An illuminated carousel in the dark

We Are the Limit of all Things © Mariana Telleria

Mariana Telleria

We Are the Limit of all Things / Somos el límite de las cosas, 2011 / 2024

To remove, to clear away, to cut out matter until objects become lines, drawings in space, their own outlines – this method of “lyrical materialism” engages the Argentinian artist Mariana Telleria. She empties things of their referentiality, relieves them of their function and effaces to reveal their semiotic core, often by painting them in black.

On the Radical Playgrounds site stands an empty carousel, or rather its skeleton, its soul, its beginning and its end. It is derelict, out of order and thus, both abstract and concrete. Is it alive or dead? Do we really have to decide in favour of one option? 
This carousel harbours the paradox and the joys of play. It is not serious, it stands outside the ordinary, it has no material interest, it does not generate profits, it is open to numerous imaginary situations, it is not subject to any externally imposed rules, it connects unknown things with each other. As a pure, imperfect imitation of itself, it is platonic. As the decolonial writer María Lugones puts it: “The playful attitude involves openness to surprise, openness to being a fool, openness to self-construction or reconstruction and to construction or reconstruction of the ‘worlds’ we inhabit playfully”.

This enigmatic merry-go-round also addresses our limits and boundaries, our habitual patterns and the circular movements of trauma, love or joy. It is meant to remain empty forever and offer visitors the opportunity to fill it imaginatively, with a longing for what is yet to come, as a kind of contemplative state that stimulates memory and the desire to play deeply. The work seems to display the tension between the constant human need to return to childhood and the simultaneous impossibility of ever reaching that state again.

Mariana Telleria is an Argentinian artist reflecting on the cultural meaning of everyday things, the possible uses of forms, and the way human civilization is defined by metaphysics, cosmogony, or philosophy.