hernan marina

 
 
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Brizuela, Leopoldo. “Buenos Aires by Night” de Hernán Marina. Texto muestra Instituto de Cooperación Latinoamericana de Buenos Aires. Publicado en Revista Barbaria. Agosto 2001. ESP

Brizuela, Leopoldo "Buenos Aires by Night". Text catalog exhibit. Published at Barbaria, Buenos Aires. Augsut 2011. ENG

Montornés, Frederic. “Buenos Aires by Night” de Hernán Marina.  Texto en Catálogo Colección MUSAC (2010).  /Montornés, Frederic. “Buenos Aires by Night” by Hernan Marina. Published in Catalog MUSAC Collection 2010. (ESP - ENG)

Pérez Rubio, Agustín.  “Ironías del acontecimiento” (2002). Catálogo muestra “Buenos Aires by night”, Doque Barcelona. ESP

Pérez Rubio, Augustin "An event's ironies". Text catalog exhibit Buenos Aires by Night. Doque, Barcelona. ENG

Lebenglik, Fabián.  “Turismo violento y erotismo”.  Página 12.  Agosto 2001. ESP

 
 
 
 
 
 
 

HERNÁN MARINA
AN EVENT’S IRONIES

 

Hernán Marina’s first solo exhibition in Spain offers us the opportunity to appreciate his work in our country with the time and tranquility it deserves. He is an emerging artist with great artistic depth and a solid career, who has already been awarded prestigious prizes and participated in important events in his native Argentina. Marina has visited our country on prior occasions, at recent editions of ARCO with the galleries Gara and Luisa Pedrouzo from Buenos Aires as well as in other exhibitions and artistic events, but these have provided us with only a fleeting glance of the intelligence, irony and sociological insight this artist proposes.

I have been interested in Marina’s work for some time; what I find most notable in his work is the fusion between sociological aspects that deal with market economy, labor relations or statistical studies and design, with a sleek aesthetic and a certain cosmo-vision of contemporary man immersed in a fluctuating society where the economy is the basis of an entire way of life. These works are presented in a markedly minimal manner and have served as the basis for later works by the artist that reveal a looser approach, freed from artistic and social prejudices where sarcastic irony is unleashed in an act of artistic liberation. This leads us to our encounter with the Buenos Aires by night series, currently on exhibit at Barcelona’s Espacio Doque.   

What is Buenos Aires by night? By way of large format photographic prints, Hernán Marina takes up the discipline and parameters from the world of newspaper infographics as though it were a found object that he then employs to carry out a relevant and conscientious selection of some of the most horrific and tragic events to have taken place in Buenos Aires; he then puts these events on display in such a way that obliges us to see them from a different perspective. I would like to point out that in Argentina, as opposed to our country, infographics are handled with rigor, attention and a treatment apart. Media experts study all the news items covering events of a violent or dramatic nature and distill them into infographic explanations, to the point where news infographics are presented practically as a separate section or a new means of expressing information in and of itself. This enables us to better understand how Marina, mindful of these catalysts in the realm of information thanks to a passion for design and the symbolic language of icons and logos, found a great source of inspiration in these graphics. However, I would like to repeat that Marina’s labor and achievement is more of an attitude than it is a primary expression. With corrosive irony, he has selected a series of infographics that refer to violent or dramatic occurrences that have taken place at night in Buenos Aires. In this sense, behind the blackness that gives these pieces an air of elegant mystery, Marina translates via rays of light in the form of dotted lines, arrows and points the silhouettes and structures that elude to shots, crashes, falls, etc. In parallel, the title of each piece might well be a headline under which infographics might be found in newspapers: Escape mortal (Deadly Escape); El trágico final de un ídolo (An Idol’s Tragic End); Cruce fatal (Fatal Intersection); Tragedia en la madrugada (Tragedy at Dawn) or Un ataque sorpresivo (Surprise Attack). Removed from their original context within the news media and exhibited in the terrain of art, these titles ring hollow, drained of the dramatic content of the original tragic events they refer to. Instead, they sound like titles for ridiculous American action films. In the same way that this de-contextualization and translation of the titles’ text changes their meaning and significance, the drawings are similarly altered. By translating the violence, aggressiveness or drama of real events by way of such a tidy technique, based on design’s rules for elaboration and comprehension, the reality of these acts is eradicated and we see how infographics convert them into children’s drawings, absurd explanations where bullets are dotted lines, an accident is a cross or a cadaver is a silhouette with a little circle. Here the limitations of such neat, hygienic journalism are made perfectly clear. Although we are not aware of the specific events they refer to, Marina ironically reminds us that he, too, plays with the silhouettes of different characters—whether construction workers who have fallen into an elevator’s abyss or the well-known Argentinean singer who died at the wheel—to accentuate our awareness that life is, in its entirety, one tremendous and incomprehensible irony.


Agustín Pérez Rubio

Valencia, October, 2002

Agustín Pérez Rubio is Chief Curator at the MUSAC (Museo de Arte Contemporáneo de Castilla y León).  He was born in Valencia (Spain) in 1970. As an independent curator he has curated International exhibitions (“Bad Boys”, Venice Biennial) and given conferences on international art in a wide variety of international forums.

 

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

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