about the exhibition
New Works 05.2
Buenos Aires, Argentina
July 07–September 11, 2005about the artist
Jorge Macchi explores ideas of chance and the relationship between sounds and images in installations, videos, books, collages, maps, and even musical scores. His works’ formal austerity conjures comparisons with minimalist and conceptual art, but their subtle lyricism is more evocative of poetry.
Macchi teases meaning and melodies out of ordinary occurrences and everyday objects. The speed and sequence of cars streaming onto a five-lane highway generates a music box composition (Caja de música, 2003); the cracked pattern of glass broken upon a map structures an interactive tour of incidental urban highlights (Buenos Aires Tour, 2003). Macchi also adopts mass media as a source of raw material. In As folhas mortas (2004), newspapers whose texts have been excised hang like flimsy paper skeletons against the gallery wall, ephemeral grids that suggest the fragility (and flexibility) of truth. As eloquent as they are unassuming, Macchi’s works allow a variety of messages to be heard and read between the lines.
Jorge Macchi was born in 1963 in Buenos Aires, Argentina, where he lives and works. Recent solo shows include the Argentine Pavillion, 51st Venice Biennale, Italy (2005); Galería de Arte Ruth Benzacar, Buenos Aires, Argentina (2005); and Galería Luisa Strina, São Paulo, Brazil (2003). Group exhibitions include the XXVI Bienal de São Paulo, Brazil (2004); the 8th International Istanbul Biennial, Turkey (2003); and The Drawing Center, New York, NY (2001).
about the project
At Artpace, Macchi presents a video installation and two print projects that explore the interdependence of verbal, visual, and sonic narratives. These works employ a formal language that oscillates between dynamism and stillness, progression and perpetuity.
The Ends, composed of five video loops on five monitors recessed within a table, investigates musical compositions arranged by chance. Conceived as a single voice in a five-part chorus, each video plays a different sequence of the same film finales. Because of the monitors’ placement, these Ends can be heard but not simultaneously seen. The resulting cacophony of overlapping scores creates a constantly changing musical canon. Integrating images, text, and sounds into a system hinging on the poetic potential of accident, this evolving round of never-ending endings presents a conceptual paradox.
Macchi’s print works, placed atop the table, examine the contradiction of simultaneous stillness and movement. Ten Drops, a flipbook, simulates the ever-widening concentric circles of drops falling on the surface of water. The circular holes each “drop” produces become passages into the medium itself. Each page represents a still of the cumulative ripples that extend beyond the volume’s physical boundaries.
In The Ascension, Macchi again plays with the possibilities of representing movement and sound in two dimensions by composing a book of sheet music devoid of notes. As pages turn, the lines of the staves float to the top, as if successively untethered from their pentagram structures. This ascent inverts the laws of gravity, transforming the foundational structure of music into a dynamic presence that functions only according to its own laws.
Graduate Curatorial Intern