Daniel et Edouardo Torres
Le Livre d’art & Drawing Lab, Paris
ANAÏS LEPAGE: YOU’VE DEVELOPED A DAILY DIALOGUE. HOW DID THAT START?
EDUARDO OTERO TORRES: Those daily exchanges with Daniel started many years ago, probably when the physical distance between us increased after he moved to France and I moved to Argentina. Our conversations include our respective works of art, but also our lives, family and everyday things that are important to us. We don't separate anything.
AL: HOW DO THESE DISCUSSIONS INFLUENCE YOU INDIVIDUALLY?
EOT: These conversations nourish us every day. Daniel has this ability to continuously ask questions about the world around him. Before they turn into works of art, he shares them with his family and friends, a whole network of people. I know I’m one of them too. His work draws on all these conversations and opinions. This often opens up horizons and new questions for him. It is his way of thinking about the way we look at things. That issue is essential for him: who looks, who is looked at, how and from where do we look. And in what way our gaze is reinforced by sometimes unconscious perception biases.
DANIEL OTERO TORRES: Our exchanges let me direct my thoughts and work in certain directions. Like Eduardo said, it’s vital for me to consider the beholder and what kind of view we are trying to achieve, so that it can be materialized in the works. I simply raise questions and open perspectives so people can develop their own critical eye. The challenge is not to create works that express my personal outlook, but that they offer a vision larger than mine, a holistic one, or at least a multilayered and open one, in which the beholder's subjectivity comes into play. I do not want to impose anything. My discussions with Eduardo help me pursue this aim and find an appropriate approach.
AL: COULD YOU SAY MORE ABOUT THE REVOLUTIONARY FIGHTERS AND
HOW THEY CAME TO BE?
DOT: Over the course of my research, I have gathered a whole iconography of struggles from various regions around the world. Since our first discussions for creating "Tierradentro" with you, Anaïs, the idea of focusing on the depiction of female fighters took hold. I was also very aware of the complexity of engaging with such a theme. I didn't want to appropriate these stories or struggles, but to create a place where they could appear and exist in a common space, in sync with our time. Eduardo, with his field knowledge of such issues, allowed me to place myself at a distance to let the work exist independently
EOT: Working on battles and revolutions raises the question of how their history has been told so far. How these stories have been geared to serve certain narratives, for example, the military struggle as a very serious thing, a men's affair, with women's involvement being reduced to menial tasks. I think what Daniel is doing here also extends beyond the fight, past those portrayals, in order to shed light on people and aspects that had been made invisible. And even celebrate them. The exhibition is a celebration, a memorial for these women fighters. For Daniel, history is cyclical.
Rather than a reiteration of the same thing, it is a process of ongoing transformation in which conflicts regularly resurface in different places. The issues of power, visibility, and discrimination are continuously addressed. The spirit of revolution, of change, is within each of us. We should recognize and celebrate it.