Alejandro Cesarco, born 1975 in Montevideo, Uruguay, now lives and works in New York. Exhibiting across the United States, Latin America and Europe, Cesarco currently has a solo exhibition at MuMOK in Vienna, Austria opening September 2012, and has been chosen for the upcoming XXX Bienal de San Paulo. In 2011 he represented Uruguay in the 54th Venice Biennale as well as winning the Bâloise Art Prize at Art Basel in Basel, Switzerland. Cesarco is a curator as well as an artist, having curated exhibitions in Brazil, Argentina, Uruguay and New York, and he has received praised for his on-going series of conversation-based books, Between Artists by A.R.T. Press.
Zeide Issac is a six-minute, 16mm film transferred to DVD of the artist’s grandfather, a Holocaust survivor performing a script Cesarco created based on his Zeide Issac’s personal story as well as the nature of remembering and bearing witness. In a description of the piece on his website, Cesarco states the “work explicitly addresses the possibilities, limitations and responsibilities of testimony. The layering of narrative voices and the passage of time between the event an it’s retelling, from first hand experience to third generation, is allegorically implied in my grandfather’s passage from witness to actor.”
Zeide Issac was the second work selected for where is the power. Upon securing this touching and profound piece for the show, it was gratifying to realize that in addition to addressing testimony, Cesarco’s film relates to other works in the exhibition on various issues including memory as seen in Liam Gillick’s text piece that incorporates the quote “It is a poor memory that only runs backwards” from Alice: Through the Looking Glass by Lewis Carroll. In Zeide Issac, Cesarco seems to concur with the White Queen’s assertion that memory runs both ways as he layers image, sound and source to conflate fact and fiction, perception and experience, author and reader, making a case for complexity in thought and recall.