155. Simón's Ballad
08.07.2017 – 08.10.2017
Curator: Valentín Roma
Opening: Friday 7th July, 7 pm
Free guided tours: Tuesday at 6 pm
This exhibition uses drawings, maps and documents to reconstruct the life of Simón Radowitzky, the Ukrainian Argentine anarchist. Following the brutal police repression during Red Week in Buenos Aires in 1909, Radowitzky attacked Ramón Lorenzo Falcón, the chief of police responsible, and was sentenced to life imprisonment in the notorious Ushuaia Prison.
Gonzalo Elvira (Patagonia, 1971) creates projects that explore collective moments that compose, so to speak, a kind of landscape of red lines or rearguards of the past. In keeping with the methods of Italian ‘microhistory’—whose many exponents include Carlo Ginzburg, Giovanni Levi, Piero Camporesi and Carlo Cipolla—Elvira looks back at dissidents’ life stories that have been imprecisely recorded or deliberately excluded from the prevailing accounts.
Examples of these exercises to repair political and cultural memory include Elvira’s 12 canciones concretas (2016-2017), inspired by Das Märzgefallenen-Denkmal (Monument to the March Dead, 1922), a piece designed by Walter Gropius as a tribute to the nine workers killed during a strike in Weimar; Bauhaus 1919, modelo para armar (2012-2015), on the legendary German school of arts and crafts, here recalled in a play on words related to 62 / Modelo para armar, the equally emblematic novel by Julio Cortázar, published at the height of the furore in 1968; and lastly Assaig S. T. 1909-1919 (2008-2012), a series that draws a connection between Tragic Week in Barcelona and Red Week in Buenos Aires, not only through their respective dates, 1909 and 1919, but also on the basis of their particular ideological contexts.
155. Simón’s Ballad is a work that reconstructs the life and political exploits of the Ukrainian Argentine anarchist Simón Radowitzky. Following the brutal police repression during Red Week in Buenos Aires in 1909, Radowitzky attacked Ramón Lorenzo Falcón, the chief of police responsible, and was sentenced to life imprisonment in the notorious Ushuaia Prison.
In this work, Elvira uses drawings, documents that he alters and maps to chart Radowitzky’s odyssey from the city of his birth, Stepanice, to Buenos Aires, Ushuaia, Montevideo, Barcelona and finally Mexico. The exhibition includes a piece made by the artist expressly for the Miserachs Room: a mural that uses Radowitzky’s possible daily marks to recreate the 20 years he spent in prison.