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    This exhibition catalogue essay delves into Liliana Porter’s ability to draw connective conversations between the viewer and object, via juxtaposition and dialogue. Virginia Pérez-Ratton writes that this conversation depends on the portrayal of the author (Liliana Porter), the spectator, and the conjunction between the intentions and receptive forces that arise from different and unexpected relations. Porter evokes lucidity in her process of overlapping realities which ultimately leads to constant doubt of what reality is, as well as its representation.


    As curator of the exhibition Liliana Porter: Una puesta en imágenes, held at TEOR/éTica in Costa Rica in 2003, Virginia Pérez-Ratton (1950-2010) writes in the exhibition catalogue on the dialogues constructed by Argentinean artist Liliana Porter (b. 1941) and her use of banal objects to create familiar conversation. By modifying the objects meanings in ways that reflect or influence our behavior, Porter illustrates scenes that act as a mirror for the viewer, exercising dramas and conventions that govern our lives, such as; falling in love, being afraid, getting distracted or hiding from something. It is the obvious, and sometimes comedic irony of her dialogues, which deliver nostalgia to viewers.


    Pérez-Ratton references Mosquera’s essay “Shaking Hands with Mickey,” and argues that Porter does not “interpret” her dialogues, instead she allows for the intrinsic possibilities of certain objects by inserting unrealistic details in converging situations. She writes that significant developments are “generally constructed on the basis of binary structures in which their own linear opposites are doubly challenged by creating all sorts of unanticipated relationships.”

    [See in the ICAA digital archive, the texts: “Liliana Porter: Diálogos Perplejos,” by Inés Katzenstein (doc. no. 1181655) and “Shaking hands with Mickey,” by Gerardo Mosquera (doc. no. 1180798) regarding Porter’s dialogues].


    This essay is important because it was written by a crucial promoter of Latin American contemporary artists, who recognized Porter’s contributions to the field.


    Artist, art critic, curator, and art historian Virginia Pérez-Ratton was born in San José, Costa Rica, in 1950. Pérez-Ratton was director of the Museum of Contemporary Art and Design in San José from 1994 towards the end of her life in 2010. She founded TEOR/éTica in 1999 in hopes to promote contemporary art in the region. Her foundation continues today and is dedicated to the investigation and diffusion of contemporary art practices.


    Liliana Porter (b. 1941) was born in Buenos Aires, and began studying art at the Escuela Nacional de Bellas Artes Manuel Belgrano. In 1958 she and her family moved to Mexico City, where she enrolled at the Universidad Iberoamericana and took classes from the German artist Mathias Goeritz (1915–90), specializing in printmaking with Guillermo Silva Santamaría. She returned to Buenos Aires in 1961 and remained there until 1964, where she continued art training with Fernando López Anaya and Ana María Moncalvo. Porter played a major role in the New York Graphic Workshop (NYGW, 1964–65). In the last 20 years of her career she has specialized in pictures and sculptures that incorporate figurines found in thrift stores and flea markets, as well as larger installations that incorporate surrounding spaces and sites. Liliana Porter currently lives and works in Rhinebeck, New York state.