Music Stands Still

Jorge Macchi disco ball w

Music Stands Still is a major exhibition at S.M.A.K., showing work by the Argentine artist Jorge Macchi (Buenos Aires, 1963).

Jorge Macchi refuses to let himself be pushed into any art history category. The quality of his work lies in an openness that is absolute and without complexes. He achieves maximum perception using a minimum of form: the viewer should not try to interpret the work, but simply to experience looking at it. His images (in the form of watercolours, sculptures, installations and videos) are often delicate and austere, but with the implication of a compressed and sometimes almost unruly emotionality. In Incidental Music, for example, this ‘unmannered’ theme is expressed in the sentences cut out of newspaper articles on murders and accidents, whose form inconspicuously transforms into musical staves. The work called 5 Notes also combines fragile elements with blind aggression, in the form of an empty score pierced by steel cables. The longest distance between two points was made especially for S.M.A.K. Several hundred silver posts with blue ribbons, as used in airports, zigzag across the room and represent both the physical definition of a slavish herd mentality and the mental openness of the endless horizon of an immense azure-blue sea. The exhibition concentrates on Macchi’s artistic production over the last seven years, supplemented by a smaller body of older work which acts as a sort of accent. The presentation at S.M.A.K. was worked out in close cooperation with Macchi and was designed as an all-embracing atmospheric circuit that exposes several intuitive atmospheres and clusters works around such instinctive aspects as music, light and shade, blurring, openness and delineation, which are to be found in Macchi’s work. Macchi appears to have the gift of wandering hypersensitively through reality in a daydream. His work suggests the existence of a mysterious, unheimliche parallel world beneath the surface of everyday banality.

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