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This series is a celebration of my experience of community theater, the Theater Group Catalinas Sur from the Boca district which offers vast possibilities of subjective and social transformation through works produced and acted by local amateurs. This coming-together creates neighborliness, social inclusion and a great deal of fun. I was enthused by the idea of turning the invisible skin which they, nearly 300 of them, wove between them as a new connective social tissue, into something visible in these works.

The exhibition was held in the Río Art Gallery as part of the Festival of Light of Buenos Aires. The main theme was immigration. I decided to entwine the homage to the group with a tribute to my father, an immigrant violinist from Poland. It ended up being an experience of celebration for all of us. I called it “Social Skin”, as one’s skin has the function of protecting one from aggression, it is the limit defining outside and inside, and it is also a channel of communication. It is the first surface on which any stimulus leaves its mark. I took the idea of skin as a metaphor, like D. Anzieu and imagined that in each situation of the group where there is an encounter between people, there are marks which impress themselves on the inside and leave scars that in turn become “skin”. I decided to project photographs of earlier performances on the bodies of 20 members of the group and to play with the images as they formed themselves.

My present as both artist and clinical psychoanalyst are clearly entwined in this work, as are many so many other strands, the story of my father, echoes of the theater, strains of music, dance, immigration, love, pain, persecution, and above all, the celebration of people meeting people, the encounter in itself.

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Bonds is a finely-turned, delicate affair, like the embroidery painstakingly stitched by an aged neighbor. We met while going about our business in the neighborhood, and so began a great friendship. This involves a constant “doing”, demanded by the need to sustain significant relationships, a subtle task indeed. It is so meaningful to see a neighbor embroidering a phrase by the director of the Catalinas Sur Theater, an initiative developed by locals who are not professional actors with a desire to create theatrical and musical works of a high standard. Most importantly, they weave and knit social relationships, the fabric of society, so vulnerable in societies today.