Vikki Bell talks at Graciela Sacco exhibition

It was a pleasure to speak at an exhibition of Argentine artist Graciela Sacco’s exhibition in London in September 2022. The exhibition was curated by Graciela’s daughter, academic Dr Clara Garavelli and gallery director Patricia Bossio.

‘Waiting for the Barbarians’ exhibition 2022 Ubicua Gallery, Charlotte Street, London

‘it was about the spaces between us and our oftentimes imagined “outsides”‘

Here is a taster of the talk, which can be accessed in full here.

‘If Graciela’s artwork reflects on the relationship between art and the spectator in this way, it was also frequently about intervals, about spaces: spaces between us, between us as living, breathing beings and inanimate things, as well as spaces between things. More profoundly, it was about the spaces between us and our oftentimes imagined ‘outsides’, our desires, curiosities, fears, as is the case in her series ‘Waiting for the Barbarians’ as well as in earlier works.’

Works discussed include ‘The Things They Took With Them’ (1998) as well as the installation shown at El Parque de la Memoria, Buenos Aires. Vikki writes: ‘by making our view of what is going on always partial, Sacco did not intend to berate us for always being subjective, partial, but to accentuate the problematics at stake whenever we attempt – and delude ourselves about – the possibility of a clear and uninterrupted view of what is ‘behind’ or beyond the veil of our own anticipations.’

In Rome, Graciela told me, the visitors ran their hands along the walls where the images were projected to see if the figures were ‘really there’. It is precisely this doubting, this caution that her work prompts. From where do we stand when we consider these other human figures and our shared humanity? Which shadows do we cast as we stand precariously balanced here on earth? Which projections and which fictions do we create, which to we perpetuate even in those moments when we seek to give others due attention? And if a further of the questions is also ‘while we are watching others, who or what is watching us?’ this is not a paranoid stance, but a deconstructive one. It serves to give us pause and to suggest that our need for human reassurance and recognition – that which has us reaching out through an ephemeral image to run our finger tips along a wall.

Graciela passed away, too early, in 2017. We miss her.

Images: Alex Lloyd, with thanks to Patricia Bossio and Clara Garavelli.

Separator image Posted in News.