"Symbionts": Redefining Human Relationships, at the Kirchner Cultural Center

October 19, 2021 | nadiaevangelina

The group exhibition "Simbiontes" (Symbionts), at the Centro Cultural Kirchner in Buenos Aires, gathers sculptures, sound art, paintings, video, and installations by emerging contemporary artists -and others not so much- from Argentina, around the pioneering studies on the theory of evolution by Lynn Margulis.

The American biologist demonstrated that the evolution of life has acted through cooperation and genetic exchange between organisms, which she called symbiosis. This caused a great revolution because it contradicts the Darwinian postulates based on competition and survival of the fittest. But this did not only affect the field of natural sciences, as Lynn developed her research from an ecofeminist perspective.

Her message helps to shape a different view, in which we are all interdependent (we cannot survive in isolation from the rest of our peers or outside society) and eco-dependent (we depend on the natural ecosystems that are the physical support that sustains us). The exhibition postulates that biology is a political space. Ecofeminisms denounce that there is a link between capitalism, sexism, and the destructive exploitation of nature.

To rethink the human being and the rest of living beings to inhabit a more just world, "Symbionts" exposes a series of imaginary mutants whose aesthetics are counter-hegemonic. It can also be interpreted as dissident bodies or queer people in contemporary society. Diversity is the banner of this proposal.

"Calamar" (2012) by Miguel Harte

Upon entering the room, the viewer is struck by the large sculpture "Calamar" (2012) by Miguel Harte, one of the most important artists of Argentine "epochal" art of the 1990s. That hybrid creature seems taken from a science fiction movie and produces both rejection and admiration. It is surrounded by the works of Fernanda Laguna, which are visually contrasted by their naive aesthetics. In her surrealist works, the human and the non-human coexist, challenging the pictorial language.

"Burnt!" (2001) by Fernanda Laguna 

"I Miss You So Much" (2018) by Fernanda Laguna 

In the next sector, "Song I" (2011) by Claudia Fontes shows a small deer on the floor that disintegrates or branches out, made with black threads that climb up the wall in all directions. The oneiric atmosphere generated by this work is interrupted by disturbing noises coming from a box on the floor at its side. This is "Alert States" (2016-2017) by Mariela Yeregui, a piece that combines technology with organic materials -cowhide-. The artist creates the illusion of a cyborg hiding from something or someone.

"Song I" (2011) by Claudia Fontes

"Alert States" (2016-2017) by Mariela Yeregui

Finally, we can highlight "New Animal" (2020) by Mariana Telleria, which is exhibited in a small darkened room. The artist proposes an installation of hybrid-collage objects that promote the alliance between vegetables and animals. Using car parts, New Animals recovers the modernist notion of the ready-made.

"New Animal" (2020) by Mariana Telleria

"Simbiontes", curated by a team led by the secretary of Cultural Heritage. The exhibition is part of "Symbiologies: Artistic Practices in a Planet in Emergency," a project that spans 7 rooms around the various ways the transformations of relationships between humans and non-humans. The proposal presents more than 150 contemporary artists from all over the country.

Location: Centro Cultural Kirchner (Kirchner Cultural Center), Sarmiento 151, C1041 CABA, Buenos Aires (Argentina)
Opening Date: 6th October 2021
End Date: 30th April 2022
Working hours: Wednesday-Sunday: 2 pm to 8 pm
Official website:

Participating Artists:

Miguel Harte
Fernanda Laguna
Claudia Fontes
Mariela Yergui

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