Thirteen Images from The Thirteen Portrait Series, 1995-1999, photo-silk-screen, tracing paper and plastic

Thirteen Images from The Thirteen Portrait Series, 1995-1999, photo-silk-screen, tracing paper and plastic

Ana Tiscornia (Uruguay)

ANA TISCORNIA’S Thirteen Portraits brings up topics related to self-exile from her country of origin. The images question emigration, especially involuntary emigration, due to political situations. She projects historical, social and personal memories from the turbulent times in her native Uruguay into the collective realm. But her view on the impossibility of one collective memory is evident in these small and out of focus portraits of family members. They are not from your typical family album. Tiscornia made the portraits appear yellow and faded, which is the inevitable fate of all photographic images. In doing so, she allows the viewer to reflect on blurred memories. In the artist’s state of exile, her remembrance of people and events from the past reverberates in the work. One might consider the deliberate usage of the burdened number “thirteen” in the title of this series. During Uruguay’s last military dictatorship, identification of certain individuals deemed an enemy of the State would prove to be fatal. The images in their unfocused condition are a challenge to the visual authority of the art world and, as stated above, the identification of the people portrayed here are proven to be unrealizable. The fact of being unrecognizable and therefore anonymous can also be turned into something positive, beyond harm, in these Thirteen Portraits.

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