hG commission: Ricardo Piglia “The Madwoman and the Story of a Crime”

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The haudenschild Garage commissioned and produced a video of Argentine writer performing his short story, La Loca y el Relato del Crimen (Madwoman and the Story of a Crime, 1975) for the hG, project . Video directed by Steve Fagin, on the ground coordination by Alejandro Ruiz.

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 Ricardo Piglia’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 Ricardo Piglia

Ricardo Piglia (1941 Adrogue, Argentina) is one of the most innovative contemporary writers in Latin America. He has published three seminal novels Respiracion Artificial (1981; Artificial Respiration, 1994), La Ciudad Ausente (1992; The Absent City, 2000), and Plata Quemada (1997; Money to Burn, 2003) and three collections of short fiction, among them Nombre Falso (1975; Assumed Name, 1995). He is also the author of three volumes of essays, including his most recent publication El Último Lector (2005). His works have been translated to English, French, Italian, German, Portuguese and Greek. Piglia has received a number of awards, including the Premio Casa de las Americas, 1967; Premio Planeta, 1997; Premio Iberoamericano de las Letras, 2005; Premio Internacional de Literatura Jose Donoso in Chile 2005; and the Prix Roger Caillois in France 2008. He is currently Walter S. Carpenter Professor of Literature at Princeton University, where he teaches Latin American literature. As a critic, Piglia has been a historian of popular culture writing about such authors as Jorge Luis Borges, Arlt, Julio Cortázar, and Manuel Puig.