Josefina Guilisasti

Still Life
Cecilia Brunson, Kevin Powers, 2010

Guilisasti's Note:

The book I am presenting here is called Still Life, and it brings together work I have done over a decade and more in my attempt to carry out a personal rereading of the still life genre. Whereas this genre has traditionally been based on a fairly simple staging of items on a table, from my perspective I have incorporated a less obvious, twofold aspect, breaking down this traditional scene by focusing on the individual existence of certain components of this world that suggest processes, private and commercial histories, pilgrimages, territorial discoveries, stages of colonization, exploitation and the development of capital. Thus, I depict objects such as jugs, dishes, cups, pans, plates, teapots, china birds and Persian carpets from different viewpoints, translating their material substance: aluminum (The Vigil), enamel (The Jug on the Table),

I depict these in my work using a continuous schematic working system, that forming series that range from seventy-two paintings in the case of The Vigil to a hundred and eighty in Mourning. I use a mass production system to mechanise the production of each painting: over a period of a year or two, I paint a set number of items a week, and this process culminates in a final selection and installation of pieces in accordance with the particular characteristics of the exhibition space. And here it should be noted that the format of Still Life alters the way my work is presented: what in the exhibitions were series (with each piece forming part of a whole) are broken up in these pages and the objects are depicted the reader, the idea being for each painting to be looked at at new in isolation from its series.