Thursday, 17 March 2011


Roberto Jacoby 'Living Here', in 1966, the artist moved his home and studio to a gallery in Buenos Aires. 2011 recreation with new commissions and works of artists friends of Jacoby

Music Pods playing 'Tocame el Rok/Tecnologia de la Amistad' new songs composed by Roberto Jacoby

"A guerilla fighter doesn't die so it can be hung in the wall", 'Antiposter' 1969

Collection or Ramona magazines

'1968, El Culo te Abrocho', Posters and Documents created by Jacoby in the 60s, overprinted with a new layer slogan. A Virus soundtrack plays in the room.

'Model of a Sculpture built by the Spectator', 1966

'Cabinets of Curiosities', instalation of memorabilia related to Jacoby's work, at the same time a critique to recent institutional and market tendecy to worship and fetishisise the documents and leftovers of conceptualism (and in Jacoby's case the critique is specifically aimed to the consumption by art centres of the centre (including Documenta 12) of the archive of Tucuman Arde).

contents of the different cabinets related to different Jacoby's projects:

record covers of Virus, the argentinean rock-pop group for which Jacoby wrote many lyrics during the Argentinean dictatorship

Documentation of Jacoby's censored participation in the last Sao Paulo bienale, where following the topic of the bienale of presenting the relationship between arts and politics, he created an art support structure for Lula's candidate Dilma.

Within the many rooms and exhibitions of the Reina Sofia, Roberto Jacoby's retrospective exhibition is a lost jewel which rethinks the whole idea of presenting a retrospective. Apparently there were two more rooms showing 'Dark Room' and 'La Castidad', but I didn't find them in the labyrinth that Reina Sofia Museum is, and the museum caretakers were totally not interested in in informing the visitors about their existence. It's ironic that the Museum is named after the wife of the "king of Spain" Sofia, who is also a well known homophobe, and who would be shocked if she knew of the homosexual contents of Jacoby's exhibition at the museum named in her "honour"!

press release:

February 25 - May 30, 2011
Centro de Arte Reina Sofía, Madrid

The work of Roberto Jacoby (Buenos Aires, 1944) moves constantly through areas on the very edge of artistic production. Ever since his early years as an artist linked with the famous Instituto Di Tella, which led to the mythical and revolutionary Tucumán Arde (1968), his work has been understood as a never-ending expansion of the notion of artistic activity. Among other tasks, he has written lyrics for the well-known glam rock group, Virus, he has studied sociology and political theory and he has worked as a theatre critic and as a journalist for the underground press. Such versatility has made systematic exhibition of his work a complicated endeavour, something to which this exhibition hopes to put an end.

In order to reflect this in-disciplinary nature, the exhibition has been distributed among different spaces that represent fragmentarily some of the facets, moments or modes of production found in Jacoby's work. Espacio Uno is divided into two sections: Vivir aquí, a reconstruction made in collaboration with three other artists (Marina Caro, Mariela Scafati and Daniel Joglar) of the action that formed part of the Happening of 1965, consisting of moving elements from his home-studio to the gallery; 1968 el culo te abrocho (2008) contains impressions of a modified Marx bust and musical accompaniment by the group Virus, demonstrating a number of models of politicisation, ranging from interpretation to corporal insubordination.

In the Sala de Bóvedas is Darkroom (2005), a series of video recordings of the performance of the same name that was held for a sole viewer in complete darkness, visible thanks only to a night vision camera. La castidad (2006-2007) is a video that reconstructs, in a fictiomental style, the chaste cohabitation agreement that he had with the artist Syd Krochmalny for one year. In the Sala de Protocolo is Gabinete de curiosidades, which is comprised of diverse paraphernalia from his actions that consciously reproduces the conditions of distance, sacralization and fetishism of exhibited documents. A digital archive of his work is also available for consultation.

Jacoby's work, as a whole, deals with a complex environment in which accepted norms dissolve, thus generating spaces in which social bonding is inevitable. This constant fluctuation between oneself and the collective has led to the creation of networks both inside and outside the art system. Evidence of this are the different projects he has carried out from the 1990s to the present, in which collaboration and network production is essential, such as Chacra (1999), Proyecto Venus (2000-2006) or the Argentine journal of contemporary art ramona (2000-2010). The controversy surrounding his participation in the 2010 Bienal de São Paulo, a non-official office of electoral propaganda organized by various Argentine artists who supported one of the candidates in Brazil's elections, attests to the vitality and topicality of his work.


  1. Está buenísima, pero siento que es difícil mostrar el trabajo de Jacoby, que en su mayoría son happenings, talleres e interacciones sociales de diversa índole y trasladarlas al espacio del Museo. En la primera sala (la réplica de la sala de Jacoby) se encuentran tres catálogos grandes como biblias, que contienen una documentación extensa de sus acciones. Fue de lo más interesante que ví en esta expo, aun que mi pieza favorita es el vídeo La Castidad, que me pareció increíble. Saludos!

  2. Por cierto, las piezas audiovisuales están en unas bóvedas improbables, bajando las escaleras próximas a la sala, pero los vinilos que señalizaban la muestra están en el piso y muchos se han despegando. Es cierto que los trabajadores del Museo no parecen interesados por esta muestra, pero a mi nunca me han parecido demasiado interesados por otras tampoco.