Current Exhibitions

Festival de video experimental para domo
Bogotá, Colombia
11.12.2019 – 13.12.2019

Rolf Art – Group Show
24.07.2019 – 22.09.2019

Rolf Art – Sección principal
Bogotá, Colombia
19.09.2019 – 22.09.2019

BienalSur 2019
Museo Nacional de Bellas Artes
Neuquén, Argentina
23.07.2019 – 22.09.2019

Artist’s texts

The Object, the Water

By Silvia Rivas, 1993

I build my work line drawing and rectifying a map. The path extends like loops and the work is created more like a station than as destination. In case the starting point is an image, in the second instance there always is a text that states the idea contained therein. If the starting point is a text, it necessarily decodes a previous mental image in other terms. Image or text produce resonance, they act as proof of a phenomenon or relationship that obsesses me and that I verify in different situations or contexts.

Example: ambiguity, the double nature of things, the coexistence of opposites and the frail thresholds that separate them. To transform this into a “work” I use materials that are associated, substantially or by analogy, by means of certain properties or qualities, to the “theme” of the work. The material is the “body” of the work, instead of support. The theme is metaphor, the image is symbol, trace or simple presentation.

Notes on time

By Silvia Rivas, 2000

The matter in which time is incarnated, the vacuum where it is cancelled.
The duration as a lifetime and the instant in which everything changes; the time as scenario. These are the themes that hover over these installations.

The image of the sea is the symbol of time: its substance flows, but enhances a rhythm of instants in an unrepeatable manner. In the same manner as time, it leaves marks and at the same time erases other past ones.

Matter of time. A sequence of projections that include other sequences, (water falling permanently, succession of arcs), this sequence is interfered by a simple form, (circle), plane or hole, the important is the density. In the territory of this form the time is another one, there is no succession but presence.

Passage and urgency. There is an action in which the urgency is perceived, this marks a subjective quality of time. A fragment of traveled distance, a fragment that exhausts, marks this time. The action superposes the dispassionate passage, the regularity of the series, a flow in unlimited time and space.

Instant of pain. The liquid flows (blood), as life, constant, indifferent in time. An instant produces change; in that moment the circumstance and the angle of perception are others. The idea is that the projection invades space.

Rain. The minimum measurement of the instant and its significance, in relation to what flows, where the instants are lost or included.

Foreign shape. In this case the shape interferes a passage. A fact that is beyond the circumstances.

Waiting. Qualities of time add on like layers. This are the qualities for a given.
Situation: the waiting.
A passive action interfered by mechanical gestures, a lapse of time that does not
Develop in facts, a movement like a pastime and backwards the violent coming and going of a waterfall is the image of the subjective perception of that waiting time.

Infinite Resource. A fragment of time traveled marks a limit in time, a measurable distance, a duration. The accent is in the subjective quality of time whereto he mainstream measurement is abolished. Distances are stretched or compressed and an instant becomes an entity, like a point of inflection, minimum instance from which everything changes, it simply merges in the regularity of the series. On another level, the dispassionate passage of time, a flow of limitless time and space, a flow, which is tinged but not disturbed.

Instant and Duration

By Silvia Rivas, 2000

The matter on which time is set, the emptiness where it is cancelled.
The duration as a lifetime and the instant in which everything changes; the time as stage.
The sea like time, leaves traces and in the same act erases them.
It goes to and fro weaving a robe of sequels.

An instant, precise place of time, or a point as from which a replacement is produced,
a story is deferred. There where the support, worn out at length, breaks.

Suspense, spark without trace.

Weak events

by Silvia Rivas, 2002

To give the image of the sensation of present,
to fix that fugitive sensation of “being there”.

In these images there is an opposition between the continuous and not differentiated and the subjective sensation of duration of the present.

Flow is marked by the wind and water currents. The process and dynamics are indifferent to the effect of their action. Actions separated from their agent generate their own consequences. The whole dynamics perform in a space in which the man is inserted in his present, trying to fix the part that disappears, resisting the inevitable.

This series has images that are repeated and make reference to the particular forms of being present.

Cheating Muchachita

Rivas-Trilnick, 2004
Variable channel video-installation for monitors

Cheating Muchachita is one piece of a series of video installations called Delta. This series done by Rivas and Trilnick through 2003/2004, talked about the Rio de la Plata and the flat surroundings as a context and an historical background. This piece in particular points immigration and exile as facts that became a definition of our country. The tango sang in English by Gardel becomes a metaphor of both circumstances. It’s title, Cheating Muchachita, (Cheating Young Girl), refers ironically to the constant deception felt in this land by those who came to stay and by those who were forced to leave. The river is the gate; the English spoken tango is our diffuse identity.

The Tango: Cheating Muchachita, (Cheating Young Girl), (tango) (Carlos Gardel – Alfredo Le Pera – John Snow). Vertion spansh-english of the tango “Amargura”, from the movie “Cazadores de Estrellas”. Recorded at RCA Víctor Studies, Nueva York, 20/3/35, with the Terig Tucci Orchestra.

Everything from Outside

By Silvia Rivas, 2004

Everything from outside is the question, the undefined object, the diffuse wish.

The images reproduce a sensation, which as such, is impossible to describe… But, the certainty of the existence of a surrounding that is not accessible, the strong insistence to conquer the impediment and the figure of this impediment circulate with movements of one same piece.

The body is the limit and this limit is the only certain thing.
These are empty moments, there is no event whatsoever, everything is circumstance. Like in the hours of insomnia, there is no landmark to draw the path.

And so things are … someone sings to himself as support, so that the echo sets the limits of everything that is inside.

The first movements of this work talk bout the impossibility, there is covered identity, that can’t see and can’t be seen. The sound puts the accent exactly on what is not there: on something that is outside; the image places it on the effort of desire.

Inside a closed eye another closed eye may be seen that tries to open without being able to do so. In spite of the insistence of the intention, everything from outside, without doubt, stays outside. Inside is the desire, the grief, the crackling of anxiety and a comforting song.

Sometimes there is no conscience, the gaze is blinded in white, there is no conscience … then there is no contradiction. The abyss opens to the black and eternal infinite … towards the inside.

Sometimes the conviction is to play the game indefinitely. The contact of one body with the other is the only reference, there is no reliable surrounding, the balance is precarious, the surface of support abandons, the other one lets go. The force of gravity hides somewhere and the anchor is the conflict.

Sometimes, the only end of the gestures is to fill dead spaces, arabesques that flow suspended in those moments, when the present denies to flow towards any result whatsoever.

Minor Events

By Silvia Rivas, 2005

A portrait is a means/resource by which one can point out uniqueness, isolation and inability of an individual to communicate. More importantly, it highlights the unadorned condition of our being as individuals. This condition, inherent to all mankind, weaves the only strand/thread with which we can create bonds. A man presented in his present, in a single action that persists indefinitely in time. In this action, and all its uncertain potentiality the narration ends. The confrontation of these two temporal series denotes the fissure between these two beings and a possible context. Moreover, this is not about circumstance it is about a condition.

The misalignment or disoriented look, constitutes the syntax of our speech, it allows to `express` in words the state of being I am referring to.

All is counterpoint among these physiognomies stuck to a background lacking spacial figures, and the transit of a pedestrian/walker/wanderer/roamer who vaguely registers the traces of a foreign hubbub with eyes focusing on the floor. On the one hand, a landscape devoid of /stripped from anything useful, a setting of trivialities, a surface condemned to never becoming a full fledged `place`, on the other the unmistakable presence of a countenance/face, of a person and his individuality considered as the only possible place.

A change in attitude cannot be detected by a person`s signals/body language or gestures, at least, not in a very evident way. The intensity of the gesture is opposite to the grandiloquence demonstrated.

Moreover, in this case, simply motioning ones face and seeing guarantees/assures nothing, in an internal/ inner action. There is no certainty, only a window of possibility. Citing Kierkegaard, here “truth is subjectivity” , and subjectivity is confined within the limits of a body.

Landscape to be Determined

By Silvia Rivas, 2008

“…and so when balance is broken, heaven chooses men, and favors those who are most sensitive and makes them resonate…”
Han Yu 768-824

To talk about the:”Rio de la Plata” as a surface, as a setting, as neutral platform

The river analogous to the flatlands dissolves into it.

Search to define a landscape that attracts and shelters and later frightens and rejects.

Defining it by its minimal geometry that does not catch gaze but a thin line in the horizon, in the land color dissolved into water…. or the reverberance of the light gently weeping about what hides in the soft flat texture of a surface.

Flatlands half soil, half water, a sad cloak that hides names and erases footprints of battle, while also a fertile blanket that has yielded more than expected.
A mild a house where sometimes it is hard to feel at home.

The twinkling omnipresent line of the horizon is put forward , responds to the poles of the violence, of the shelter, of shrinkage and abundance. The horizon is direction and certainty, a line after which an inhabitable reality is inevitably found.

A shower of petals drops, as thousands of life stories.


By Silvia Rivas, 2010

Buzzing points out the coincidence, or better still the maladjustment between a cause and its effect.

Attach qualities in a certain temporary action. The synchrony lightly displaced or fatally chained between intension and its result. An action: a consequence… the reversibility, the vicious circle.

Insistence, exercising an influence or frustration in this intent, of the purpose to nonsense, exasperation and irony, are issues that circulate by a simple action.

In a screen the unusual action trying to group the swarm. later, the juxtaposition of actions hitched among themselves.

The interaction of several associated dynamics as an assembly of syncopated rhythms where the action and their reaction are inevitably forced to the unexpected result.

The stress is positioned on one’s self-experience generating in the spectator an experience of concrete associations.


By Silvia Rivas, 2015

Igual el paraíso es nuestro (Still, Paradise Is Ours) is an installation interrupted by planks that recalls an uncertain landscape of remains, a precarious habitat… a geometry that alludes to a vast, yet defined context. There, on a shelf in the background, we find paradise.

It is a small paradise constructed of stones, carefully selected pieces of debris, plants in delicate pots, small video screens showing crystal blue water (the way it ought to be), and a small fan which provides the necessary breeze.

Although surrounded by or near a natural paradise, it remains fenced off and inaccessible, therefore appearing to only exist in this representation.

In this opportunity this pieces of work are shown in dialog with some historic pieces, showing the presence of landscape as a reflexion, as unreable context, where the feeling of absence is present throughout Riva’s body of work.

Rivas was born in Buenos Aires, Argentina in 1957, where she graduated from the Escuela Nacional de Bellas Artes. In 2001 she was awarded the John Simon Guggenheim Memorial Fellowship, as well as an Artist in Residence Fellowship at the Wexner Center for the Arts in 2005. Rivas has exhibited her work at the Bronx Museum, New York; El Centro Cultural Ciudad de Buenos Aires, Museo Nacional de Bellas Artes and Museo de Arte Moderno de Buenos Aires, Argentina, Malba Museo de Arte Latinoamericano de Buenos Aires,and Fundación Proa; as well as numerous other museums and biennials around the world.