and video art production. She portrays scenes of art history and paradigmatic female characters, constructing the subject of the image on the basis of performance and acting in careful scenographies. The manufacture of her objects and the images capture an acute sense of beauty, provoking at the same time a certain atmosphere of discomfort that is hard to resolve. Some of her most recent projects include Rapsodia Inconclusa (Colección de Arte Amalia Lacroze de Fortabat, 2015), Eva–Argentina. Una metáfora Contemporánea (55th Venice Biennale, 2013), Alteridad (Centro Cultural Santa Cruz, Rio Gallegos; Museo Provincial Rosa Galisteo, Santa Fe; Museo Provincial de Bellas Artes Dr. Pedro E. Martínez, Paraná; ECU, Rosario; Nave Cultural, Mendoza; Centro Cultural J.A. Conte Grand, San Juan, 2012-13) and Exposición Monográfica (Daros Latinoamérica, 2011).

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