Florencia Gonzalez Alzaga

Por piedad
Ernesto Catena Fotografía Contemporánea - 05/2007, Buenos Aires

by Josefina Ayerza

Florencia Gonzalez Alzaga became indeed a fantasy when she entered the Zavaleta Lab, in Buenos Aires, the Spring of 2006, with "Fidelidad Maldita", her first exhibition made up of 20 photographs in the matter of raising horses with a spell, conjuring up birds, bewitching gardens. In her Madonna and child, a Catholic-inspired religious image, Gonzalez Alzaga is certainly highlighting the structure. And structures account for discourses. The selective character of the portrait opens the way to the certain dialectics through which the subversive subject - a third one in question - demands to be signified beyond the actual fascination of the image.

"Por piedad" her second show, at Catena Gallery, consists of 14 photographs engaging adolescent activities, even greener gardens, and her famous alluring horses with exotic lives. How so? As a matter of fact these particular horses breed in the bewitched gardens. And this is how a Tizer actually prepares - sexually arouses - the mare Princesses for the King stallion. Thereby the magnificent scenes - photographs - where the in-heat stud pulled backwards - never gets to penetrate the mare - jumps high, his horse main ruffled up in the air, the eyes red in outrage.

The work primal material - a processed paper with a shine, which she mounts on lavish classical frames, is surprisingly effective.

Apart from the mysterious aim that may have driven Gonzalez Alzaga to capture a group of young adolescents walking the river in prayer, the representation of the girl portraying the spirit that posses her may well stand for separated feelings. Separated from the kids in the group - the ones watching - and separated from her. Her action is being directed from the inside, by the someone there, inside/outside herself.

The subversive subject. Like the pain professional whiners embody, hired whiners that "do the grieving" for the relative of the sadden, the purpose of this strange ritual was to externalize one's grief, delegate it onto a kind of exterior apparatus - another human being. Someone else does it for us.

Research showed that although people watching comedy shows with canned laughter laughed less, the physiological effects were as if they had indeed laughed. Slavoj Zizek compares this logic to that of the Tibetan wheel: we insert a piece of paper with a prayer into a mechanical wheel, we turn the wheel and the prayer is relayed to the appropriate authority - the prayer wheel preys for us. Again, the logic of the Tibetan prayer wheel is increasingly that of post-modern culture as a whole-we delegate to the electronic apparatus what we previously did ourselves.