Ernesto Alli

February 2019

Ernesto Alli (b. 1981, Buenos Aires, Argentina) has received his BFA in Visual Arts from the National University of Arts in Buenos Aires. He has also the title of professor and teaches at schools and universities. He is currently editing his first book Diseases of the Contemporary Art Museums:  an epidemiological study of the “new cultural diseases” emerged within the world of art. He has held many exhibitions in Argentina and recently one solo exhibition in Tehran at O Gallery. Crossing languages such as site-specific interventions, videos, paintings, and installations, he develops artistic projects that address political, cultural, sociological, and philosophical issues from a critical and disruptive perspective around the world of contemporary art from four axes: the artist and his role in professionalism of art, museums and their new functionalities in the era of museum’s diseases, the contemporary art audience and their anesthetized gaze, and the work of art as a migratory object in the era of visual overexposure.



My works turn around those cultural manifestations with the traces of the transformations of society. We avoid any negativity that requires a contemplative distance, which implies putting the sense of aesthetic judgment in motion and, ultimately, we are shaken by the encounter with artistic object. What defines the beautiful does not reside in the object itself, nor in the subject, but in the relationship between one and the other. Moreover, in order for this relationship to take place, its framework can never be the consumer society, insofar as it does not allow the object to be delayed. How can we escape to counteract overexposure and the need for the immediate in a society that suffers from an excess of positivity, stimuli, excesses, and impulses that fragment perception? According to the Zen tradition, a kōan is a philosophical question that a teacher presents to his student so that he can develop his mind and reach a brief moment of enlightenment —the satori—that cannot be reached through classical logical thinking. That example of instantaneous intuition requires a mental training that manages to overcome rational thought and open a door to the pulse of life, the path of blood: the displacement of the mind towards a new perception. Perhaps the best-known kōan is the one that says: “If a tree falls in the forest and nobody is near to hear it, does it make a noise?” In a hyper-connected world that needs the image and permanent exposure of the individual, this perspective opens new opportunities for thought and serves as a trigger to generate my own kōan: Is there an aesthetic experience without anyone contemplating it? This new way of looking and thinking pursues the force of the nature and the power of silence.