Estar (Remain), 2010. Digital photograph of urban intervention, dimensions variable. Photo: Rita Simoni

Inhabiting Resilience: A Conversation with Rita Simoni

Rita Simoni produces the kinds of works that don’t fit into ordinary spaces. Her multidisciplinary practice covers the entire spectrum of visual art, from painting, photography, video, and digital design to sculpture and site-specific installation. Originally trained as an architect, Simoni, who is based in Argentina, focuses her attention on the creative possibilities of color and space. She never stops expanding her formal studies. For her, everything becomes part of a “work in progress,” as she constantly reinvents herself as an artist, refusing to contemplate formal stagnation or to acknowledge forbidden spaces.

María Carolina Baulo: Though your work imposes no limits on formats or supports, conceptually it all relates to a single objective. You seek to inhabit a space of resilience, recovering residual spaces and objects as art. How did you develop your approach?
Rita Simoni: Because of my varied training and curiosity about experimentation, I’m interested in expanding the possibilities of how techniques, scales, and formats can develop. Around 2001, I discovered that I needed to emphasize the resilience issue, which remains an ostinato (in music that means that while the melody circulates through various spaces, a low tone—always the same—sustains the composition). It consciously began with the economic and social crisis that demolished Argentina, but at the same time, it’s deeply linked to my family history of immigrants escaping the Holocaust, with all the negative and positive consequences of that, from melancholy to renovating energy. I speak about resilience; I work with the remains. My architectural point of view merged with this set of influences, and I began taking pictures of crumbling urban walls where once there were buildings . . .

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