On September 5, 2007 the haudenschild Garage held a FUEL4TALK with Lisa Tan who presented work from her May 2007 trip to Buenos Aires, Argentina for her Recoleta Garage Project. Click here for more information about that project.
She was in conversation with Derrick Cartwright (Director of University Galleries and Professor of Practice, University of San Diego) and Lauri Firstenberg (Director, LAXART). Following the talk was a Pizza Challenge – challenging directors of museums and alternative spaces to choose the best tasting pizza.
Provisionally titled Recoleta, this project began during my first trip to Argentina in August of 2006. The Recoleta cemetery is located in a well-heeled neighborhood in Buenos Aires that bears the same name. Initially, this site piqued my interest when I learned that it is configured like a city. It is in fact a city of a couple hundred mausoleums—a distinctive and elite necropolis.
The graves vary in style, density, and material. Some are ornate over-built structures that could house a small café, and others are minimal blocks of smooth granite. They all exist side by side along paths that branch off from main “boulevards,” mimicking the cosmopolitan surroundings just beyond the cemetery walls.
To take this potent site into account, I decided to make grave rubbings of select mausoleums, while avoiding all literal and figurative aspects—including areas of text, image, or overly descriptive textures. Marble statuary, glass doors, bronze plaques, and crosses, all dissolve into a collection of black monochromes. En masse, they vary little from one rubbing to the next; they become voids that reflect of a repository of unknowable histories.
Over the course of my stay in Buenos Aires, I will be posting a selection of images of my daily experience in the city. (Viva Argentina!) — Lisa Tan
In January of 2010 Lisa Tan revisited her project Recoleta and reflected on how three years changed her perspective on the project and the collection of drawings born out of the experience.
About the Participants
Derrick Cartwright returned to the University of San Diego in the fall of 2012 to fill a newly created position as Director of University Galleries and Professor of Practice. Cartwright was the Executive Director of the San Diego Museum of Art from 2004 – 2009. In 2009 he became the Director of the Seattle Art Museum until 2012. Born in San Francisco, Cartwright received his undergraduate degree from UC Berkeley, his masters degree from UCLA, and his doctorate from the University of Michigan, all in the History of Art. In 1998, he served as the first full-time director of the Musée d’Art Américain Giverny in France. He has published extensively on American art, photography, public art, and the history of Franco American cultural exchange.
Lauri Firstenberg is the Founder and Director/Curator of LAXART, Los Angeles, CA and received her Ph.D. in the History of Art and Architecture Department at Harvard University in 2005. She founded LAXART in 2005 – the leading independent nonprofit exhibition space in Los Angeles. She is currently curating the 2008 California Biennial, Orange County Museum of Art. Exhibitions Firsenberg has curated at LAXART include Daniel Martinez: How I Fell In Love With My Dirty Bomb, Ruben Ochoa: Extracted, TOROLAB: SOS Emergency Architecture, Lisa Tan: One Night Stand, Michael Queenland: Museum of Romantic Life, Adria Julia: A Means of Passing the Time, amongst others. She co-curated with Anton Vidokle Image Bank for Everyday Revolutionary Life at the Gallery at REDCAT (Roy and Edna Disney/Calarts Theatre), 2006 and Isaac Julien: True North, and Amir Zaki: Spring Through Winter, Mak Center, 2005. Firstenberg was formerly the Assistant Director/Curator of the MAK Center for Art and Architecture and the Schindler House, Los Angeles and Curator of Artists Space, New York. She has contributed to a host of publications on contemporary art including Art Papers, Frieze, Contemporary, Flash Art, Nka, Art Journal, Parkett, Lab 71 amongst others. She is the founder of L’art a new online publication for contemporary art. She is Adjunct Faculty in the Public Art Program at USC Roski School of Art and at Sciarc, Los Angeles.
Lisa Tan (www.lisatan.net) is an artist based in Brooklyn and Stockholm. Her work draws from personal and collective history, particularly in the realms of literature and cinema to deal with longing and loss as constant conditions of being. Many of Tan’s works involve an interest in the conditions of nighttime and solitude as experienced in the context of iconic urbanism. Her work has been exhibited at venues such as Centro Galego de Arte Contemporáneo CGAC (Santiago de Compostela), Kadist Art Foundation (Paris), El Centro Cultural Montehermoso (Vitoria-Gasteiz), Andreas Grimm (Munich), FDC Satellite (Brussels), Artists Space (New York), Galerie Kamm (Berlin), D’Amelio Terras (New York), Harris Lieberman (New York), and LAXART (Los Angeles). She was the 2009 artist-in-residence at FRAC Bourgogne, (Fonds Régional d’Art Contemporain – Région Bourgogne). Her work has been featured and reviewed in publications such as Artforum, artforum.com, Glänta, Blind Spot, FlashArt, and Art Papers. Lisa Tan received her B.A. from the University of Texas at El Paso and her M.F.A. from the University of Southern California (USC).