La indiferencia es un delito. Soy Luis Pazos
Aldo de Sousa
18.07.19 | 16.08.19
In his first solo show at Aldo de Sousa gallery, Luis Pazos (La Plata, 1940) exhibited a selection of works from the seventies along with twenty recent typographic prints.
Pazos’s interest in the word is evident in works as early as La torre de Babel (The Tower of Babel), which he presented at Novísima poesía /69 organized by Edgardo Antonio Vigo at the Instituto Di Tella in 1969. That work was a “volumetric poem” made of foam cubes with onomatopoeias printed on them. In his recent prints, he once again uses the word, this time in first-person declarations on the forced disappearance of certain social subjects: “I am the women disappeared while the man who raped me is free”; “I am the small-business owner disappeared by the speculation economy”; and “I am the student disappeared by totalitarian education.”
Another typographical work included in the show is a page from the legendary magazine/envelope Hexágono’71 published by Vigo. A 1974 edition of that publication included Pazos’s visual poem Dependencia – Liberación (Dependence – Liberation). The words in the work’s title are printed in orange ink with rubber stamps; on each them the words “CANCELLED – URGENT” are printed in black ink.
Procedures like the ones used on the printed page are enacted by bodies when a group of performers move in a choreographic sequence on a grid of tiles in a series of body-works or “living sculptures” that “draw” a set of political symbols that Pazos called “Live Transformations.” Three photographs from three of those performance are on exhibit: Arco y flecha (Bow and Arrow), Punta de lanza (Spearhead), and Perón Vence (Perón Triumphs) from 1973. The photographs in the series, which was recently acquired by the Museo de Arte Moderno de Buenos Aires (MAMBA), were taken in the yard of the Colegio Nacional Rafael Hernández in La Plata. The performers were Vigo’s drawing students. On other occasions, the artist himself was the performer, assuming physical stances and interacting with objects such that he was “turned” into the image of a coat rack or a concentration camp.
Pazos, along with Héctor Puppo and Jorge de Luján Gutiérrez, formed the Grupo de Experiencias Estéticas. In 1971, their work Estilo de vida argentino (Argentine Lifestyle) participated in the VII Paris Biennale. The work, which would be the collective’s last, was an environment and performance that dealt with Argentine folk customs, clothing, games, and superstitions, especially those that, before the foreign gaze, are exaggerated as stereotypes. In a text he wrote about the work, Pazos described it as “an improbable, disconcerting world […]. For the French press, it was a work of anti-art; for the viewing public, a private insane asylum; for children, an amusement park […] before the pandemonium that was the ultra-avant-garde’s latest stance: attitude art.”
The text for this exhibition underscores that “these different moments in Pazos’s art evidence that the body and the word constitute, together, an activating device, an allegory of the masses as agents of collective transformation under the statement “indifference is a crime.”
Content produced by arteBA. Annual Report on contemporary Argentine art