garage talk: Eloisa Cartonera & Washington Cucurto

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On October 15, 2009, the haudenschild Garage invited  and Maria Gomez of the Argentine literary collective  for a Garage Talk. They were in conversation with , , (architect, estudio teddy cruz), (Director, UCI Art Gallery) Jennifer Flores-Sternad (art critic and curator), and . Steve Fagin and Juli Carson were moderators and respondents. All of the October 15 participants were part of the November 2008 traverse in Buenos Aires. At the Garage Talk, Cucurto read an excerpt from the hG commissioned short story El Hijo.

Click here to read the full short story.

From October 14 – 16, 2009 Cucurto and Gomez were Artists-In-Residence at the haudenschild Garage. From October 16 – 18, 2008 Cucurto and Gomez traveled to Tijuana to present a lecture and a two-day workshop in conjunction with the haudenschild Garage, inSite, Nortestacion, Epicentrico and the Escuela de Artes de la Universidad Autonoma de Baja California.

A Crime Has Many Stories, is an exquisite corpse project commissioned and produced by Eloisa Haudenschild and Steve Fagin of the haudenschild Garage, based on Argentine writer ’s short story, La Loca y el Relato del Crimen (Madwoman and the Story of a Crime, 1975) set in Buenos Aires and plotted with co-conspirators Judi Werthein, Sonia Becce and Alejandro Ruiz. Piglia’s text generated two site-specific pieces and a commissioned story by Argentine writer Washington Cucurto from Eloisa Cartonera.

In May of 2008, the haudenschild Garage traveled to Buenos Aires to meet with its advisory curatorial committee. Argentine curator Sonia Becce and Argentine artist Judi Werthein selected a short list of artists for the project, working in installation, photo and video. From this short list, Eloisa Haudenschild, Steve Fagin, and Alejandro Ruiz selected artists Roberto Jacoby, Fernanda Laguna and Rosalba Mirabella for the two site-specific pieces. Monica Jovanovich-Kelley coordinated the project in San Diego and Buenos Aires.

On November 29, 2008 a multidisciplinary, one-day extravaganza organized by Argentine producer Alejandro Ruiz began with a video of Ricardo Piglia’s elegant interpretation of his own text performed especially for our event and premiered at Malba – Fundación Costantini (Museo de Arte Latinoamericano de Buenos Aires). We traveled from the opening of the project at Malba – Fundación Costantini to the closing celebration in La Boca by way of the projects by Jacoby, Laguna and Mirabella in a movable feast of culture and repast. The climax of our extravaganza was the inaugural performance of Washington Cucurto’s savagely brilliant short story, El Hijo, commissioned by the haudenschild Garage in response to Piglia’s La Loca y el Relato del Crimen. Cucurto and the literary collective Eloisa Cartonera performed an ensemble reading of the story in La Boca. A catalog of the entire project and a limited edition Survival Kit was provided to the participants at Malba to facilitate their journey. Both were produced in collaboration with Eloisa Cartonera.

About the Participants
Eloisa Cartonera

Eloísa Cartonera is a social and community-related artistic project in Buenos Aires, Argentina. The central office is a cardboard store – a place where cardboard and paper is sold – named “No hay cuchillo sin Rosas” (“There’s no knife without Roses”). There, cardboard collectors, cartoneros, exchange ideas with artists and writers. The cardboard collector is a South American phenomenon and many times there are entire families working as cartoneros. Eloísa Cartonera invents its own aesthetic; open minded and unbiased, wishing to produce reciprocal learning, fueled by creativity. Books with cardboard covers are edited on the street; these covers, painted by hand with temperas and paintbrush, are made of the cardboard that was collected in the streets. Eloisa Cartonera publishes unknown, border and vanguard texts of Argentina, Chile, Mexico, Costa Rica, Uruguay, Brazil and Peru. They have a roster of world-renowned authors including Ricardo Piglia, Cesar Aira, Gonzalo Milan (Chile), and Luis Chavez (Costa Rica).
Click here to visit their website.

Jennifer Flores-Sternad

is a critic, curator, and researcher whose work focuses on militant and public art practices, performance, and art making as a mode of research. She has done extensive research in Argentina, Brazil, Chile and Mexico with fellowships and grants from Harvard University and UCLA. She was the South American Coordinator for the international public art project The School of Panamerican Unrest and the organizer and producer of Público Transitorio, a traveling event series in L.A. that featured artists from throughout the Americas. Jennifer is currently a research fellow at LACE (Los Angeles Contemporary Exhibitions), where she is organizing an exhibition and publication on performance art in Southern California in the 1970s.

Juli Carson

Juli Carson is Associate Professor in the Studio Art Department at UCI where she teaches Critical and Curatorial practice in Contemporary Art and directs the University Art Gallery. She was curator of Exile of the Imaginary: Politics, Aesthetics, Love (Vienna: Generali Foundation, 2007). She also curated the archival exhibition accompanying Mary Kelly’s Post-Partum Document (Vienna: Generali Foundation, 1998). Her essays on conceptualism and psychoanalysis have been published in Art Journal, Documents, October, Texte Zur Kunst and X-Tra, as well as in numerous critical anthologies. She is currently completing her forthcoming book, The Conceptual Unconscious: A Poetics of Critique.

Teddy Cruz

Teddy Cruz was born in Guatemala City. He obtained a Master in Design Studies at Harvard University in 1997 and established his research-based architecture practice in San Diego, California in 2000. He has been recognized internationally for his urban research of the Tijuana-San Diego border, and in collaboration with community-based nonprofit organizations such as Casa Familiar, for his work on affordable housing in relationship to an urban policy more inclusive of social and cultural programs for the city. In 1991 he received the prestigious Rome Prize in Architecture and in 2005 he was the first recipient of the James Stirling Memorial Lecture On The City Prize, by the Canadian Center of Architecture and the London School of Economics. In 2008 he was selected to represent the US in the Venice Architecture Biennial and he is currently a Professor in public culture and urbanism in the Visual Arts Department at University of California, San Diego.

Washington Cucurto

Born Santiago Vega, 1973, Quilmes, Buenos Aires, Argentina, he is better known as Washington Cucurto – Argentine writer, poet, narrator and editor and one of the founders and directors of Eloisa Cartonera, a publishing house that disseminates contemporary Latin American literature. The central office is a place where cardboard and paper is sold. There, cardboard collectors, cartoneros, exchange ideas with artists and writers. Eloisa Cartonera invents its own aesthetic; open minded and unbiased, wishing to produce reciprocal learning, fueled by creativity. Books with cardboard covers are edited on the street; these covers, painted by hand, are made of the cardboard collected in the streets. Eloisa Cartonera publishes world-renowned, unknown, border and vanguard texts of Argentina, Chile, Mexico, Costa Rica, Uruguay, Brazil and Peru.

With the publication of Cucurto’s first book of poetry, Zelarayán (1998), he burst forth on to the South American cultural scene creating, along with other poets, the style today known as Realismo Atolondrado. Both in poerty and novels, the Cucurto experience is an explosion of music and insolence with invented words, insults to politicians and reflections on literary masters. Other books of poetry include La Máquina de hacer paraguayitos (2000), 20 pungas contra un pasajero (2003) and Hatuchay (2005). Some of his novels include Fer (Eloísa Cartonera, 2003), Panambí (Eloisa Cartonera, 2004) and Las aventuras del Sr. Maiz (Interona, 2005). His poems have appeared in anthologies published in Mexico, Chile and Germany. His 2003 novel, Cosa de Negros (Nigga Shit), made him a cult author especially among young readers. These novels and poems describe the Dominican, Peruvian and Paraguayan immigration of the mid-1990s to Buenos Aires. In 2005, 2006 and 2007 he received a scholarship from Akademie Schloss Solitude, Stuttgart.