Museo de Arte Moderno de Buenos Aires
05.09.19 | 12.01.20
Contacto, the first solo exhibition by artist Andrés Aizicovich (Buenos Aires, 1985) to be held at a museum, was curated by Laura Hakel. In the large-scale installation the artist developed for the Museo de Arte Moderno’s Project Room, visitors were able to send messages into the ether, to establish contact “with extra-terrestrial life, one’s ancestors and even undiscovered dimensions that potentially offer new, more harmonious ways of building a community,” explains the curatorial text. Aizicovich’s works draw inspiration from science fiction stories and films like Close Encounters of the Third Time and Contact—from which the show gets its name—scientific experiments, and spiritualist liturgies and rituals that attempt to reimagine and transcend how we communicate.
Two large retro-futurist sound sculptures—a sort of “combination of a glass organ and satellite antenna”—stood in the middle of the gallery. These works are inspired by the Cristal Baschet, an instrument created in France in 1952 by François and Bernard Baschet. The Cristal Baschet was an educational tool designed to dismantle the monopoly of the ear in academic musical instruction. Like in the Cristal, in Aizicovich’s works glass rods are touched by damp fingers to produce vibrations amplified by steel bells. As if in a ritual, visitors to the museum had to first dip their hands in water that came from a system of stills that ended in a white ear-shaped vessel. When visitors slid their fingers on the glass rods, the sculptures let out a vibrating sound that made its way beyond the gallery and into the museum as a whole. “As in the digital era, spiritualism and magic, the act of touching a surface is one of connection.”
The engravings on the copper disks on the gallery’s walls make reference to the body’s senses. In their metallic form, the disks are reminiscent of the golden records aboard the Voyager spacecraft launched in 1977. Those recordings of, for instance, ninety minutes of music from different world cultures and greetings in fifty-five languages still circulate around the cosmos. Finally, the exhibition included a sculpture that consists of two diving helmets, also equipped with antenna and glass rods, activated by performers: when the helmets are touched, messages are sent out into the universe.
According to the curator, Aizicovich, “[is] a romantic idealist [who] creates technologies whose purpose is to change the physical and poetic states of the world. His objects and installations embody a utopian vision that seeks to reinvent the dynamics of communication and find new ways for people to come together.” Hakel goes on, “Aizicovich envisions the sound of messages and thoughts travelling through the cosmos in search of contact, a receptive ear or an answer; a link with which to build a chain of communication.”
Contenido producido por arteBA. Memoria anual de arte argentino contemporáneo.