Dedicated to Julio Cortázar and to the city of Buenos Aires, who present a unique and special setting for this project, with deep thanks to all who made this residence and interventions possible and to the people who called on the radio to offer their walls and sidewalks to the artist.
In Concrete, urban graphics is an experimental graphic work that the Puerto Rican artist Rafael Trelles has been working on since the summer of 2004, when he started it on the walls, sidewalks and posts of the cities of San Juan, Mayagüez, Ponce and the island municipality of Vieques in Puerto Rico. Originally designed to integrate into the poor and abandoned sectors of Puerto Rican cities, it later spread to other neighborhoods as well as to other cities. Starting from the concrete darkened by the fungus and dirt from the street, the “prints” are achieved using a high pressure washing machine on polycarbonate stencils. The relatively ephemeral designs are outlined on the dirty surface when washed through the cut holes in the template, exposing the original color of the wall.
Within this framework, Proyecto ´ace invited the artist to make an edition in the city of Buenos Aires as a guest artist-in-residence. Trelles was working during the month of August on mural interventions and on the sidewalks of Caballito, Colegiales and San Telmo neighborhoods. He visited an elementary school and carried out interventions on public streets. Within the educational field, there were meetings between the students and the artist as well as the artist and the public. In addition, through the collaboration of Rock&Pop Radio and the program False Impostor, conducted by musician and radio speaker Marcelo Rodríguez (Gillespi), an interview was carried out with the artist and summoned the public to offer their walls, facades and sidewalks to be intervened. In this way, the project involved the entire community of the city of Buenos Aires.
Thematically, En Concreto in Buenos Aires presented images that propose metaphorically synthesizing some of Cortázar’s short stories: The Southern Highway, Whats Up López ?, Season of the Hand and The Night Face Up, in addition to the great Hopscotch. The pieces were accompanied by a quote from Cortazar´s written that served as a complement to the image, as well as offering a clue to the viewer about the nature of the work. With the integration of the image and the word, Trelles joins the long tradition of art and communications that begins with the origin of language, the use of pre-Columbian ideograms and codices, and ends today with contemporary advertising media. This also rescues the strong Puerto Rican tradition of the cartel that began in the 1950s and continues to the present.
Puerto Rican documentary filmmaker Roberto Otero accompanied the artist to record the creation process of the work. The video was ready and edited for the opening of the exhibition “Tying Up Stories” in the Políglota Room at Proyecto´ace on August 30th, 2007. Later on, in ´ace print studio, a portfolio in an edition of 30 copies, rescued the images that the artist left onto the walls.
Direction, camera and edition
Roberto “Tito” Otero
Production in Puerto Rico
Galería Sin Título | Dennis Rodríguez Román
Production in Buenos Aires
Proyecto´ace | Alicia Candiani and ´ace team
In Puerto Rico: Dr. José Luis Vega, Sra. Elaine Delgado, Sr. Juan Lugo, Sra. Anailda Ortiz
In Argentina: Cultural Affairs Minister Silvia Farjaj
Rock&Pop: Gillespi, Laura Salles, Enrique López Goñi, Camila Gandía, Antonella Quercia
Visual production: Darío Marcón, Ricardo Seco
Hidrolavadora: Gustavo and his team
Dv-arts: Dis.Gustavo Pavesi y Dis.Verónica Cassata
Community Management and Participation Center # 06 – Caballito: Dora Nocera, Alejandra López Ferré, Susana Torchia
Community Management and Participation Center #13- Colegiales: Arq. Fernando Boffi Lissin
Community Management and Participation Center # 01 – San Telmo: Alejandro Amicarelli
Buenos Aires Trains (TBA): Ing. Luis López
Nuevo Central Argentino (NCA): Cecilia Mariezcurrena
Presidente Uriburu #17 Elementary School: Marita Perez (Director), Beatriz Kantorovich, Laura Pelazzo (Fine Arts teacher), Maria Luna, Claudia Gattuso, Viviana Russo
Tanghetto: Sr Javier Masri
La Nación, La Nación Sunday Magazine, Clarín Arquitectura, Página 12 newspapers