BUENOS AIRES — Pau Delgado Iglesias has been exploring how vision affects our embrace of stereotypes. In her video-installation “Estar igual que el resto (being the same as the rest)” (2014–2019), part of the exhibit Cuando Cambia el Mundo: Preguntas Sobre Arte y Feminismos (When the World Changes: Questions About Art and Feminisms) at the Centro Cultural Kirchner, Iglesias interviewed several blind people, concluding that many of their perceptions are remarkably similar to those of sighted people.
The works of four other artists, each presented in dedicated spaces along the Kirchner’s 6th floor corridor, similarly question such stereotypes of women, Indigenous and Black people, and the elderly. Together with Iglesias, Alina Motta, Esther Ferrer, Joiri Minaya, and Sebastián Calfuqueo form a diverse, intergenerational group of artists that at first glance do not have much in common, but each approaches their often very personal subject matter in a poetic way, inviting audiences to deconstruct their own views.
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In her three-channel film “(Outros) Fundamentos [(Others) Fundamentals]” (2017–2019), Motta searches for her roots in Nigeria, where she recognizes her physical traits but is considered an “other,” as she is in her home country Brazil. Calfuqueo also points to this otherness, when he looks for his feminine double in his film, inviting reconsiderations of gender. And Minaya literally shows the results of her #dominicanwomengooglesearch, having blown up, cut out, and hung the results of how Dominican women, like herself, are often objectified and sexualized. Ferrer closes with works criticizing exactly that same sexualization of the women’s bodies.
With Ferrer’s project, the effects of objectification become deadly. The impressive installation features empty black chairs circling a mannequin which holds a sign stating the amount of femicides in Argentina since the start of the year. With one chair per murdered woman, the installation has come to outgrow its space, as the number of femicides in Argentina this year has grown from 62 at the start of the exhibition in March to over 100.
In Intimate and Personal, a series of photographs from performances from 1977 and 1992, Ferrer measures herself and others, showing the true sizes of a diverse group of models, beautiful in all of their shapes, ages, and colors. “Self Portrait over time,” an enormous photo series that flanks the large wall of the gallery, juxtaposes the artist’s younger and older selves through a split image, inviting overcome the perception of youth as a signifier of beauty.
Discussing the pandemic’s intensification of prejudice towards already oppressed groups, curator Andrea Giunta explained to Hyperallergic, “We can see it with the beatings [by] the police in the US and hatred toward Black people. We can see the disdain of [the] government towards the elderly at the beginning of this pandemic. And we can see it in the growth of femicides.” Giunta maintains the importance of art that demands we recognize the urgency of the moment and how it can change the way we see the world.
Cuando Cambio El Mundo: Preguntas Sobre Arte y Feminismos continues through June 30 at the Centro Cultural Kirchner (Sarmiento 151, C1041, Buenos Aires, Argentina). The exhibition was curated by Andrea Giunta. Live talks with participating artists are broadcasted on the center’s Facebook page every Tuesday and on YouTube.