ALL TOGETHER, ALL ALONE
Solo exhibition in Espacio Ftalo, Buenos Aires, Argentina, may/june 2018.
Paz Bardi does not paint what she sees, she paints to see. Her pictorial gesture is existence, a way of surviving, a questioning of the world that doesn’t try to come up with a sobering answer. In her work, matter and expression affirm in a convincing way however, the unsettling slips in every opportunity. It is the subtile game of tensions that unfolds along the repertoire, that makes of these portraits, a captivating work, that catches the viewer’s eye and holds it.
Bardi works on the edge of the abyss, her paintings capture the precise instant where anything could happen. They inhabit the dichotomy between the spontaneity of a photographic cut and the evidence of a pictorial artifice, the matter, the brushstroke. In the same way, the conflict doesn’t yield to the human figures and a background that refuses to stay neutral and anodyne. It is there, in a familiar frame, where Bardi introduces little gestures that break with the apparent calm of the everydayness. An unexpected color note, a hand in torsion, a look that challenges and questions, that reveals a certain psychological depth before lifting a tall wall. In this way, the oddity in the familiar, a tension that doesn’t want to leave, the dynamism of what can happen.
With an anthropological view, Bardi stands on the sidelines of the scene. The dance works as a double metaphor, on one hand it is the accompanied solitude in which the most ordinary days go by, on the other, the bridge that can still be tended, the necessary step to empathy, a kind of magic that can make us dance.
All together, all alone is the definitive oxymoron that titles this show. That’s how we live life, that’s how we dance.
BIOGRAPHY FOR ALL TOGETHER, ALL ALONE SHOW.
When Paz Bardi was born, Capricorn was in the sky.
Paz is Pachi for her Visual Arts’ mates, Pachu for some friends, but was first Pitu for the family. As a kid she used to draw geometric shapes in pen while talking on the phone. It is hard to connect these forms with her current paintings and that integrates this show. It is may be the fact of being connected and distant at the same time, the transformation into an image being the only projection of this.
Paz lived three years in the old continent, residing mainly between Toulouse, Paris and Berlin. There she shared creative spaces with other young artists, taking part in residences and collective shows. She experimented with travel journals and experimental comics.
“If I wasn’t a painter, I would be a writer” she confesses while talking about her excuses, the elastic time and the daily coffee. In Julio Alan Lepez’s studio, which she assists for a couple of years now, apart from painting, she exchanges books with her teacher. There she found a path.
Anyway, the production of works outside this field of education is rich, ambitious and abundant. Last year she obtained the Young Art Mention from the BanCor Foundation and her work was selected at the Federal Biennial of Buenos Aires, Argentina.
The images that conform this project where revealed to her one night, in a club, while dancing alone, between her friends. These paintings came out from this anguish. In them, we find her friends.
Solo exhibition in Niceta Espacio, Buenos Aires, September 2015
Berlin Express is a two-voices-soliloquy where parts of an interview and conversation between Paz Bardi and Paz Ponce are collected. This concession to fiction aims to draw a portrait of the concerns that underlie the practice of the Argentine artist. Rabidly young, we can affirm that Bardi's identity is one in diaspora. After training in Visual Arts at Universidad del Museo Social Argentino, Paz leaves Buenos Aires to embark on a continuous present that will take her to Rio de Janeiro, Toulouse, Croatia, Berlin, Morocco... Formative experiences and life experiences are amalgamated in the way Bardi poses her compositions. Always seduced by the large formats, paying special attention to the materiality and plasticity of the pictorial gesture, she absorbes at her nomadic pace scenarios, people, conversations, literary and philosophical influences as main sources of inspiration. Whether for life in transit or for her passage through life, her work has a playful point that exacerbates nuances of reality and fantasy in the tradition of figurative expressionist painting through a clearly Borgian heritage. In the search to transcend the limits of consciousness, with an existentialist aftertaste, her main concern lies in the human condition. In this struggle to illuminate an interior search under the assumption of reality as insufficiency, literature, philosophy and especially painting are for Bardi a "refuge to endure everyday life, a way to continue questioning the unanswerable." The ineffable has many faces and the subliminal crosses of consciousness acquire versatile forms between painting, drawing and watercolor. A language without an alphabet for an artist that, worth the paradox, has much to say.
Paz Ponce Pérez-Bustamante
Two strangers in a train. Facing each other. The look of one of them follows the clouds lost among the hills. There is a change of light. The train passes through a wall, the sound of speed is muffled by the air trapped between the windows and the narrow passage. There is a silence, a neutral mass in motion extends to the other side of the crystals. The landscape disappears, slowly the faces begin to appear in the unconscious format of their retinas.
- Are we standing or moving?
- Do you mean where you are or what you see?
- What a feeling of unreality ...
- Reality is insufficient to mark the distance
- So, how does it go from inside to outside? Where is the door to the outside?
- I do not know, can you get away if you still reach with your eyes?
- Maybe the movement is only inside.
- That's true. But a very abstract truth ...
- But the truth is abstract. It works like in a story, like fantasy ...
"When he woke up, the dinosaur was still there."
- What a feeling of unreality ...
- Yes, but it is enough to know that they are simply words.
There is no object that is Dinosaur, there is only the word dinosaur.
- That's an excuse
- And an image, and a game, and a language without an alphabet
- Does the image play hide in the word or the word in the image?
- Does the dream play hide in reality or reality in the dream?
- I believe that the image touches some instinct and wants to go down. The representation is just an excuse. In the end, reality is just our perception of reality.
- That's an overexposure, an emotional intrigue. A lack of personal distance between where I am and where my sight reaches, between the inside and the outside. Again: Where is the door to the outside?
- It's called empathy. Empathy is a matter of distance, superimposed self(s), a non-threshold beyond doors (interior or exterior), or windows, or walls, or pictures, or faces.
- And what about the marks, the stories, the scars, the particular?
- I was not speaking in a literal sense.
- But you did talk about literature ... I believed that reality was an insufficiency, a pale and provisional reflection of the writing ...
- I meant to cross to another level of consciousness. As a foreigner within oneself, observing itself to oneself (introspicere, in Latin). Reflect, bend again and again over the folds of consciousness, or the fabric. Read and reread, move away from where I stand, what is within my reach to reach the silent void of the "outside" and see from there the earth turning around.
The outside manifests, the silence dissipates. There is a change of voice and the background landscape crosses the scene at full speed. Face to face, the meeting of strangers dissipates between the pages of her notebook. The earth keeps turning, and the face, although never the same, always human.
From Paz to Paz