Didem Doğan

CCK: Centro Cultural Kirshner, Democracy at work

As you walk along the Puerto Madero district, the harbour district by the river, you come to the pedestrian avenue and turn left where you will see the splendid building that looks like standing in a Parisian postcard. The Cultural Center of Kirshner, taking its name from the former president of Argentina, used to be the main post office of the city and from 2015 on it has become one of the main public culture and art spaces. It has a concert hall, five auditoriums, eighteen halls, forty art galleries, two terraces, sixteen rehearsal halls; you may spend quite a time in its nine floors to see exhibitions, attend concerts or else. 

The exhibition ‘Democracy at work’, which we saw during our visit, gathered Argentinian and international artists from a multi-disciplinary perspective and consisted of photographies, video works, sculptures taking into account Argentina’s 35 year experience with democracy as well as asking the very simple question ‘What is democracy?’ and ‘Is it really the best political regime of our times?’ 

Some of them: Zaqistan, a work of an artist from the US is a video work that shows artist’s desert land bought for 610 USD in state of Utah in order to build a the state of Zaqistan; he started his project to critique the Bush government of the time and aiming to be a legitimate state! Clever and funny, he is questioning the issue of legitimacy of nations. 

The Portuguese artist Marco Godinho made a world map like design on the wall by repetitive stamps on which it’s written ‘Forever immigrant’. 

The Brazilian political writer Eduardo Rombauer talks to political activists in his veo and asks ‘What is Democracy?’. The Argentinian artist Mondongo’s work Marca (Dollar) is a one dollar made my silver strings hanged from the ceiling, the one dollar bill is frozen as an object of desire. 

Another Argentinian artist Cristina Piffer ‘Doscientos pesos fuertes’ is part of her series ‘The signs of Money’, she draws a graffiti like peso on the wall. The argentinian Panlo Suárez made a sculpture of a naked man climbing on the wall, named Cucaracha to question the act of climbing the stairs of success in a Capitalist society. 

Another Argentinian artist Marta Minujin and her work ‘Partenon of Books’ refers to her building a metal platform with twenty thousand books on one of the main avenues of Buenos Aires, the 9th of July in 1983, taken as the starting of the democratic regime after a long military period. The artist exhibited a similar work last year in 14th edition of Documenta. 

Another Argentinian artist and political activist Eduardo Gil shows the pictures of the Siluetazo movement in 1983 when many artists, political activists exhibited the silhouette of their bodies in order to call attention the disappeared people during the military regime. 

Lastly, the Etcétera Group from Buenos Aires shows the video work of their performance in February 2009 at the Vila Crespo neighbourhood in Buenos Aires, at the intersection of Israel and Palestina streets, the only place in the world where the names of these two staes stand next to each other; their sui generis movement ‘Errorismo’ has a manifestation that says ‘everyone has the right to make mistakes’. Congratulations! 

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