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The Political Insight of Leˇn Ferrari Through a Camera Lense

September 15th, 2014

News from Berlin – “Western-Christian Civilization” is one of the most polemic art works by the Argentine artist León Ferrari. The sculpture shows Christ crucified on the wings of a US war plane. The work of art was awarded the Golden Lion in the 52nd Venice Biennale and it subsequently caused a turning point for the Argentine art scene. This happened in 1965. Almost fifty years after, another Argentine, Rubén Guzmán, has made a documentary on Ferraris’ work.

“The only thing I would ask art is that she helps me to communicate my thoughts in the clearest way possible”. This is a quote in the documentary by Ferrari, who was always considered a conceptual artist. The documentary provides insight into the author and his vision of the world marked by the exile and the fights against the censorship. He was willing to call his work “politics” or even “corrosive criticism” instead of art, to show that there was something else than simply aesthetics present in his pieces. This is highlighted in the documentary. Guzmán is able to connect with different aspects of the life of the artist. The documentary follows the flow of his discourse and his passion – testimony to his immersive political thoughts. According to Julieta Zarankin, who developed the idea of the “Festival Invasión”, along with Carolina Böttner, the reasons for choosing “Civilización” were that they believe “León Ferrari’s work is vital, meaningful and not known enough in Germany. Since bringing his own work was beyond our means, we decided to organise an exhibition under the motto ‘Art and Imprisonment’, taking into account how political Ferrari’s works are”.

On September 15th, the documentary was screened for Berliners who want to know more about the life and work of this peculiar artist. The Festival Invasión is a chance for the Argentine culture to visit Berlin through its artistic performances. During the whole month, several artistic disciplines will try to connect the two societies to show the most up-to-date displays that are percolating through the Argentine cultural field. “Invasión was thought as a cultural festival that would celebrate the twenty years of the official pairing of Berlin and Buenos Aires”, explained Zarankin. They have different activities, but their ultimate purpose is “not only to bring art and culture from Argentina, but also to show the work of Argentine artists living in Berlin, related to German artists”. There will be a second screening of the movie on September 25th, for those who missed the chance to discover Ferrari’s work yesterday, or for those who liked the documentary enough to want to watch it a second time. Perhaps on this occasion there will be a chance for discussing the film afterwards.

News from Berlin - Berlin Global