The work of Roberto Jacoby (Buenos Aires, 1944) moves constantly through areas on the very edge of artistic production. Ever since his early years as an artist linked with the famous Instituto Di Tella, which led to the mythical and revolutionary Tucumán Arde (1968), his work has been understood as a never-ending expansion of the notion of artistic activity. Among other tasks, he has written lyrics for the well-known glam rock group, Virus, he has studied sociology and political theory and he has worked as a theatre critic and as a journalist for the underground press. Such versatility has made systematic exhibition of his work a complicated endeavour, something to which this exhibition hopes to put an end.
In order to reflect this in-disciplinary nature, the exhibition has been distributed among different spaces that represent fragmentarily some of the facets, moments or modes of production found in Jacoby's work. Espacio Uno is divided into two sections: Vivir aquí, a reconstruction made in collaboration with three other artists (Marina Caro, Mariela Scafati and Daniel Joglar) of the action that formed part of the Happening of 1965, consisting of moving elements from his home-studio to the gallery; 1968 el culo te abrocho (2008) contains impressions of a modified Marx bust and musical accompaniment by the group Virus, demonstrating a number of models of politicisation, ranging from interpretation to corporal insubordination.
In the Sala de Bóvedas is Darkroom (2005), a series of video recordings of the performance of the same name that was held for a sole viewer in complete darkness, visible thanks only to a night vision camera. La castidad (2006-2007) is a video that reconstructs, in a fictiomental style, the chaste cohabitation agreement that he had with the artist Syd Krochmalny for one year. In the Sala de Protocolo is Gabinete de curiosidades, which is comprised of diverse paraphernalia from his actions that consciously reproduces the conditions of distance, sacralization and fetishism of exhibited documents. A digital archive of his work is also available for consultation.
Jacoby's work, as a whole, deals with a complex environment in which accepted norms dissolve, thus generating spaces in which social bonding is inevitable. This constant fluctuation between oneself and the collective has led to the creation of networks both inside and outside the art system. Evidence of this are the different projects he has carried out from the 1990s to the present, in which collaboration and network production is essential, such as Chacra (1999), Proyecto Venus (2000-2006) or the Argentine journal of contemporary art ramona (2000-2010). The controversy surrounding his participation in the 2010 Bienal de São Paulo, a non-official office of electoral propaganda organized by various Argentine artists who supported one of the candidates in Brazil's elections, attests to the vitality and topicality of his work.