The Museum of Contemporary Art of Salta (MAC) opened its doors to hundreds of people who came from all over the region and the country for the first edition of “Dialogues at the MAC”, an innovative proposal that aims to establish a relationship between artists, so that, through the whole of their work, they can establish a kind of conversation between their different points of view: together but without opposition; a harmony between different visions and between completely varied styles. The objective is the understanding of the other, and an incessant and enriching conversation through their works.
And the first to inaugurate this brand new proposal were nothing more and nothing less than the Salta Mariano cornejo and the porteña Gabriela Aberastury, who take the landscape and all its nuances as a point of reference to engage in a dialogue about nature. In this way, their works speak for them and they speak through their works, a kind of feedback of artistic production, and an acceptance of the imaginary and creative world of the other.
At the inauguration, organized by the Museum of Contemporary Art of Salta, and sponsored by the Fundación Grupo El Abra, were present provincial authorities, such as the Secretary of Culture of Salta Sergio Bravo and the Minister of Culture and Tourism of Salta, Mariano Ovejero, who publicly congratulated the artists and assured that it was “a joy to see the museum full.” He also spent a few minutes talking about the importance of dialogue in art and in society: “Dialogue is a tool for social construction, for mutual discovery. The State has a strategic plan with a view to preserving heritage, to that we Salta strengthen and learn more about our identity and so that we can share it with others “.
Guadalupe Noble, president of the El Abra Group Foundation, an organization that works for the protection and development of the values that constitute the natural and cultural heritage of the Alto Valle Calchaquí, thanked and welcomed the artists. Noble emphasized the need for a round trip: “We are very happy to promote and officiate this dialogue, because dialogue is what we lack. During these last years we have had little dialogue, and to achieve it we have to establish a relationship not with the same, but with the different. In this exhibition, apparently different paintings are seen that dialogue with each other in the symbolic “.
“I like to mount my exhibitions with a symbolic meaning”, says Cornejo, while around him the visitors crowd, who, with glasses in hand, stroll through the eleven rooms on the first floor of the MAC dedicated to this novel proposal. And the symbolism that Cornejo speaks of is evident in each of his works and in the curation of the sample: a black steed called “Nochero”, dark as when the sun goes down, and another white one, far away, in the last room, called “Morning”. Light and darkness.
The use of brightly colored watercolors, collages and wood and metal sculptures are the protagonists of Cornejo’s creations. In one of his most outstanding works, “El oro de los tigres N ° 2”, the Salta tribute to the writer Jorge Luis Borges, with the figures of two felines crouching down and looking at each other, as if studying, one more red, the other lighter; two sculptures that are exhibited in the middle of the room, in a combat without movement.
“Between the two of us we had come up with fifteen montage stories, and we finished making changes this morning,” revealed the artist about the distribution and connection points between its works and those of Aberastury -some placed in parallel, while others are displayed in separate rooms dedicated to their creators. He acknowledged being destroyed, but with a smile that revealed that his fatigue was the least of it, and that the result had made it all worthwhile.
And it was Cornejo, precisely, the one in charge of choosing another colleague to “dialogue”, and his instinct led him directly to Aberastury, a perfect opposition to his vision: “We met at ArteBA, many years ago. I had signed one of his paintings, and she had liked one of mine. There was an affinity and from then on the music also brought us together. She is a fan of classical music and opera like me “. Cornejo believes that a work is modified by the presence of another, but it could also be said that it is enhanced, enlarged; the contrast achieves that the essence of each one stands out, and that in this way it is completely uncovered.
“I am very interested in chiaroscuro and volume,” he confesses Aberastury, while observing with a group of people his work “An afternoon with Torres”, an oil on canvas that he made almost a decade ago. But, more recently, he began to experiment with almost tiny dolls, with which he creates three-dimensional works of all kinds, such as one of a space base: “I have a fascination for materials. And on a journey that I did every day throughout the year. 1986, I go into a store and see a shelf in which there were envelopes with white figures. And I bought them all, without any intention. ” In an exhibition for which she was summoned, she made a play, her first, with dolls, and that was the trigger. “I am a great collector of junk: rusty screws, woods”, explains about the materials he uses, which achieve a dystopian and at the same time realistic effect.
Mariano Cornejo was born in Salta in 1962 and his first formal studies in painting were at the hands of Julio Coll Arias. In 1984 he won the First Prize Tribute to Joan Miró, his first individual exhibition was in 1979 at the Casa de la Cultura Salta. He is, like many artists, completely multifaceted, and, in addition to his activities in the fields of plastic arts and sculpture, he is a poet and a student of symbolism and comparative religions. Gabriela Aberastury was born in Buenos Aires in 1943. Recognized for its engravings in its early years, it ventured into various branches, and is especially recognized in New York and Germany. And this is not the first time they have worked together: Cornejo and Aberastury organized, together with Barna, Bessoueck and Facio, the “Tribute to Jorge Luis Borges”, at the Borges Library of the Instituto Cervantes in New York, an exhibition that will take place in the Big Apple during December.
One room in the show is dedicated to their careers as artists, but as illustrators. Aberastury, and Cornejo to a lesser extent, devoted much of his life to creating unique drawings for limited editions and vintage books. It began in the ’70s, and since then he made engravings for works by Bradbury, by Virginia Woolf, and even for “El Aleph” by Borges.
And how common passions unite them –both describe the sensuality that flashes for them from the materials and instruments they use to create their works, and the long conversations they have about colors and textures – so does the way of approaching the completion of a job. Aberastury says that when one paints, the beginning is exciting, but the end is desperate and terrifying, and it is the time when disasters can happen. And Cornejo agrees: “When one cannot with a work, one collapses. To sustain it, you have to work like an animal, and when the end approaches, there is always the risk of making a mistake, and the ideas that are born at that moment can be sublime or terrible. There are many works that you finish and you hate them, because you remember how arduous and problematic the process was. “
However, more than one hundred works that make up this exhibition, which will be open to the public at the Museum of Contemporary Art in Salta until first days of april, were chosen especially by the artists and trace a particular relationship between their creators and their visions of the world, which are constantly nourished by one and the other, in an incessant dialogue in which conceptuality and a particular way of understanding reality are intertwined, unique to each.