June 5, 2014

La Metáfora de la Piel (Skin as Metaphor)

Fundación Proa
La Metáfora de la Piel (Skin as Metaphor). Image courtesy of Cátedra Saltzman.

The exhibition Joseph Beuys. Works 1955–85 held at Fundación Proa will culminate with the presentation of a fashion show and research project that addresses the topics of skin and the suit in Beuys’s work. The fashion show will be organized by students of the Universidad de Buenos Aires program in Garment and Textile Design.


Beuys’s formulations in the sphere of education go beyond the limits of art and question traditional structures and methodologies. They turn to creativity and action, rather than to institutions and their rules, as foundational methods. From Beuys’s famous video How To Explain Pictures to a Dead Hare to his concept of the pictogram as body and his blackboards, Beuys’s actions in education have incited a series of proposals and works connected to the exhibition on the local scene.

Over the course of the show, a wide range of activities and events carried out by specialists as well as artists have been produced by Proa. All of these actions have ensued in a context of dialogue. Their shared intention is to grasp the multifaceted vision put forth by this exhibition.

Pursuant to a visit to the exhibition, Andrea Saltzman, Director of the Garment and Textile Design program at the Universidad de Buenos Aires, decided to develop the concept of the suit in general in relation to Beuys’s felt suit, conceived as skin covering and source of restoration. This formulation was essential to Beuys due to his mythical accident and the recovery of his skin. The university students have made use of these concepts and the symbols of the cross, the seal, and the pictogram to construct their work and to ground their practices.

The result of this study is the fashion show La Metáfora de la Piel (Skin as Metaphor) to be held at the entrance to Proa next Saturday, June 7, at 4pm. The event will feature creations by over one hundred students in the first, second, and third years of the program. In keeping with the idea of art bound to life, the students—creators and actors—will also be the models in the fashion show.

In order to deepen its relationship to the Universidad de Buenos Aires, Proa has signed an agreement with the Art History department, which is directed by Dr. Hugo Petruchansky. The agreement revolves around producing projects related to Beuys’s life and work. Next Friday, works selected by the department’s team will be read in the Proa auditorium; those works will then be published on Proa’s website in the context of the exhibition.

The Beuys exhibition in Buenos Aires held by Fundación Proa culminates by reaching its objectives, mainly building, in conjunction with students and young artists, a universe of study that reflects and furthers the cornerstones of Joseph Beuys’s thinking on art, education, democracy, and the environment.

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