Jorge Macchi: el arte es una idea.

Desde la Bienal de Venecia a Tate Modern, MoMA o el resto del universo, uno de los artistas argentinos con mayor proyección y resonancia. Entrevista.

Pueden decir “conceptual” o “muy moderno”, pero quizá se equivoquen. Criado en la Buenos Aires de los 80s, hoy Jorge Macchi es uno de los artistas argentinos contemporáneos con mayor proyección, representado por Ruth Benzacar, también parte de colecciones esenciales como MoMA o Tate Modern con una lista de muestras impresionante y en todo el mundo. Un fósforo, una bola de espejos, una cáma elástica en un oratorio antiguo en la Bienal de Venecia o un bote a pedal en New Orleans: todo eso es Macchi. Anti-constancia en materiales e ideas, procesos analíticos al azar y la búsqueda de la relación más íntima de todas. No podíamos dejar de preguntarnos por qué.

FOTO: Jorge Miño.

Recuerdo una vez ver un catálogo de una muestra tuya con una amiga, y ella dijo: “¡Es muy moderno!”, sin mucho convencimiento. ¿Qué es la modernidad en tu caso? ¿Cómo podés definirla?
Habria que preguntarle a tu amiga qué entendía por moderno. Puede estar referido a la actualidad o al modernismo, que son dos conceptos que tienen un siglo en el medio. Personalmente, no es un término que usaría para mi trabajo. Es bastante confuso.

“La Ascensión” en la Bienal de Venecia de 2005. ¿Cómo fue concebirla, tomar un oratorio del siglo XVIII y ponerle algo infantil como una cama elástica?
El oratorio era un edificio del siglo XVIII que se usaba para ejecutar música religiosa. En el techo había un mural que representaba la Asunción de la Vírgen rodeado por un marco de curvas y contracurvas típicamente barroco. Decidí entonces hacer una cama elástica del mismo tamaño del fresco y con la misma forma que el marco, instalada exactamente debajo del mural. Y Edgardo Rudnitzky compuso una pieza para viola da gamba (un instrumento de esa época y reproducido en una pintura mural en el mismo edificio) y la percusión hecha por un acróbata saltando en la cama elástica. Obviamente el acróbata nunca llegaba al mural que estaba a ocho metros de altura, y la percusión regular sobre la cama elástica era una prueba de esto. El trabajo es un encuentro de la pintura bidimensional con un objeto tridimensional incluida la acción del acróbata que perfora el espacio regularmente en cada salto. También es el encuentro entre la ficción perfecta de la ascensión a través de la pintura y la realidad de nuestro espacio, quizá más banal y sujeto a inevitables leyes físicas.

Tus mapas también: ¿qué hay para intervenir en algo tan rígido como la topografía de una ciudad? ¿Por qué mapas? ¿Qué te atrae de ellos?
En general trabajo con cosas que tengo a mano, cosas que estoy acostumbrado a manipular. Los mapas que se obtienen en oficinas de turismo o se compran en librerías son objetos que en general usamos para tener una primera aproximación a una ciudad. Al calar esos mapas lo que viene a primer plano es la materialidad del soporte, la fragilidad del papel y la reacción de éste a la gravedad. La atención pasa de la representación de la ciudad a la realidad tridimensional del papel. Pero a nivel de la representación: ¿qué ocurre en una ciudad en donde los lugares en donde la gente habita o a donde la gente va han desaparecido? La ciudad se transforma en una red de vasos conductores sin sentido, algo así como una hoja muerta.

Una básica: ¿por qué arte? ¿Qué cosas influyeron para llegar a hacerlo?
A mis 19 años empecé la Escuela de Bellas Artes sin tener ninguna idea de lo que era ser artista. Simplemente fui porque me gustaba dibujar. En esa época la Escuela tenía grandes problemas, estaba en un momento muy difícil de transición entre la dictadura y la democracia. Pero a pesar de esto en la escuela conocí gente que también estaba estudiando como Pablo Siquier y Ernesto Ballesteros, que fueron muy importantes para empezar a entender el fenómeno artístico. Los 90s en Buenos Aires no fueron un momento muy propicio para el tipo de trabajo que hacía, y entonces fue un buen momento para hacer experiencias como artista en residencia en Europa. Esos viajes me sirvieron sobre todo para relativizar mi lugar de orÍgen y para entender que no existen lugares ideales en el mundo para hacer nuestro trabajo. Y también para tomar la decisión de seguir trabajando internacionalmente pero con la base en Buenos Aires.

Haber expuesto en todo el mundo, ser parte de colecciones como Tate Modern, ¿qué enseñanza te deja?
Tener obras en museos tan importantes y visitados como Tate y Moma es una gran satisfacción. Ante esto siento un gran alivio: sé que hay obras que van a ser cuidadas de una manera que para mí sería imposible. Con respecto a exponer en otras partes del mundo, creo que se asimila bastante a lo que ocurre con los viajes, uno conoce gente nueva, gente que reacciona de maneras diferentes ante los mismos objetos porque tiene historias y geografías diferentes. Exponer en otros países es a veces muy sorprendente.

Tu obra está basada en ideas, pide pararse y pensar, ver el recoveco. ¿Es así en tu opinión? ¿Cómo es trabajar en esa tesitura cuando la cabeza humana pide maximalismo, impacto y efecto?
No estoy muy seguro si mi obra está basada en ideas o si son simplemente el producto del desarrollo de algunas imágenes y las ideas o los pensamientos son una consecuencia de ellas. En todo caso preferiría que fuera de esta última manera. Sin duda en general no son obras impactantes. Prefiero lograr que se produzca una relación íntima entre el espectador y el objeto, algo así como la que tiene el lector con su libro. El problema a resolver es cómo llevar al espectador hacia ese encuentro.

En ese punto, ¿qué es Jorge Macchi, cuáles son las líneas y valores que guían todo esto?
Es una pregunta que preferiría responder a los 80 años de edad. Igualmente algo de esa respuesta está en este diálogo.

No hay un material común en tu obra, un sustrato, no es todo óleo, escultura, instalación, etcétera. Hay desde un bote a pedal hasta una bola de espejos. ¿Juega en contra la variedad? ¿Te importa establecer una constante en ese sentido?
Cada una de las obras parte de una imagen que después trata de encontrar el soporte específico, el soporte que logre extraer la esencia de esa imagen. Por eso para mí es imposible trabajar con un solo medio. Pero antes de considerar esto como un problema trato de que en mi muestras convivan los diferentes soportes y poner justamente en crisis la idea de coherencia. Mi deseo es que más allá de la superficie se perciba un sustrato común, un río subterráneo que unifique a todos los trabajos.

¿Y al Mundial, quién lo gana?
Lo va a ganar el equipo que funcione mejor como equipo y no aquel que reúna a las mejores individualidades.

FOTO 1: Jorge Macchi por Jorge Miño

FOTO 2: La balada de Matsuyama (2010) Video NTSC. Color, sonido stereo, 06:45

FOTO 3: La ascension (2005) Jorge Macchi / Edgardo Rudnitzky, Bienal de Venecia 2005. Oratorio San Filippo Neri, Venice. Cama elástica con fresco de la Asunción de María en el cielorraso del Oratorio.

FOTO 4: Match (2007) acuarela sobre papel. 30 x 40 cm

FOTO 5: Seascape (2006) papel. 100 x 130 cm, foto: Edouard Fraipont, cortesía Galeria Luisa Strina

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