The project Persona by artist Gerardo Goldwasser represents Uruguay at the 59th International Art Exhibition of the Venice Biennale 2022, presented under the title La leche del sueño (The Milk of the Dream).
The proposal, curated by Laura Malosetti Costa and Pablo Uribe, was selected by the National Commission of Visual Arts, through a public convocation made by the National Institute of Visual Arts, with the support of the Department of Internationalization of Culture of the National Directorate of Culture of Uruguay. Persona dialogues and considers the theme proposed by Cecilia Alemani, Artistic Director of the Biennial, through the following excerpt from Leonora Carrington's book:
A white woman wore black.
Black with black. She had black pijamas
and black soap.
All her things were black
Black as night. Black as coal.
When the woman cried,
her tears were blue
like little parrots.
The woman cried
a lot and she played the flute.
The Milk of Dreams. Leonora Carrington
Taking this fragment as a reference, Laura Malosetti Costa and Pablo Uribe, express in the curatorial text, The culture of dressing, which accompanies the proposal:
“In Venice, from Uruguay and for the whole world, Gerardo Goldwasser´s work proposes a critical reflection that puts an aspect that is both basic and complex of human societies on stage: the ways of covering and exhibiting bodies, of disciplining them, and of differentiating them. The issue presented refers to the ways in which human beings perceive themselves as persons by constructing their appearance, the way of entering the stage every day of their life. The etymology of the concept refers to the classical theater. “Actor´s mask was its first meaning. That mask can be found at the origin of the culture of dress.”
Gerardo Goldwasser belongs to a generation that burst onto the national art scene in the late 1980s with an extremely unique work. During the decline of the military dictatorship, the neo-expressionism prevailing in the Montevideo art scene came face to face with two rare exceptions who, curiously enough, were affirmed and continued different family traditions: Marcelo Legrand (1961), whose great-grandfather was an astronomer, his grandfather a botanist and his father a composer, and Gerardo Goldwasser (1961), third-generation heir to the tailor's trade.
Gerardo Goldwasser's work -mainly made up of elements of patternmaking and tailoring- has imposed itself in the local environment and his repeated participation in international biennials (Mercosur, Havana, Cuenca, Panama), for its extreme formal austerity and its precise conceptualization, accompanied by a strong professional ethic.
With direct references to tailoring, minimalism, and the international geometric tradition, he found his definitive recognition in the local medium with the anthological exhibition Vaivén (National Museum of Visual Arts, 2017), which opened a broad spectrum of possibilities for his future inscription in the international art circuit.
Persona is a project devised and produced exclusively for this call, with a strong humanist character, which invites the viewer to participate in the work, to look and think about the representation of bodies, their costumes, and their metamorphoses.
It also invites us to reflect on the darkest aspect of the culture of dress and, in the same gesture to imagine new, creative ways of installing oneself as a person in a context of a crisis in which mechanization and new technologies are becoming increasingly dehumanizing, and more uniform under the assumptions of "efficient" use of everything that surrounds us and involves us.