Curated by Laura Hakel
Museum of Modern Art, Buenos Aires
11 March – 18 June 2016

Patricia is the first major exhibition in a museum of Gabriel Chaile, designed for the Special Projects Room of the Modern. The room contains a sculpture, an installation and illegible writing, three works that are related to basic needs such as food, housing and work.

Patricia, the sculpture that gives the exhibition its name, is a goddess-adobe oven located in the center of the room. In it, Chaile relates a maternal figure, anthropomorphic pottery from the Candelaria culture of Tucumán and a clay oven to make bread – all elements linked to fertility, the history of art and food.

At the back of the room is the installation Los jóvenes olvidaron sus canciones (The young people forgot their songs) (2017), a wooden mezzanine made to resemble sleeping arrangements in a construction workshop: a work that relates the precariousness of the materials to the need for a housing space. Finally, Forma y Razón (2017) refers to the transmission of knowledge through the trades. It is a cuneiform writing designed on the lines of brick dust of a mason’s chocla. In the work, Chaile imagines an illegible language for the transmission of a trade that is learned in practice: a code shared by a community of work. 

“Patricia is the name of one of my sisters, which comes from the word fatherland, which in turn comes from patriarch and patriarch is male, I could say then that Patricia is the feminine of a masculine. This sculpture is reviewing genealogy, not only of a name but, above all, of forms, I review the pre-Columbian and Andean forms of northwestern Argentina that are part of the imaginary of these areas, denied by years of colonization of all kinds. I returned to them to realize a syncretism between them and my contemporary world. Patricia is a clay oven, woman, man, animal, mother, powerful and fragile at the same time, the fire does not consume it but is its strength.” 

–Gabriel Chaile

Gabriel Chaile, “Patricia”, 2016; Sculpture of adobe, iron, bricks and eggs; 320 x 150 x 210 cm