hG, Spare Parts: A Crime Has Many Stories in Buenos Aires

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Diego Erlan: The Artwork Killer, Clarin Magazine

, December 2008

The audience prepares for the excursion. ’s story already happened: the video-projected reading of The Madwoman and the Story of a Crime that was seen at the Malba auditorium last Saturday that began with a close-up image of the writer’s mouth and ended with the figure of Piglia, in the distance, in an empty and dark auditorium. The presentation of is over, the “exquisite cadaver” project that collector had been preparing for almost a year along with film director and the collaboration of Alejandro Ruiz, and Sonia Becce within the framework of the haudenschild Garage, a platform that seeks “cultural experimentation, play and conversation”. The explanation for the goal of this project has already occurred: “to generate a dynamic event that takes place across literature, art and the city”. Some of the participating artists have already gone up on stage: from and the Tucumán-born artist , to and the troupe of publishers, that had set up a kiosk with T-shirts and books at the entrance of the space and was in charge of putting together the catalog of the event. The “survival kit” has already been presented, which those assisting will receive to begin a journey that will take them from the museum to a abandoned garage on Tucumán Street, from there to the Museo de Calcos, and finally to La Boca. But when the audience spills out of the auditorium enthused, it encounters the rain, a gray wall that looks like a huge blank television screen. “Deluge in Buenos Aires,” announces the radio. Avello’s luminous work in the museum esplanade is at the red limit due to the thunder and the water that drenches the wood. Suddenly those assisting search the damn survival kit for something that will help them survive the weather. There is a map, some chipás, but no raincoat. Not even a plastic supermarket bag to improvise with. The most adventurous of the lot make a run for the school buses parked in front.

At nightfall the event will conclude with the reading of The Son the story by Cucurto, but before that, the first stop. The abandoned garage on Tucumán Street. Peeling walls, water-logged corners, darkness. There, artist Rosalba Mirabella asks a woman as blonde as she is what she thinks of the piece. “It’s perfect, cousin,” says the blonde woman. “I’m serious, look, I’m getting goose bumps,” says the blonde woman without averting her eyes from the screens that show different images of the apartment where Mirabella worked for a month and twenty five days, an apartment located in San Telmo that now appears to be destroyed. This isn’t the original piece. “I didn’t want to talk about the piece I was working on, the piece I lost, or about what happened,” the Tucumán-born artist told me. But one finds out: a fire destroyed her piece. All of her work. All that is left are the three screens that show the remains of the apartment, a close-up of the artist facing the camera, describing the place, and a third off to the side that shows her staring at the ground. “The only thing left is a wrecked laptop,” she says and points to a corner. A charred Olivetti resting on a wooden box. Nobody says anything, but those returning to the school buses to continue with the excursion know who the guilty party is. Who killed the work of art. Rosalba also knows, but she doesn’t say. That much is clear.