Pablo Accinelli, Nubes de paso (2018). Courtesy of the artist.
Pablo Accinelli wants his work to break beyond the bounds of its physical form; to conjure up its own context. An artist that describes the unseen surroundings hinted at by his installations as “invisible, yet present”, it’s unsurprising Accinelli’s work is characterised by an interest in the relationship between object, time and space.
These interests have been gaining the Argentinian artist the attention of important collectors and institutions across South America for some years now. He is speaking ahead of Nubes de Paso (Passing Clouds), a solo show of his work which recently opened at Museo de Arte Latinoamericano de Buenos Aires (MALBA) on 10 August, following 2017’s Cae la tarde (Evening falls), at Galería Luisa Strina in São Paulo.
Pablo Accinelli, Nubes de paso exhibition invitation (2018). Courtesy of the artist.
The MALBA exhibition features site-specific works that focus on the “space" element of Accinelli’s practice. “Because the exhibition is in the basement of the museum – a place somewhat hidden from the constant movement of the public – I incorporated different elements that relate to this sensation: sinks with water, cleaning tools, empty boxes, ventilation grilles,” he says. Accinelli also makes a point of never changing a space; he doesn’t adjust the lighting or add new walls. “I imagine it empty as if in the middle of a desert and it is this image or sensation that really affects the new works, their sizes, their shapes,” he says.
Pablo Accinelli, Duración interna (2016). © Edouard Fraipont. Courtesy of the artist.
At the heart of the show is a work consisting of four beds, each made from five sacks of concrete and accompanied by inflatable pillows, of the kind used for travelling. Titled Duración interna, 2016, this piece refers to Accinelli’s idea of how repetition can become a way of inhabiting space. It also draws from the French philosopher Henri Bergson’s theory of duration, which posited a difference between the ineffability of time as it is experienced by the individual and the quantifiable time of science. “For some years now I have been using the words duración or relación in the titles of the works, something that comes from reading [French philosopher] Deleuze's books about cinema, [in which] he takes Bergson's concepts. But above all I decided to use this lexicon to avoid guiding the object in a specific, thematic direction.”
For Accinelli, what is perhaps most important is the space around the work; what context it might be used for and what associations it might bring to the work. The plurality of possibilities this creates is in direct contrast with the more binary nature of earlier works, such as Relación externa, 2012, which features two separate tables cast in black and white. “I tried to make these systems more open; the links might go not so much to the inside of the works, but to the outside,” he says.
The Exterior of MALBA, Buenos Aires. Courtesy of MALBA. Photo: Javier Agustin Rojas.
So what’s next for Accinelli? After spending much of the year preparing for Nubes de Paso, he can now return to a project he started with artist Leandro Tartaglia in 2006, Actividad de Uso. This work came about as a response to what they saw as institutions’ “lack of proper dissemination of, and thorough research on, new works or projects”. Together with Tartaglia, he is producing books on young South American artists that are not just presentations of images, but sites for experimentation and tools for observation. Their next book, the sixth in the series, will focus on the work of Brazilian multidisciplinary artist and film director Dudú Quintanilha.
Pablo Accinelli: Nubes de paso, Malba, Buenos Aires, 10 August–12 November