On Constructions

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Text for the Exhibition “Constructions” - Alianza Francesa de Buenos Aires, August 2015

 By Elda Harrington and Silvia Mangialardi (1)

Gonzalo Gutierrez explores a deeply revealing and somehow disturbing subject: The process of construction of our ideals and the fantastical components of our memories. His work invites to place the question: Who is ready to face the fact that many of our certainties that are transmitted an imposed by the many discourses coming from family, schools, social mandates and accentuated by mass media, are far from what really counts and even neglects the sensitive?

In a mosaic of faces, appropriated from different sources, power and fame are deployed as a products’ catalog calling in the question about our own opinions and interpretations of public personages. Close to them, a cheat financial advisor – whose principal strategy was based on giving his victims a membership and belonging sense –, or a silicon-made robot doll programed to talk just what his owner wants to hear, shows to what extent things are built through subjective perception to meet’s own expectation.

A dollar bill, with the work’s title We Trust, functions nicely as a metaphor of how important a role trust, confidence and expectation plays in financial system – but not only there – to sustain value, although very few tangible elements, if any, exist.     

But ideals constructions also come to private life and intimacy. In both old and contemporary family album images, there is a collection of things suitable to be shown: The bride’s white dress, children’s joy, school parties, graduation from a international acclaimed university, and vacations in fancy places. All of them seemingly unique and triumphant moments, an appearance that is more responsive to the look of the others than to the truly lived experience.    

Thus, in all works, images are pixelated deepening the use of the device to the point of making them almost illegible. Gonzalo emphasizes this way the many fictional constructions of our lives. He also rises questions on the impact of technological changes, on the dynamics of subjective interpretations, memory and the loss of it, and on how information is degraded, memories are dissolved in the successive readings and the passage of time.   

 

Notes: (1) Curators and General Director and Artistic Director respectively of the Festival de la Luz in Argentina (Argentina’s Festival of Light)