On September 5, 2007 the haudenschildGarage invited Lisa Tan to present work from her May 2007 trip to Buenos Aires, Argentina for her Recoleta Garage Project. Click here for more information about that project.
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
Lauri Firstenberg http://curatorsintl.org/collaborators/lauri_firstenberg
Lisa Tan www.lisatan.net