1986, Buenos Aires, Argentina
A LANDSCAPE DOES NOT STOP EXISTING EVEN IF WE TURN ON IT
A landscape does not cease to exist even if we turn our back on it.
I wonder what it will be like to portray the invisible, like recording in an image each breath of air that enters our lungs. How to portray the continuous tapping on our chest, that warm flow of blood moving throughout our body. A deaf music that continues to sound permanently, a vibration, a rhythm that we dance daily without realizing it. A trace of time revealed in an image, a halo of breath, a sigh, a thought that passes and for some reason we forget, our ghosts,
fantasies and also fears.
A dark room, a camera, a person, ten minutes.
Exercise, stand relaxed, do not cross your legs, fix your gaze, breathe softly and ask yourself, what do I feel about my body?
A false friend is a word or expression from a foreign language that is confused with a similar word in the native language although their meanings are actually different. False friends are one of translators’ biggest enemies.
The only important advice to this effect is to be alert and remember that in translation Wittgenstein’s affirmation can be applied: “The meaning of a word depends on the use that it is given.”
For some time now I have been collecting art books in foreign languages. I asked colleagues from different countries where Spanish wasn’t the native tongue to pick a used book related to the art world and bring it to me. The instructions to choose the book included that they be books that weren’t translated into Spanish, that they be related to art and if possible that they be used books.
Nowadays there are virtual translation platforms that perform translations into different languages. These translators scan pages of books and identify words, turning them into the language the user requires and also generating a software based oral interpretation
of the new translated text.
The texts of these books are in Hindi, Japanese, German, Arabic, Portuguese, amongst others. They will be translated into Spanish using computer software. The program will interpret the texts and also translate them into an audio reading of the books. The
software, which creates words with pre established phonetic information, will create a new text that will be a new interpretation of the collected books. I am interested in the deformation that may result from this computer translation and interpretation. Although new
technologies bring us closer to different cultures, they can also make mistakes that resignify the texts.
THE PEOPLE DO NOT GO TOGETHER
Las personas no van juntas / They Just don’t Match
This exhibition groups audiovisual pieces that elaborate on the concept of translation. If this activity is understood as the practice of carrying out the exegesis of the meaning of a text in one language in order to guide it towards another language, then its objective is to create a relationship of equivalence between the two, between the original and the final text; that is to say, to establish a blind trust in that both communicate the same message. The difference between translation and interpretation is that, in the latter, ideas are expressed orally or through gesticulations.
Las personas no van juntas (They Just don’t Match) consists of four videos and a small scene made up of a book with sheet music on a stand, waiting to be activated by a musician. It deals with the interpretative, figurative and appropriative qualities of translation. This exhibition showcases a consecutive narrative based on a staged simultaneous translation
of a philosopher’s speech about Nietzsche’s wish for Zaratustra to be the continuation of Beethoven’s Ninth Symphony. In this way, a discourse about the possibility of the relationship between the translation between words and music is created. At the same time, this intellectual process is appropriated and translated into English, and this first resulting blend, hybridization and system of resolutions undergoes the same process as it is translated into German. The sequence of translations is completed, linguistically, as the
German is translated into Spanish, the original language in which the first character builds upon his thoughts.
The original speech is made up of the words with which a philosopher has built his thoughts. A person standing, framed in a Medium Close-up, that shows the actions of remembering, of establishing connections, of linking the relationships present in the spoken word in favor of transmitting concepts. It is a connection made between the power of words, thought and the gestures that arise as it is made. This relationship of possible meanings is embodied in each step of the translation process, and what we can see is the concentration of each agent as they attempt to be as faithful as possible to the speech they receive, a speech that becomes invariably porous as it is appropriated by each of them. As they sit in front of the camera, the attention is placed on their focused expressions as they receive information, process it and gesticulate. A catalogue of tense gestures, curiosity and attention.
Meanwhile, the book of sheet music begins to retransmit the operation. This sheet music is composed from the four speeches, and is then appropriated by a musician and activated in different moments throughout the exhibition. The Spanish word for translation, traducción from the latin traductio, which can be defined as the action of guiding from one place to another, is composed of three differentiated parts: the prefix trans- , which is synonymous with “from one to the other”, the verb ducere, which means “to guide”, and the suffix -cion,
which is equivalent to “action”, the action of guiding from one to the other, from one tongue to another, from one language to another. Las personas no van juntas (They Just don’t Match) shows a visual coral performance with a group of words at its base. The positioning that each of the agents (philosopher, translators, musician) take is presented in an audiovisual portrait of each. Portraits that require one to get physically close to them in order to perceive and capture the particular features of each one in the modulations of their voice, in their intonations and body language, and in their gestures.
A thought construction that is made visible through gesticulations, signals, tics; almost like a catalogue.
Sebastian Vidal Mackinson
SAY ALMOST THE SAME
To say almost the same is a video installation in which I analyze translation as a concept. If translation can be defined as an activity that comprises interpreting the meaning of a text in one language and reproducing it in another, then it could be stated that the objective is to bind discourses in terms of the communicability of a message.
An orchestra director and a ballerina delve into a symphony that we cannot hear but that we can witness through the physical movement and gestures that they simultaneously carry out. The music seems to play in their memory, he directs a classical symphony while, just as the people in the audience, she can’t hear the music, but composes a dance that responds to the director’s baton. At the same time, in both cases, an inventory of facial expressions that are generated in the rhythmic absorption serve as clues to imagine the full scene.
7.9.19 - 12.10.19
A landscape does not cease to exist even if we turn our back on it. Lihuel González
Curator: María Alejandra Gatti
The theater of death is the designation given to a group of works by the Polish playwright Tadeusz Kantor. Autobiographical in nature, this set of pieces was characterized by the fact that reality on stage (the physical presence of Kantor, his story in memories and images), had to have its counterpart in illusion. The key was that this reality-illusion tension had to remain balanced without either taking full control. The figure of Kantor on stage was another factor, in a double role, he directed and was material of the play representing characters who led and gave instructions to the actors. A link between his life, fiction and the fabric that emerges from this relationship.
Lihuel González proposes his own theater idea, present in the scene in fragments that bring his body, a self-portrait and a set of elements that make up a map of his history, he addresses a series of questions: his look from the outside, his body dislocated in parts and a set of fictional elements. A stuffed dead bird sits on a hand made of wax. The image of a ghost hangs from the ceiling. Portraits of women looking at each other. List of words that take shape and bring images that are not there. The fall. Over time. Old age.
For years it records the diffuse, portraits that are lost in black backgrounds, imperceptible gestures that arise from exercises of meticulous observation, journeys of meaning between languages, and slow movements like the mark of a patient eye that looks, hoping to find senses that do not finish coming out. the visible.
The certainty that something is there but we cannot see it.
The presence of something that had a body.
An out of field.
What allows to see through.
Bodies that drive space.
What goes from one place to another.
The space that changes shape.
The time of a body.
Death in all its forms.
A landscape does not cease to exist even if we turn our back on it is an essay that could be framed in the logic of the theater of death: a dialectic between the presence and absence of Lihuel as a material part of the work and as an author at the same time.
Organized into two acts that evoke the logic of a theatrical piece, the show displays a series of elements that portray the invisible: they replace with ideas, shapes or memories, the spaces left by things that are not there. The interstices. The space between glances. What a fabric hides. What a mask covers. What completes a fragment. What is glimpsed.
The temporal dimension that acts bring operates as a form of continuity between something that is there, then leaves, and is modified to return with another form. The presence of an act that is completed in the second by inscribing a circular narrative: exercises that portray the invisible, death as the absence of a living body and resurrection as the possibility of a new beginning.
How to portray what cannot be seen? Is there a first image that works as a reference for the idea or is it possible to think of something that we never saw?
Lihuel González (Buenos Aires, Argentina, 1986)
Lihuel González is a photographer and audiovisual producer. Through her artistic research she wonders about a diversity of issues related to the linguistic system. According to the artist “each language structures a way of thinking about what surrounds us and how we understand ourselves as a society”. Based on this idea, González seeks to put the linguistic system in crisis and questions the modes of communication that prevail in the world nowadays.
Through her audiovisual installations she reflects on the encounter between different languages, the disruption that virtual translators may produce and the possibilities of communication that music and dancing can offer.
She studied direction of photography at Universidad del Cine. She also attended art clinics and seminars dictated by Gabriel Valansi, Hernán Marina and Alberto Goldenstein. Throughout the years, she participated in different training programs from renowned institutions such as: the Conti-FNA training program (2013), the ABC Scholarship of Fundación Pan y Arte (2013), the Artists’ Program of Universidad Torcuato Di Tella (2014) and the Artistas x Artistas Program of Fundación el Mirador (2019).
She featured her work in numerous national and international institutions such as: Galería Gachi Prieto (Buenos Aires, Argentina, 2019); Dallas Museum of Art (Dallas, United States, 2018); Povvera (Berlin, Germany, 2018); Centro de Arte UNLP (La Plata, Buenos Aires, Argentina, 2018) and Espacio Pira ADM (México 2016), among others.
Thanks to her work, she received various awards and recognitions. These are some of the most relevant: Mention in the Itaú Visual Arts Award (2020), 3rd Prize in the National Salon of Visual Arts (2019), Finalist in the 107th edition of the National Salon of Visual Arts (2018), 3rd Prize in the 13th UADE National Visual Arts Competition (2018), Honourable mention in the Fundación Klemm Visual Arts award and 2nd Prize in the National Salon of Visual Arts - MACA Museo Junín (2016). She was granted the Beca a la Creación, a scholarship by the Fondo Nacional de las Artes, both in 2014 and 2018.
Additionally, she has been selected to participate in various Artist-in-residence programs: DE LICEIRAS 18 - Temporary Art Community (Porto, Portugal, 2019), Residencia BIM (Buenos Aires, Argentina, 2017) and Residencia Centro ADM-PIRA (México, 2016). She also displayed her artistic work in the Bienal de Arte Joven (Buenos Aires, Argentina, 2015), Bienal Sur - Bienal Internacional de Arte Contemporáneo de América del Sur (2017) and Bienal de Bahía Blanca (2017).
Currently, she directs her own studio and teaches at the Universidad de Buenos Aires (UBA).