Alejandro Cesarco
Uruguay, 1975
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Alejandro Cesarco (Montevideo, 1975) studied economics in his hometown before moving to New York, where he did a master’s in arts and continued training as an artist at New York University. One of the best-known Uruguayan artists worldwide, he has had exhibitions at galleries and museums in the United States, Latin America and Europe. In 2011 he was one of the artists invited to create work for the Uruguayan Pavilion at the 54th Venice Biennale. His work deploys the strategies of conceptual art to focus on words and language and redefine conventional narrative structures. He analyses accounts as a means of creating and passing on a story and explores how they activate memory and history by taking literary sidetracks that verge on fiction. His pieces use narrative registers such as images (seeing), text (reading) and voices (listening) in a constant play of altered meanings that invites uses to decode the characteristic (and far from evident) messages that define his work. He has close ties to literature and film—his two major influences—and presents work in a wide range of art forms, including video, installation, photography, performance and publishing books and other texts. He is particularly drawn to formats linked to analogue production, especially slide and film projectors. His work invites spectators to experience a unique narrative event almost as if they were watching a film or reading a work of fiction—each viewer/reader makes a tacit pact with the filmmaker/writer to suspend disbelief. Here, they agree to an unestablished and at first undecided order where they will have to examine and decode familiar yet enigmatic codes. Written texts are read out loud, reinterpreted, decontextualised and often accompanied by images as the artist questions the cultural conventions that shape stories and pass them on. Cesarco’s work is defined in terms of a space and time for reading and performing open, flexible narratives that often call for the presence of actors and characters’ voices—a task that often falls to Daniel Hendler, a Uruguayan actor who specialises in performing Cesarco’s texts. Inspired directly by the literary genre of noir fiction, The Reader (2011) combines two key aspects: the voice of American artist Lawrence Weiner reading excerpts of different detective stories, and a sequence of slides of texts analysing the genre. A gripping, mysterious dialogue encourages spectators to set themselves up as potential detectives to investigate and seek out clues and pieces of evidence in order to decode a possible message. Alejandro Cesarco combines his art work with curating and publishing. He is the director of Art Resources Transfer, where he designed the Entre Artistas publishing project, an ongoing series of books featuring conversations between different creators.

Artworks by the artist included in the Collection Artworks by the artist included in the Collection

  • The Reader / 2011