What cannot be seen, 2019. Resin, PVC tubes, pumps, electronics, Arduino, artificial blood, sound, steel, and electronic components, 80 x 40 x 40 in. Photo: Tomás Saralegui

Spectral Memory: A Conversation with Liana Strasberg

What to remember and how to remember: these are the key concerns in Liana Strasberg’s work, which unearths and reworks images and symbols from the past in order to create what the Argentinian artist calls a “new memory file.” Strasberg takes a critical view of social and political issues, as well as historical narratives, reframing them through the lens of physical and psychological suffering. Drawing on her own memories, she translates the private into the public; her works flesh out absences and encourage viewers to re-examine personal recollection while building collective memory together. In many works, the female body becomes the protagonist in an alternative drama exploring exile and displacement, identity and fragmentation, manipulation, abuse, and loss. Created from a variety of materials, including resin, rubber, steel, and artificial blood, Strasberg’s sculptures and installations attempt to visualize what we often cannot or will not see—and what we cannot, therefore, remember—making it a necessary foundation for rethinking the present and the future.

María Carolina Baulo: Though your work refers to various bodies, individual and collective, the female body is fundamental—a territory of struggle, resistance, and overcoming. Could you talk about your approach to this powerful imagery?
Liana Strasberg: The notion of the collective body has always been present in my work. In my paintings from the late ’80s and ’90s, the body appears as an anonymous mass, migrant bodies only recognizable as a whole . . .

. . . Subscribe to print and/or digital editions of Sculpture to read the full article.