Martín Weber

Mementoes

1989-1992

Essay: "The Argentine Cow"

These are images of Buenos Aires that were in flux: people and animals participate in a fable, in which the narrative thread follows distinctive relationships of the everyday. Other pre-existant images were at work in the background, evoking a history loaded with symbolism. more

Essay: "The Argentine Cow"

These are images of Buenos Aires that were in flux: people and animals participate in a fable, in which the narrative thread follows distinctive relationships of the everyday. Other pre-existant images were at work in the background, evoking a history loaded with symbolism. It is the ingenuity and tenderness, power and cruelty, fear and solemnity that accompanied a slew of memories and signs that filled my childhood and adolescent years. At five years old, upon arriving in Argentina, they cut my hair, dressed me in a school uniform and told me about San Martin and the Fatherland. I was given a pencil case and notebook, where my teacher would write notes to my parents when I would forget something. Arriving home after school I would turn on the Tv and see tanks in the streets of Buenos Aires.

Years later in high school, a block and a half from Plaza de Mayo, I encountered on the ground and the walls painted silhouettes of the disappeared. I began to be consciously aware of the fear my parents and others had transmitted to me during childhood: respect for the Founding Fathers, San Martin and Belgrano and the flag; fear of the police, always carrying identification, and being suspicious of civilians wearing dark sunglasses.

With the advent of democracy and the images of torture chambers the cruelty became evident. There were groups looking at others, looking at shadows: some were drowning, other disconcerted, while the in-maculated conception of the Argentine family waited and pretended to play at the pool, while the young prayed and the old claim their pension or wished for stars. There were masters and mascots gazing at images of others and some selling us those we could see even as key chains.

Martin Weber, Buenos Aires 1993. less


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