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Concerning “Diario Objeto” (Object Diary)


Alicia Barney, Nueva York, 1977


I want to form an image of the organic character of my work and develop an intrinsic quality within it, a reality in art closely related with the processes of growth and decline, which approaches an existence which is virtually related to the immersion of Pop Art in the idea or object of the work, but emphasizing the limited duration of a life cycle.


In taking up the diary, I seek an art that has meaning in my daily life, which is pertinent to everything I do and am. I reject art as a highly specialized activity, an art that investigates itself in an endless tautology. This depends on a heavy preoccupation with technical innovation and the History of Art.


On the contrary, the majority of works that one finds in museums are artifacts or relics of past civilizations. In their time, these objects had an immediate relation with the world they belonged to. The “slice of life” is found in the art of every period. That is how being an artist and making art was justified.


My involvement in a cosmic vision is projected with the impetus of the critical moment, through which the object-symbol is captured. It is an integration of the “act of seeing and the vision of the artist.” My work does not resemble a scientific investigation. It takes inspiration in daily life. However, it has deep roots in a determined sociological system, of thought and ideas.


El Diario (The Diary) reflects on all of those characteristics that make up humans. The symbolic object reflects my involvement, but it retains its identity and myth, which is intuititively understood as that, as the object is unconscious of its own meaning: “That which today is called an art object is the degraded understanding of a magic object” (1). Although El Diario (The Diary) is basically masturbatory, it extends to other realms. Autobiography weighs no more than what it translates, and is universal among individuals. It is presented through its objects reflecting and commenting on personal as well as public interests, present in the material world, as well as giving acknowledgment to the passage of time.


On the physical level, sculpture confronts people with their own body: El Diario (The Diary) analyzes and breaks this physical world only to organize it once again. Thus the object will be endlessly remembered and forgotten, becoming almost non-existent.


Once we accept that our basic condition of isolation, communication on certain levels is possible; individual life has common denominators of life in society.

El Diario (The Diary) can be read thanks to its horizontal threads each constructing a “story.” However, its meaning is sufficiently evasive so that each is distinct to each onlooker. Human experience is mysterious. The perception of reality is at once subjective and fragmentary. Even still, a “story” is revealed through the objects.


Memory and present come together. These objects attract the senses of those who observe them and the experience is transferred. On that depends the ability of El Diario (The Diary) to exist on its own.


1.  Claes Oldemburg, Store Days (New York: Something Else Press Inc., 1967) p.60

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