The artist Jorge Macchi was born in 1963 in Buenos Aires, where he lives and works. He plays an important role amongst the generation of Argentinian artists who emerged in the 1990’s. In 1993, he moved to Paris, the start of a five year period during which he travelled all over Europe, participating in many residencies in Rotterdam, Amsterdam and London… In 1998, Jorge Macchi returned to Buenos Aires. In 2005 he displayed his work at the Venice Biennial, representing Argentina. His work was exhibited notably at the Havana, Sao Paulo and Istanbul Biennials, at Le Credac in Ivry-sur-Seine, at 10Neuf, the Regional Contemporary Art Centre in Montbéliard, at MUHKA in Anvers, at the Walker Art Center in Minneapolis, the New York Sculpture Center, the MUCA in Rome, etc.
The exhibition at Galleria Continua / Le Moulin has installed an eclectic sample of the artist’s work: installations, sculptures, videos, drawings, etc. displaying his great creativity. The contradiction between movement and stability, the ephemeral and the permanent, and destiny are the artist’s favourite themes.
Jorge Macchi’s work stands up to any exegesis. Rather than a linear progression, his works appear as dense and intricate semantic networks. The information is knowledge which comes from all sides and ends nowhere. Jorge Macchi frequently uses newspapers, paradigms of information archives based on fact. Beyond simple information, writing, poetry and music play an important role in his work, visible in the installation The Singers’ Room (2006), made in collaboration with the Argentinian musician/composor Edgardo Rudnisky. This work, exhibited for the first time in 2006 at the University of Essex (Great Britain) is the conclusion of Jorge Macchi’s residency at AHRC (Research Centre for Studies of Surrealism and its Legacies). The installation is based on light and sound. It is composed of four large glass panels with the material chosen for its intrinsic qualities: transparency, extreme
fragility and reflective ability on contact with light. As soon as a letter appears, a sound follows, reverberating over the whole room like the chant of mermaids. The text which emerges is the work of the Uruguayan poet Idea Vilariño. What mainly interested Jorge Macchi and Edgardo Rudnisky is the pyramidal structure of the poem, and its ‘phonetic’ representation around the sentiment of loss evoked.
Jorge Macchi’s works are also conceived from anecdotes, luck and everyday life. The signs are silently brokendown then reconstructed according to a process of ‘de-familiarisation’. For the artist, the more the object is simple and clean, the more it will contain references and the more its relationship to us will be personal and sentimental. This ‘oblique strategy’ and a sharp sense of black humour are characteristic of his work.
In his works Jorge Macchi likes to suggest that there is a parallel universe to ours, existing under the surface of banality; reality is elusive. The artist is interested in recreating the conditions of a parallel reality. His work is an elegy to the absence of a unique vision of the world. One of his main questions is then: if we cannot trust our eyes to provide the truth, as knowledge doesn’t depend on vision, how can we try to organise the world, with the duality between what our spirit knows and what our eyes see? Even if we cannot trust our vision, at thesame time it is our starting point.
Jorge Macchi clearly shows an interest for margins, endings and fragments, what has broken down behind us. In his universe, everything is in transit, precarious. Nothing is ever permanent. His pieces reflect absences which order the scenes as strongly as each presence. He is an artist of loss and nostalgia. Signs of a collective memory increased by connotations are used by Jorge Macchi to develop his ‘Cavern’, his personal vision of the
contemporary world. The souvenirs are fragmented, on the same level as reality and images. For him, the atmosphere acquires something metaphysical, a mysterious tranquillity, seriousness or calm. The emotional truth seems as solid as a scientific truth and his images are many stories which haunt him. Without any doubt, his work is fiction which ponders over communication and the hereafter of language, the inexpressible proportion.