ZOOBIOGRAFIA Pigment Prints, 2015 18x12 inches
Zoobiografía (Metrópolis Libros, 2015) is a collection of women’s portraits from my family, self-portraits, and still lives, accompanied by a personal essay in which I explore my identity through gender, blood relationships, and topics that I have always been obsessed with: womanhood, memory, nature, and the ways in which love, art, and religion contribute toward resisting death.
How do we preserve those things that we don’t want to lose? How do we hold an impression, a person, an experience, a feeling?
André Bazin said, “If the plastic arts were put under psychoanalysis, the practice of embalming the dead might turn out to be a fundamental factor in their creation” (Bazin, 2009). He was talking about the idea of the preservation of the body as constituting a work of art about oneself: the mummy as the first self-portrait.
I am attracted to that magical side of photography capable of stopping in time what is in process toward its own disappearance. That power to make things last beyond time. In the end, art should not be more than that: an act against death. Everything is finite and, at once, regenerates. And art is nothing but an attempt to get near what is ineffable and difficult to apprehend.
"The first trip I remember taking with my parents was to some place in northern Argentina. From the entire trip, which must have lasted at least a week, I remember clearly: (1) that we had to turn back after having traveled a few kilometers because we forgot my pillow; (2) that I anxiously awaited being able to touch the clouds and that, when we were finally among them, I suffered my first big disillusion; (3) that my father bought a still life from an old artist that lived on a gray ranch in the middle of nowhere. When we got back home my father hung it in the living room. It was the first time I saw him do anything for the house. It surprised me how much importance he gave to hanging up a picture and, that the painting was of two dead partridges. My father explained it to me: it was a type of painting with no people in which there were fruits, flowers or dead animals in a particular kind of light and absolute stillness. “It’s about the ephemeral,” he said, and he kept hammering in the nail. I then began to discover still lives everywhere."
- Excerpt from Zoobiografía
"My grandfather liked to hunt. He had three shotguns, two pistols, and a revolver with flowers engraved on the handle. He had three hunting dogs: Tom, Cliff and Sebastian. He prepared the red cartridges himself, filling them with gunpowder. Sometimes he’d go with my uncle and my dad. They hunted vizcachas, partridges, hares. Sunday smelled of wild meat. My grandmother would pluck out their feathers one by one, treating them with care, as if she pitied their violent deaths. The necks hanging from the counter, loose, deflated, the feathers all over the kitchen. After, she marinated them. I never understood that morbid pleasure of hunting your own food. As if the brutal act awakened some form of vitality, as if it were linked to life."
"I bought a frozen rabbit at the butcher. I knew it no longer had skin, but it should have had a head and ears. After a day outside the fridge it finally became tender again. It’s bent into itself, like in the fetal position, maintaining the direction of its spine. On the side you can see its ribs and it’s missing its hands and feet. Its extremities end in stumps or the equivalent. It’s entirely pink. They took out the insides, only two violet lips hang from it like tongues stretched from the base of its belly. It has no head, no nose, no eyes, no ears, only a neck bone stained with blood. I felt the violence of its cold but soft and meaty body, the wild smell. I thought I wouldn’t be able to touch him. I felt the urge to treat him with love. To bury him. That no one bite or cut him. That if he was dead, he at least return to the earth to decompose."