PATRICIO LARRAMBEBERE   Works Exhibitions Texts Cv Contact ABTE
   
Statement (PL August 2010)











text of Valeria González for the book IN SEARCH THE LOST SENSE papers editores (2010)















Daniel Quiles on The Chosen instrument II in Beginning with a Bang! Americas Society New York (2007)



a letter to Emma Dexter about COGHLAN show at Juana de Arco (2006) by Patricio Larrrambebere.

























The ABTE temporary headquarters MAMBA 2002/03 (PL 2002)











The very substance of memory. by Beatriz Vignoli. Buenos Aires Herald, January 14th, 1994.

Rétournement: ABTE’s Railway Interventions Daniel R. Quiles

ABTE: Fifteen Years on the Rails Daniel R. Quiles

Argentinean Railways December 2 to 30, 1998. Museo Nacional Ferroviario.

The point of departure for this book is the exhibition

that Patricio Larrambebere held in the

Museo Nacional Ferroviario (National Railway

Museum) in 1998. This obliges us to go back in time.

In the catalog that accompanied the show, a photograph

of the artist at 8 years of age appears on the

first few pages. It is not simply a biographical illustration.

When he asks himself about its origin, he

refers more to its emotive roots than to the conscious

beginning of the art project. There, he

finds himself in the Coghlan station as a child, when trains still emanated the aura of their ancient splendor, that promise of a prosperous

and generous country. Larrambebere graduated from art school in the mid-1990s, at the height of Carlos. S. Menem’s government, the Peronist president who dismantled and sold off the benefactorstate that had been established decades earlier by

Juan. D. Perón. Along with the privatization of public

entities and national industry going bankrupt, symbolic

capital was also drained of its value. The sensation

of loss on the level of individual memory was added to

by the certainty of a collective loss. Since then and to

date, Patricio Larrambebere’s work has passed among

the most diverse of supports and languages, but always

in response to the same suspicion: that along

with the abandoned trains, hopes and values were

agonizing, lives were extinguished and an entire culture

was drained of its history and identity.

His painting is rooted in a tradition of mimicry,

because it has documental implications. It is not related

to the voluntary anachronism of post-modern

“retro” (where ingenious appropriation brings back

a conservative notion of individual style) but rather

to synchronous search between what is painted and

how it is painted. Larrambebere highlighted a work by

Luis Medrano published in an Alpargatas calendar in

1947 on account of the descriptive rigor with which it

represented the inside of a train car. This popular print

coincided precisely with the artist’s concerns.

Even while different forms of realism have been

the object of manipulation and propaganda, Larrambebere

insists on recuperating art as a labor whose

secular task to represent the world has been neither

resolved nor exhausted, no matter how often the liberation

of the artist from his or her social responsibilities

has been foretold. In turn, conserving the memory

of the old trains also implies defending workers and

their jobs, victims of neo-liberalism’s submission to

the impunity of global capital. When Larrambebere

restored the letters of a station sign that had been

erased by time with his own paintbrush, was he an

artist or a laborer as a painter? The evaluation of

work as a creative activity makes no distinction between

art and manual trades according to specific

procedures, but differentiates between the mere production

of results and the capability to think about

the conditions in which we construct our lives. He did

not repaint the entire sign, only half, whose renovated

presence coexists with the worn out traces. His task

was not to create a staged simulacrum that denied

oblivion, but to reveal the field of tensions upon which

memory is built up.

In parallel to his paintings, Larrambebere began

to collect vestiges of trains and stations. “Old objectsmake their voices heard to us” only when “they come

into contact with a breath of fresh air.” The point was

not conservation but redemption, and the artistic act

had the power to convert these relics into living footprints.

Just as he would frequently intervene tickets

and signs with drawings and texts, he also dedicated

himself to repairing machines in disuse to make them

operational. From an art world perspective, it was

difficult to perceive the coherence that linked the

“creative” labor of composing images to the task of

mechanical restoration in his work. Larrambebere felt

that each piece demanded its own space. At the outset

of 1997 he carried out a series of interventions in

the Coghlan station, in cooperation with its workers.

In late 1998 he put together a show at the Museo Nacional

Ferroviario, interleaving his pieces into the existing

collection. It was not a fictitious museum, such

as that created by Marcel Broodthaers as a critique

of art institutions. Larrambebere was not attempting

to escape from the power network of the system, but

from its neutrality. In this specific site, the exchange

was mutual: just as the atmosphere of the railroad

collection revealed the context and content of his

work, the artist’s intervention revived the slumbering

potential of this “state premises in the museum category.”

It was a collaborative work that included the

beginning of ties that would be very fruitful. The connection

with the people who work in the museum, old

railroad workers and those from the Plaza Constitución

ticket printing press, two collectors and several

old train enthusiasts would wind up coming together

to create the Agrupación Boletos Tipo Edmondson, or

ABTE (Edmondson-Type Ticket Group), an entity that

persists even today.

The book that accompanied that show was produced

in collaboration with Eduardo Molinari. “Astonishment”

and “awakening” are the words that evoke

the moment when the remains of the past are perceived

as footprints of the future. The historic model

that rules here is not that of a historian, but of a revolutionary

thinker. Walter Benjamin was interested

in Paris’ 19th-century alleyways that had fallen into

disuse just a short time earlier. He was not interested

in conserving the past, but in reviving the recently extinguished

sparks of utopian promises found there.

He was confident that they would be able to provoke a

collective awakening. Benjamin was concerned about

the narcotic effect of an incipient media culture: the

possibility of a counter-power did not reside in knowledge

and consciousness, but in recovering corporal

sensitivity and willingness. make their voices heard to us” only when “they come

into contact with a breath of fresh air.” The point was

not conservation but redemption, and the artistic act

had the power to convert these relics into living footprints.

Just as he would frequently intervene tickets

and signs with drawings and texts, he also dedicated

himself to repairing machines in disuse to make them

operational. From an art world perspective, it was

difficult to perceive the coherence that linked the

“creative” labor of composing images to the task of

mechanical restoration in his work. Larrambebere felt

that each piece demanded its own space. At the outset

of 1997 he carried out a series of interventions in

the Coghlan station, in cooperation with its workers.

In late 1998 he put together a show at the Museo Nacional

Ferroviario, interleaving his pieces into the existing

collection. It was not a fictitious museum, such

as that created by Marcel Broodthaers as a critique

of art institutions. Larrambebere was not attempting

to escape from the power network of the system, but

from its neutrality. In this specific site, the exchange

was mutual: just as the atmosphere of the railroad

collection revealed the context and content of his

work, the artist’s intervention revived the slumbering

potential of this “state premises in the museum category.”

It was a collaborative work that included the

beginning of ties that would be very fruitful. The connection

with the people who work in the museum, old

railroad workers and those from the Plaza Constitución

ticket printing press, two collectors and several

old train enthusiasts would wind up coming together

to create the Agrupación Boletos Tipo Edmondson, or

ABTE (Edmondson-Type Ticket Group), an entity that

persists even today.

The book that accompanied that show was produced

in collaboration with Eduardo Molinari. “Astonishment”

and “awakening” are the words that evoke

the moment when the remains of the past are perceived

as footprints of the future. The historic model

that rules here is not that of a historian, but of a revolutionary

thinker. Walter Benjamin was interested

in Paris’ 19th-century alleyways that had fallen into

disuse just a short time earlier. He was not interested

in conserving the past, but in reviving the recently extinguished

sparks of utopian promises found there.

He was confident that they would be able to provoke a

collective awakening. Benjamin was concerned about

the narcotic effect of an incipient media culture: the

possibility of a counter-power did not reside in knowledge

and consciousness, but in recovering corporal

sensitivity and willingness.

2011 patriciolarrambebere.org - (ESPAÑOL) 2A