Wakefield (Twice-told Tales) # 5

Found objects, collage and waste material from previous works
Variable sizes
CCMATTA, Embassy of Chile in Argentina, Buenos Aires, Argentina

This exhibit is a site-specific installation that concludes a project I have been developing for the past two years. These installations are created primarily with objects and images from daily life that were found in the areas where the work was shown. Also included are remnants of previous works from the years 2009-2014.

The project’s name comes from the short story titled “Wakefield,” written in the 1830s by American author Nathaniel Hawthorne. In the story, the narrator describes a middle-aged man living with his wife who, one day, for no apparent reason, decides to leave and rent the house located on the corner of the same street. He stays in that house, just down the block, for the following 20 years, without telling anyone his whereabouts. Wakefield deliberately decides to leave and become a spectator of his own life from across the street. This short story brings an ambiance of strangeness to daily life and home—a technique and situation that I wanted to explore in this work and that I have previously touch on in earlier works as well.

This project is made up of four previous versions: the first took place during a residency I was a part of in the city of Buenos Aires in early 2013; the second was installed inside an unoccupied family home in the city of La Plata (Argentina) during July of 2013; in the fall of 2014 I created the third iteration as part of an exhibit at the Sputnik Gallery in Buenos Aires; and later that same year, under the tutelage of artist Liliana Porter, I created a new installation as part of a residency in New York City.

For each version of the project, the spaces themselves drove most of my decision-making. Each installation was built specificly for each space without me knowing in advance which objects I would use and what the final result would look like.

Through subtle cuts, edits, and placements, I worked to make small alterations in the use and connotation of each space. Ultimately I worked to created a setting where the objects I chose no longer obeyed the logic of the imaginary in which they were originally produced or intended to be used.

[ read text for the exhibition* ]
*Only in spanish

© 2021 Catalina Schliebener