Piel de escuela (School Skin), 2020
embroidery and textiles
Courtesy of the artist
Lucrecia Lionti’s newly commissioned installation School Skin is a series of embroidery and textile works that combine the use of text and image to reflect on how past history continues to shape collective and individual identities. Lionti builds on the history of repression, and on the 340 plus illegal detention, torture, and extermination centers created during Argentina’s last military dictatorship (1976–83). She explores the material and immaterial traces of the Escuelita de Famaillá (Famaillá School) in her home province of Tucumán—the first detention center, created in 1975 as a trial run for what was soon to come. She borrows and explores the image of the school’s old blackboards: as material evidence of torture, given that survivors remember bumping their heads with these while kept in captivity at the school; but also as a site that condenses the potential of education, and thus for the unlearning of narratives that have led both Argentinian and Korean societies to the most violent crimes against humanity. The very same narratives that still today endanger the sustainability of democracy across the world. Positioning itself against any form of melancholy, Lionti’s work engages in dialogue with the human rights organization Abuelas de Plaza de Mayo (Grandmothers of Plaza de Mayo) and its forty-year struggle for the restitution of their grandchildren, the right to identity of every child, and, above all, an education in human rights for every generation of Argentinian citizens.
Lucrecia Lionti (b. 1985, Argentina) lives and works between Tucumán and Buenos Aires, Argentina. Her work includes collages, drawing, painting, embroidery, objects, and installations that incorporate text related to the materiality, history or meaning with which they are constructed. She is interested in the places where she lives and works, their history and contemporaneity, their economy, their social divisions, her own means of survival, and the fluctuations of feelings these means entail. Often, these elements become entangled with geometric abstraction and other art movements. She received grants and prizes including Bec.AR, FNA Creación (2018), L.E.A (Faena Arts Center, Buenos Aires, 2012), Premio Estímulo Salón de Mayo (Museo Rosa Galisteo, Santa Fe, Argentina, 2019) and First Prize from Museo UNT (Tucumán, Argentina, 2018) and participated in residency programs at Espacio de Arte Contemporáneo (Montevideo, 2019); Matadero Madrid – Centre for Contemporary Creation (Madrid, 2017), Centro Cultural de la Memoria Haroldo Conti (Buenos Aires, 2016). Her work is part of the following collections: Museo Nacional Centro de Arte Reina Sofía (Madrid), Le 19, Crac – Centre régional d’art contemporain (Montbéliard, France).