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Historias. Sobre lugares lejanos y un sueño escondido

Carlos Furman

Curator: Florencia Qualina

04.03.23 - 15.04.23


Sobre lugares lejanos y un sueño escondido 


About faraway places and a hidden dream.

They say fire is hypnotic. Maybe that is why the fawn stares at the flames as they envelop everything, at how they are reflected in the swamp, at how they swallow up each and every corner of the forest. Hours have gone by. All that is left are burned trunks, remains inedible even for the voracious fire. The fawn remains there, alone, paralyzed in the limbo. The fact that it is a toy in no way mitigates how devastating the image is—an image familiar to Cormac McCarthy’s ravaged highways and to Tarkovsky’s parched tree in The Sacrifice, as well as to all the scenes taking place right now in the wetlands, the forests, and anywhere else vulnerable to transformation into a soy field or a gated community.

The fate of the fawn, though, seems slightly brighter than the one that awaits the diver about to enter the jaws of a school of sharks, their eyes bulging and mouths brimming with teeth as sharp as saws. Each photograph in “Historias. Sobre lugares lejanos y un sueño escondido” captures a moment of maximum tension, regardless of whether its setting is realistic or fantastic. It would be partly true, but ultimately unfair to assert that the protagonists of Carlos Furman’s Historias are inert beings. They do feature a cast of toys that Furman bought as his interest in history grew; in them, he gradually depicted a peculiar adventure. But in that world, like in ours, “smoke is smoke, and fire is fire”—as he puts it, painting an image as he speaks of the painstaking construction of each of these stagings during the most intense phase of lockdown. The inanimateness is also subject to doubt: The atavistic connection Carlos devises between the figures and the human is always mediated by the numinous. He is constantly, unfalteringly guided by his
fascination with inanimate objects. It dates back to the second half of the nineteen-eighties when he attended—and documented—plays directed by Tadeusz Kantor and Philippe Genty at the Teatro San Martín. It was there that, not without shame, he saw the marionettes resting when the show was
over. “At that moment, they were dead.” Later, with astonishment, he saw them come back to life on stage.


Florence Qualina

Buenos Aires, March 2023

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