Liliana Porter: The Riddle / Charada
Hosfelt Gallery is pleased to present the world premiere of the most recent video by Liliana Porter, The Riddle/Charada, featuring an idiosyncratic cast of characters culled from her ever-evolving collection of toys and figurines that she finds in flea markets, antique stores, and souvenir shops. The narrative is constructed from a sequence of vignettes wherein these characters interact in unexpected and darkly humorous ways, accompanied by an evocative soundtrack.
Porter’s quirky objects have a double existence. On the one hand they appear as banal or kitschy curios; at the same time, they possess a gaze that evokes a certain pathos, provoking the viewer to endow them with an interiority and identity. Each theatrical vignette in the video presents a pointed visual commentary that speaks to the human condition. Leaving the narrative intentionally ambiguous and open to a variety of interpretations, Porter entices the viewer to unravel the riddle.
The film was conceived by Liliana Porter and directed by Liliana Porter and Ana Tiscornia. Music composed and performed by Sylvia Meyer. Videography by Federico Lo Bianco. Edited by Liliana Porter, Ana Tiscornia, Federico Lo Bianco and Sylvia Meyer.
Early Conceptual Prints
To elucidate the conceptual and philosophical foundations of Porter’s work, accompanying the film are a group of seminal prints made in the 1960s and ‘70s. At the age of 22, Liliana moved from Argentina to New York, where she co-founded the New York Graphic Workshop with Luis Camnitzer and José Guillermo Castillo in 1965. Together they radically re-defined the meaning and purpose of printmaking by putting technique at the service of ideas.
While absorbing the movements that permeated New York in the mid 1960s—Minimalism, Pop, and Conceptual Art—Porter ultimately concluded that the complexity of the traditional printmaking process produced merely excellent technicians rather than brilliant artists. Her realization of “the trap of technique” led to a drastic shift in Porter’s practice. She began situating simple objects (a nail, hook, or thread) in an empty white space, and combining them with representations of those objects. This groundbreaking conceptual approach to printmaking became the genesis of philosophical explorations into notions of time and reality—themes that would continue to occupy her throughout her career.
Liliana Porter was born in Buenos Aires, Argentina in 1941. Porter has shown extensively internationally, including most recently solo museum exhibitions at the Frist Art Museum, Nashville (on view through May 2, 2021); Zacheta National Gallery of Art, Warsaw; El Museo del Barrio, New York; Pérez Art Museum, Miami; Museo Nacional de Artes Visuales, Montevideo, Uruguay; MALBA, Buenos Aires; Museum of Fine Arts, Boston; Museo Rayo, Roldanillo, Colombia; Centro Cultura de España, Santiago, Chile; and Museo Tamayo, Mexico City, as well as a two-person exhibition with Marcel Broodthaers at The New Museum, New York. Her work is in numerous public and private collections in Latin America, Europe and the United States, including The Museum of Modern Art, New York; The Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York; The Whitney Museum of American Art, New York; Museo Nacional Centro de Arte Reina Sofia, Madrid, Spain; Museo de Arte Moderno, Buenos Aires; Philadelphia Museum of Art; Smithsonian Museum of American Art; Daros-Latinoamerica Collection, Zurich; and Tate Modern, London.
Liliana PorterThe Riddle / Charada, 2019digital videoduration: 8:40 minutes
Liliana PorterUntitled (hook and string), 1973silkscreen and string on paper, unique20 3/4 x 25 1/2 inches
52.7 x 64.8 cm
Liliana PorterBlack (string with knot), 1971aquatint and string on paper, uniqueplate 17 3/4 x 13 inches/45.1 x 33 cm
sheet 29 1/4 x 22 1/2 inches/74.3 x 57.1 cm
Liliana PorterBlack VIII (wrinkle), 1971aquatint, collage and string on paper, uniqueplate 17 3/4 x 13 inches/45.1 x 33 cm
sheet 26 1/4 x 20 1/4 inches/66.7 x 51.4 cm
Liliana PorterBlack I (wrinkle), 1972aquatint and collage on paper, uniqueplate 17 3/4 x 13 inches/45.1 x 33 cm
sheet 26 1/4 x 20 inches/66.7 x 50.8 cm
Liliana PorterUntitled (with triangle), 1975photo etching and collage on paperplate 8 3/4 x 11 3/4 inches/22.2 x 29.8 cm
sheet 26 x 23 3/8 inches/66 x 59.4 cm
Liliana PorterUntitled (with geometric shapes), 1975photo etching and collage on paperplate 8 3/4 x 11 3/4 inches/22.2 x 29.8 cm
sheet 26 x 23 inches/66 x 58.4 cm
Liliana PorterUntitled (with circle), 1975photo etching and collage on paperplate 8 3/4 x 11 3/4 inches/22.2 x 29.8 cm
sheet 26 x 23 1/2 inches/66 x 59.7 cm
Liliana PorterUntitled (hand with paper), 1973photo etching and collage on paperplate 11 3/4 x 12 inches/29.8 x 30.5 cm
sheet 26 x 24 inches/66 x 61 cm
Liliana PorterUntitled (corner), 1967etching on paper, wrinkled paper, uniqueplate 35 x 17 3/4 inches/88.9 x 45.1 cm
sheet 39 x 22 1/2 inches/99.1 x 57.1 cm
In Conversation: Liliana Porter & Humberto Moro
HG Magazine Issue no. 28Studio Visit with Birgit Jensen; plus Liliana Porter, Ben McLaughlin, Isabella Kirkland, Patricia Piccinini, Cornelius Völker
HG Magazine Issue no. 27Liliana Porter in the press & virtual event; plus Ben McLaughlin, Rina Banerjee, Isabella Kirkland, Patricia Piccinini, Max Gimblett, Lordy Rodriguez, Bruce & Jean Conner
ARTFORUM: Liliana Porter's The Riddle / Charada features on "Must-See" Show List