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Saraceno: ideas on a cosmic scale


The great artist from Tucumán shared reflections on his work with the indigenous communities of the Jujuy salt flats, which he will take to the Serpentine Gallery in London.

"Part of this encounter stems from a show to which I was invited at the Serpentine Gallery in London. The film that was made here,

Vuela con Aerocene Pacha

, had streaming, a couple of projections, but it was never as a piece in a institution. So it came to me as a commitment that it

had to be shown here beforehand

, and try to have a return, to think together

if the communities also feel represented by the film

. Otherwise, continue with that extractivist thing, images, knowledge... .”.

A little bit of children in the dirt street, a little flame that circulates, the vote of the Alfarcito community that is in assembly and the happy song of a bird break into the conversation with

Tomás Saraceno


The outstanding artist from Tucumán –who will have his new “performative” exhibition at the London gallery starting in May– returned to the

Salinas Grandes

and Laguna Guayatayoc basin, this time as the promoter of

a Meeting to share knowledge


The three-day activities were recorded by a film crew and will build

a new cut of a film

considered endless, as a

work in progress

artistic project .

“In complementarity we take care of the water”, says the aerosol sculpture that was raised at the Meeting.

Unlike the flight of his previous aerosol sculpture, this time the work has a meeting format, lasting two days in a small town in the puna of Jujuy, in which the researcher

Maristella Svampa

, the environmental lawyers Enrique Viale, Gastón Chillier and the local Alicia Chalabe, the lithium geopolitics expert Bruno Fornillo and the academic Melisa Argento, as well as the writers and eco-activists

Gabriela Cabezón Cámara


Claudia Aboaf

, and the essayist

Graciela Speranza

, who along with

Inés Katzenstein

They are in charge of a research project on art and the environment, which includes the work of Saraceno.

"We seek that the different ways of knowing can come together with the knowledge of the original peoples, with the passions of artists and with the ambition to share, to

build ties

, friendships", Saraceno conceded about this meeting, which is at the same time a contribution to the struggle for water and the territory of native settlers, and

a great community performance


“There is a great interest in compartmentalizing art, that there is a consumption of art, a museum, but when you displace it, you move it to other places, you also invite other forms, and other forms are articulated.


I never put in advance what a work can be


Because otherwise you kill the possibility that something different can emerge.

This is more community... In the world of art there is this thing about the great, unique work, where the artist is alone and has to think”.

Saraceno talks about an idea that arose right here: that in the manner of oral transmission,

the laws are sung in couplets


"Because when you start to sing something, you think in another way, the brain begins to find itself."

Tomás Saraceno in Alfarcito, together with Maristella Svampa and the writer Claudia Aboaf.

Saraceno and his team had been in the Salinas Grandes in 2017 with dozens of balloons flying and they filmed the film again in January 2020, with their aerosol sculptures rising without fossil fuels, only with the energy of the sun and the wind.

“Many times we thought about making another flight because of the lithium but we realized that Salinas might not be there anymore to do it.


we seek to contribute to something that we are at the same time trying to appreciate and understand

, such as the communities and the way of life they lead, respect and care for the environment in which they live.

That's why I think it

was so magical

at the same time Aerocene.

These aerial sculptures really bring life to something we're not normally so used to.

This turn is a bit more discursive.

Because we are so phobic about technological progress that

it is difficult for us to relate

to something so natural, like understanding Mother Earth as something that floats, that we are all flying together on this planet, on a cosmic scale.”

One of the searches of the meeting, inspired by the ideas of the researcher Maristella Svampa, are

alternative narratives to technocratic extractivism

to link us with the environment.

As if it were a shell that protects the protagonists, Saraceno understands his role in this global event, which the cameras of German television and Al Jazeera came to cover.

“Within the art world we sometimes have more opportunities to try to say: 'Well, this is not a stone, it is something else'”.

Among his interventions at the meeting, Saraceno was dismayed with the plastic bottles that circulated on the tables, when the water in the town is drinkable from a spring, as well as with some of the offerings.

"If I contribute that grain of sand and that is why

instead of giving Pachamama Coca-Cola we give it other drinks

, it seems to me that it is part of this


process , which has also been penetrated into our culture."

There are questions that, like the balloons, remain floating in the air.

Ideas for the future.

“The sculpture that flew here was able to lift one person and now we are working on building another

that can lift up to three people in the air

,” she advanced.

“So what happiness if we hold a meeting and people come from Buenos Aires to Jujuy in a balloon, in a ghost that dares to start living in a different way.

It takes life, like living water, but from air, a living aero, like a jellyfish but from air, which also floats like in the ocean of water, in the ocean of air... And that's where this

more ecosystemic thinking

also came to me. of things as opposed to that way of isolating the forms of knowledge that we have and not this much more relational thing that they have”.

From San Francisco de Alfarcito, Jujuy.

Special envoy.

look too

Tomás Saraceno returns to the salt flats of Jujuy with a community work

Source: clarin

All news articles on 2023-01-28

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