Jorge Macchi’s Music Stands Still

Jorge Macchi’s Music Stands Still


April 27, 2011

Jorge Macchi
Music Stands Still

30 April–18 September 2011

T +32 9 240 76 01
Citadelpark, 9000 Ghent

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‘Music Stands Still’ is a major exhibition at S.M.A.K., showing work by the Argentine artist Jorge Macchi (Buenos Aires, 1963). Macchi generates the maximum of emotionality using minimal resources. His work displays the openness, free of complexes, with which he is effortlessly able to fuse idea and form into a single overarching, perplexing, melancholy and poetical experience zone.

This exhibition consists of a promenade through the intuitive atmospheres that regularly occur in Macchi’s work, such as music, light, shadow, blurring, delineation, openness, stillness and emptiness.

In his work, Macchi makes a subtle connection between fragile stillness and almost literal ‘blind’ aggression, whereby these opposite emotional poles are not counter to each other, but fuse with each other as equal elements. In Incidental Music (1997), for example, this ‘unmannered’ theme is expressed in the sentences cut out of newspaper articles on murders and accidents, whose form inconspicuously transforms into musical staves. The work called 5 Notes (2007) also shows us the darker flipside of reality, in the form of an empty, silent score brutally pierced by steel cables. The longest distance between two points (2011) was made especially for S.M.A.K. Several hundred silver posts with blue ribbons, as used in airports, zigzag across the room and represent both the physical definition of a slavish herd mentality and the mental openness of the endless horizon of an immense azure-blue sea.

Critics often call Macchi a postconceptual artist because of his frequent use of ephemeral and minimal materials and images. Macchi plays on the relationships between idea and form in a completely different way, however. When one looks at the many stripped down, almost meagre forms, one is immediately struck by the abundance of concentrated but almost baroque emotionality in Macchi’s small (semi-) sculptural works. They appeal directly to the viewer’s gut feeling rather than to his intellect. Experiencing this gut feeling has a lot to do with the fact that when developing his ideas, Macchi could not care less about the so-called (post-) conceptual order imposed on idea and form. In fact it goes further than that: during the creative process, Macchi seems above all to follow a feeling that automatically subordinates the relationship between idea and form and even sidelines it.

By opting for an atmospheric setting in ‘Music Stands Still’, consisting of bright light and bare white rooms, the vulnerable form of Macchi’s works is crushed by the environment they are displayed in, so that their unmannered, brutal subject matter, blind as it is, is drawn out of the works into the surrounding space. The exhibition can be seen as a meticulous attempt to present Macchi’s work as an all-round experience. Like a stroll somewhere between reality and Macchi’s dreamy reverse side of it.

The exhibition is accompanied by a catalogue on the work of Jorge Macchi entitled ‘Music Stands Still’, which contains articles by Alejandra Aguado, Jorge Macchi, Adriano Pedrosa, Edgardo Rudnitzky, Philippe Van Cauteren and Thibaut Verhoeven.

For more information on the exhibition:
Eva Monsaert | T: +32 9 240 76 49 |

Jorge Macchi's Music Stands Still
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April 27, 2011

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