Raquel Bessio


Raquel Bessio - Photo: Antonella de Ambroggi

Raquel Bessio. Photo:Antonella de Ambroggi



La Tierra prometida / The promised land


Installation, 2009

Metal boxes and flowers, dimensions variable


The promised land - details
The promised land – installation


Landscape 1 – the work of Raquel Bessio refers to mythical values intrinsic to the country and the region. In Uruguay, a feeling of diffident isolation prevails. This feeling is apparent in collective behaviour as well as in attitudes towards external matters. The so-called “promised land” is nothing but a compartmentalized, grey, darkly metallic territory. The enclosed spaces eat away at certainties and resolutions, a process which the very pieces of the work, as they rust, will undergo. In this process, the work achieves autonomy, becomes spontaneous. Ultimately, the work provokes hazardous action in a game of te quiero mucho, poquito y nada (a reference to a children’s game, the equivalent of “He loves me, he loves me not”; which in Spanish is “I love you a lot, a little, not at all”).



the work in process
the work in process



“To this first reading of La Tierra Prometida as an “ideal” location, one should add the issues which the regional aspect involves, from a political perspective. The unity of the Latin American countries which constitute the “commercial union” called MERCOSUR may strengthen them, although this is a promise which is as yet unfulfilled.” (…) “Iron, the material chosen by the artist for the realisation of all her work, presupposes slow and inevitable decay. In contrast to this, Bessio presents a game of infantile, or rather, adolescent, obstacles by placing in each of the boxes flowers – daisies – which in these latitudes act as symbols of response regarding love and indifference, based on botanical chance. This botanical aspect, dictated by a superior being, or simply by “nature” as the creator of all things, could be equivalent to a superior political being who createsand destroys all things, if not wilfully, in accordance with laws which we cannot begin to understand. This uncontrollable and unassailable power is enclosed in a box which should contain “fruits” – certainties – but instead contains flowers which promote uncertainty. Bessio presents in her work an apocalyptic vision of this region. It is possible that in this poetic equation the idea is being proposed of action as the only possible reaction capable of confronting this reality.”

Patricia Bentancur / Commissioner

Extract from “Critical landscapes” catalogue


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