Ten drawings, ink on paper, 30 x 40 cm
One panel with two xeroxs, 60 x 40 cm
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ROBERTO JACOBY, b. 1944, Buenos Aires.
A conceptual artist and sociologist, he formulated “dematerialized art” in manifestos and works produced from 1966 to 1968. He created a number of works whose “materiality” was strictly social (the mass media and different communications structures in the urban environment). Mensaje en el Di Tella (Message in the Di Tella 1968) envisioned art as the “design of new life forms.” After participating in Tucumán Arde (1968) and the magazine Sobre, he began research on social conflict and political epistemology. He composed over fifty songs for the rock band Virus and other artists; he organized shows and multimedia parties in neighborhood clubs and the Club Eros. In the nineties, he and Mariana “Kiwi” Sainz created the Fabulous Nobodies, a product-less brand that carried out the anti-discrimination campaign Yo tengo sida (I Have AIDS, 1994). In 1998, he developed a network of artists and non-artists designed in the form of the self-managed databank Bola de Nieve. Other projects from the late nineties include Chacra99, an artists’ residency and laboratory; the magazine Ramona; the microsociety Venus; and the sessions of Sociedades Experimentales at the Centro Cultural Ricardo Rojas. He and Jorge Di Paola wrote the novel Moncada (2003) and the booklet Orgía (1990). His first solo show, No soy un clown, was held in 2001 at Belleza y Felicidad in Buenos Aires. The following year, Darkroom, a performance for infrared rays and a single viewer, was held at that same gallery. In 2004, he presented Culísimo (Ass-ism), an experiment on prisons as language factories. In 2005, an expanded version of Darkroom was produced for MALBA, and in 2006 Darkroom 3, a sound installation, was featured at the Pontevedra Biennial. In 2006 and 2007, in the framework of an experiment with Syd Krochmalny, he produced La Castidad (Chastity), a video-installation; the Technologies and Friendship banquettes; and other actions. In 2008, the show 1968, el culo te abrocho was held at Appetite gallery in Buenos Aires. He produced a series of tragicomic videos in gaucho-like setting available on Youtube. He presented his operation Arte, la inversión segura (Art: A Safe Investment) at Ruth Benzacar gallery, along with the project Donaciones (Donations) produced with Fernanda Laguna. In 2010, he developed the collective work Brigada Argentina por Dilma (Argentine Brigade for Dilma) at the 29th São Paulo Biennial. In 2011, a retrospective exhibition of his work entitled Roberto Jacoby. El deseo nace del derrumbe was held at the Museo Nacional Centro de Arte Reina Sofía in Madrid. In 2014, Diarios del odio, a joint show with Syd Krochmalny, was held at the Casa de la Cultura of the Fondo Nacional de las Artes in Buenos Aires.
He graduated from Manuel Belgrano Art Academy in Buenos Aires in 1989 with a degree in drawing. That same year, his first solo show, Gordín Pinturas, was held at the Centro Cultural Ricardo Rojas gallery. In 1992, he exhibited at the Casal de Catalunya and, that same year, he did a performance at the entrance to the Instituto de Cooperación Iberoamericana (ICI) located on Florida Street in downtown Buenos Aires. In the performance, he installed a miniature of his show in a maquette of the venue (made by Roberto Jacoby and Daniel Melgarejo) and offered passersby guided tours, lighting up the inside of the maquette with a miner’s helmet complete with flashlight. The show Gordinoscopio was held at the Centro Cultural Ricardo Rojas in 1996. It consisted of a group of boxes, each one containing a detailed miniature of settings like indoor pools, offices, and theaters. Visitors to the show could see the scenes through a peephole. Also in 1996, he was a guest participant in the Taller de Barracas. Additional solo shows of his work were held at the ICI (1993, 2001), the Fundación Telefónica (Pequeños reinos, 2003), Ruth Benzacar gallery (2017, 2006, 2011), Rosenfeld Porcini gallery in London (2016), Oscar Cruz gallery (2010, 2015), Distrito 4 gallery in Madrid (2007), and Baró Cruz gallery in São Paulo (2007). From 1996 to 2002, he participated in artists’ residencies in different cities in France, where he also exhibited at, among other places, the Frac des Pays de la Loire. In 1997, he was awarded a grant from the Fundación Antorchas, and the next year from the Fondo Nacional de las Artes. He has been awarded prizes at the Salón Nacional de artes visuales (second prize) and the Premio Klemm in 2018; Premio Braque in 1994; Premio Konex in 2002 and 2012; Petrobras ArteBA in 2004; and first purchase prize at the Bienal de Arte de Bahía Blanca in 2001. In 2014, Sebastián Gordín. Un extraño efecto en el cielo, a retrospective of his work, was held at the Museo de Arte Moderno de Buenos Aires.