Rita Ponce de León at the Hassel Museum of Art – CCS Bard


“Archives of the Tympanum” presents newly commissioned drawings by Rita Ponce de León (Lima, 1982) that are displayed as a mural in the exhibition space. This series of large-scale works is a site-specific installation for the venue that echoes the life story and oral narratives of Raquel Rabinovich (b. Buenos Aires, 1929), an artist who has lived in New York since 1967, having emigrated from Argentina after a military strike.

Commissioned as part of a research project on the agency of oral memory in contemporary art history, Rita Ponce de León’s drawings propose an alternative way of writing, assimilating and interweaving subjective experiences beyond the written word. Her works often take the form of testimonies of conversations with colleagues and communities with whom she works, through which the artist explores emotions and ideas that take shape through social encounters. The exhibition also includes Rabinovich’s series of paintings Dimension Five (1969-74), the first body of work the artist produced upon her arrival in the U.S. The large-scale monochromatic paintings suggest pathways and labyrinths through their vibrant colors, and are accompanied by audio recordings of interviews conducted with Rabinovich for this project.

By foregrounding the voice and work of an Argentine artist underrepresented in art institutions in both the U.S. and South American contexts, “Archives of the Tympanum” explores the value of oral memory in understanding Argentina’s obscure and multifaceted art history since the 1960s. It achieves this through intergenerational conversations, producing in the process archival and survey materials that can easily travel across countries.

April 2 to May 29, 2022.







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