Publication: Alberto Heredia

We present the catalog for the exhibition Alberto Heredia. Text: Fernando García / Design: Andrés Sobrino / Photography: Cecilia Espinosa / Production: Galería Del Infinito / Staff: Estela Gismero, Julián Mizrahi, Melisa Boratyn, Mariel Renzullo.


Herediated: recently invented neologism* that aims to give account of the action of Alberto Heredia (Buenos Aires, 1924-2000) over matter -either real or represented-, the body, art, life, and death. It is also said that what is “herediaded” is what persists as a mark of Alberto Heredia’s actions within in contemporary Argentine art and which finally multidisciplinary and polymorphic practice has incorporated, inherited (“herediaded”).

Inheriting, to “herediate”; These proximities in the (Spanish) language emerge in Alberto Heredia’s work. But every word that is said and written, is immediately questioned by his images. How to speak of “corpus” (that academicism) without first thinking about the reductions of the classical sculptural body (pedestal and bronze) to a mutilated object: inherited “corpuscles”. Like a jíbaro from the Amazon, Heredia exposes us to a bestiary of teeth and muzzled mouths as a reduced representation of the human. The “gags” makes one think and relate immediately to the black history of the Argentine Torture State, and what is inherited (“herediated”) is thus reduced to a political metaphor or a contested input like so many other works. But the inherited is nothing but what relies between “gag” and “biting”, in those interstices of language is where his pieces choose to venture into the visible. The reduced, “jibarized” sculptures, as indecipherable totemic figures. Because “inheriting” (“herediating”) the world (and art) is to drive its temporality crazy: the archaic-rustic that always comes from a future that seems dangerous. So, if we want political signatures in the inherited, then we have to accept its playful thickness: gag and bite. “The complete man, not the mutilated one”, Bataille reasoned and in the inherited object we see this thought exploding through the air.

“A desert a sky falsifies the being / empty voice, thick tongue from coffins / the being meets the being / the head steals the being / the disease vomits a black sun of sputum” (“Oh skull”)

With Heredia’s works, Bataille’s saying is exposed as in capital letters. And vice versa, too. Can something more certain to be said than “it smells like blood” (The Inner Experience, 1943) when you are facing the crazy grotesque works that Heredia proposes? And what to say about when the “I feel rotten” by Baitaille becomes an object in those Camembert boxes where art, life and death corrupt each other? It comes to the case those classic images of Heredia in Paris when framed in a vivo-dito moment by Alberto Greco. Because that beret and raincoat Heredia is a ghost of the French-speaking diceur. His face makes us think of Brel or Leonard Cohen. A “shameless”, a solitary and caustic dandy with limited motor skills (his legendary lag). Every time we hear the song of “Life is an absurd wound” (“La última curda”), we are his microcosm of bandaged becomes representated as sutured objects (think of Goyeneche’s same broken diction as an extension of the inherited). The “Herediated” can be finally seen as an essay on pain in art: from the philo-Christian martyrology to Fontana’s spatial vandalism and postmodern gore aesthetics. A wound: Heredia*2.

The “herediated” is before and after, it goes through. It is as post-informal as it is protopunk; as barbaric (it has something of a paleolithic fetish) as civilized (it is inscribed in the second coming of the radical vanguard). It appears somewhere between Greco (there are papers that seem interchangeable), Destructive Art (The Kenneth Kemble Experience), Neo Figuration and Arte Coso (Santantonín, Wells and later), all that 1961 blend that marked fifty years of Argentine art by ahead, and seems to have no expiration or extend its rot ad eternum.

Heredia died but his works laugh at the screams of death. Blessed are the barbarians who “inherit” it today because theirs will be the future.

Fernando García,
August 16, 2017

* Herediado: play of words in Spanish transforming the surname Heredia into an action verb.
*2 In Spanish, the word that stands for wound (herida) has similar spelling like Heredia, so this expression is a play of words in this language.

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