The Contemporary Art Centre (CAC), Vilnius is delighted to present “Tactics & Techniques”, a solo exhibition by Alejandro Cesarco, his first ever in Lithuania. “Tactics & Techniques” furthers the artist’s exploration of notions of personal narrative, style, aging, influence and inheritance. Uncharacteristically, the exhibition carries a somewhat urgent tone, a shift form Cesarco’s usual romantic and rather melancholic approach. It would appear that “Tactics & Techniques” is demanding that a decision be made, something needs to be done.
ARTWORKS IN THE EXHIBITION
Learning the Language (Present Continuous II), 2018, video, colour, sound, continuous loop (15:25 min cycle).
Learning the Language (Present Continuous II) is part of a series of video portraits in which Cesarco borrows the vocabulary of the person portrayed to address some of his own recurrent concerns (memory, repetition, regrets, etc.). In this case, the work recreates a scene from Jean-Luc Godard’s film La Chinoise (1967) in which a professor, travelling on a train, engages in conversation with one of his students. The same scene was recreated by Claire Denis in her short film Vers Nancy (2002). In Cesarco’s work the professor’s role is played by Brazilian psychoanalyst, critic and curator, Suely Rolnik. The conversation centres around the role and uses of repetition within psychoanalytical practice. The video was commissioned by the 33rd Bienal de São Paulo.
Index (With Feeling), 2015, framed digital c-prints, A-Z in 9 double page spreads, 76 × 102 cm each.
Index (With Feeling) is the most recent and largest in an ongoing series of indexes, which Cesarco has composed for books he has not yet written and most probably never will. The indexes are an ongoing project that map the development of Cesarco’s interests, readings and preoccupations and thus become a form of self-portraiture that unfolds over time. Index (With Feeling) addresses particular states of weak affects: aesthetic categories grounded in ambivalent or even explicitly contradictory feelings.
The Difference Between Thirty Two and Forty Five, 2017, framed two colour silkscreen, 13 x 19 cm.
A humorous and literal depiction of the artist’s fears regarding aging as well as a direct nod towards the work of American artist Larry Johnson.
Direction, 2019, black matte vinyl, 22 x 28 cm.
A line from T.S. Eliot’s poem, The Love Song of J. Alfred Prufrock acts as a stage or script direction for an unidentified actor. Written when Eliot was in his twenties but speaking from the position of a middle-aged man, the poem thematises an extreme hesitancy and indecision: a paralysis produced by an overwhelming anxiety about the possibility of getting things wrong.
In parallel to “Tactics & Techniques” two other videos by Cesarco will be screened every Wednesday in the CAC Cinema Hall.
Learning the Language (Present Continuous I), 2018, video, colour, sound, continuous loop (18:25 min).
Learning the Language (Present Continuous I) portrays Margarita Fernández, an Argentinian pianist, performer, and music scholar. The portrait is constructed through a myriad of voices: Cesarco’s, Fernández’s, but also Morton Feldman’s. In addition, it includes piano interpretations of a section of Franz Schubert’s Andantino from the Sonata in A Major, as well as a fragmented rendition of Manuel de Falla’s Pour le tombeau de Paul Dukas. This video was commissioned by Jeu de Paume, Paris, CAPC, Bordeaux, and Museo Amparo, Puebla.
Zeide Isaac, 2009, single channel installation, 16mm transferred to video, colour, sound, 6 minutes.
In Zeide Isaac, the artist’s grandfather, originally from Lithuania and a Holocaust survivor, performs a script written by Cesarco and based on the elder’s personal story. The work explicitly addresses the possibilities, limitations and responsibilities of testimony. The layering of narrative voices and the passage of time between the event and it’s retelling, from first-hand experience to third generation, is allegorically implied in his grandfather’s passage from witness to actor.
ALEJANDRO CESARCO was born in Uruguay in 1975, and currently lives in New York. His selected solo exhibitions include: Song at the Renaissance Society, Chicago (2017); Public Process, Sculpture Center, New York (2017); Prescribe The Symptom, Midway Contemporary Art, Minneapolis, US (2015), Secondary Revision, Frac Île-de-France/Le Plateau, Paris (2013), A Portrait, A Story, And An Ending, Kunsthalle Zürich, Switzerland (2013), Alejandro Cesarco, MuMOK, Vienna (2012); One Without The Other, Museo Rufino Tamayo, Mexico (2011), Present Memory, Tate Modern, London (2010). He represented Uruguay at the 54th Venice Biennial (2011). Selected group exhibitions include: Under The Same Sun, The Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum, New York (2014), The Imminence of Poetics, 30th Bienal de São Paulo (2012), Short Stories, Sculpture Center, New York (2011); and Nine Screens, The Museum of Modern Art, New York (2010.) Cesarco has also curated exhibitions in the U.S., Uruguay, Argentina and was one of the curators of the 33rd Bienal de São Paulo (2018). He is director of the non-profit arts organisation, Art Resources Transfer.
Image: still frame from Alejandro Cesarco film Learning the Language (Present Continuous II) (2018)