LALANA is an applied arts project that proposes to transfer the works of Argentine visual artists to the production of utilitarian pieces: handmade carpets and tapestries, wallpapers and furniture objects.
LALANA. ensayo 2 is the second edition of a series of exhibitions that explore different ways of exhibiting and disseminating lalana, the project conceived by Argentine curator Florencia Cherñajovsky. Threading an interdisciplinary fabric, the undertaking that began in 2019 works together with artists and artisans to create pieces that propose new ways of activating and inhabiting works of art.
These carpets or tapestries exist in a borderline and summoning space; between the artistic, artisanal, decorative, functional and domestic. Ensayo 2 extends the possibilities of overflowing modern and contemporary art to other materialities, in a rethinking of scales and points of view. The selected works have been made in the intimacy of the artist’s studio and contain that
creative and unique moment in front of the canvas or sheet of paper. LALANA intervenes in that instant with hands that weave collectively, creating a piece crossed by new bodies and experiences. Unlike a painting or a drawing that is contemplated with a certain distance, textiles make physical contact possible: their hair invites caressing, friction. With this action, the distance between the body and the image is shortened to the point of almost eliminating it. This flexibility in their use and disuse brings new statements: carpets and wallpapers, for example, function both as a container -delimiting a spatial frame- and as content, projecting an image.
The designs gathered here belong to Roberto Aizenberg (1928-1996), Luis Fernando Benedit (1937-2011) and Jazmín Berakha (1980). A set of different generations that address the idea of undefined space. Whether from a work of planes and perspectives, the three artists put us in front of enigmatic situations. Aizenberg and Benedit, both linked to architecture, build scenes by layers and cross-sections. A landscape is then generated, inhabited by Benedit’s colorful traces, Aizenberg’s cornered figure and Berakha’s soft silhouettes, which stand in a struggle against gravity. In all cases, bodies, fleeting or phantasmagoric, are perceived.
These hybrid objects are born from a heterogeneous mixture associated with Latin America, used as a tool to rethink the «semi-modern, semi-developed, semi-indigenous» (1). In this way, LALANA challenges the viewer by provoking unprecedented forms of connection with the works, which are detached from their original support to occupy new spaces, fluctuating between art and design.
Florencia Cherñajovsky March, 2022.
(1) Néstor García Canclini, Culturas híbridas: Estrategias para entrar y salir de la modernidad, Mexico City, Grijalbo, 1990.