5 al 11 de agosto 2024
Asunción del Paraguay

Between Margins

Notes on Melancholy

Notes on Melancholy "Only in places where a tremendous event has occurred do ghosts roam" (La Fotografía, S. Krakauer)


I don't know which came first. Whether the spectral and ghostly presences omnipresent in those distant villages, or the siege of the river and the forest, whose margins on both sides determined the meager territory in which the remote town would remain trapped.

The accounts of the inhabitants of the area - mostly indigenous, but also a priest and a couple of military personnel who served in the place - speak of "poras" (ghosts), "Luisón" (half man, half dog, one of the 7 myths of the Guarani culture), "spectral fires" or "Malavisión," and other supernatural entities that roam the unsettling territories of the abandoned town, now completely engulfed by the Chaco forest. Perhaps these entities were already haunting the living when Pedro P. Peña was still a small village in the remote corners of Paraguayan Chaco, by the banks of the (then) Pilcomayo River. At least, that's what they say over there. The Pilcomayo is, as is known, a wandering river. Its banks are never definitive, they move like the restless strokes of a drawing, seeking improbable contours. It is not a good idea to stand in its erratic path. The small town paid for such daring with a destiny of endless melancholy, and this - as we know - lies on the margins of all possible absences. This was happening about 24 years ago.


These images, silently confronted with the aquifers that evoke the wandering river, are located between such symbolic margins: those of the river itself that, after the devastating act, changed its course, and those of the forest whose impulse of phagocytosis took hold of the spectral contours. The unsettling territory contained in this "between," "frame," or "border" is the space in which our own gazes also dwell - albeit for a short time - astounded by that which cannot be reached through representation. The veils of such images evoke, among their elusive glimmers, the words of Zarathustra: "That ghost that runs ahead of you, my brother, is more beautiful than you, why don't you give it your flesh and bones? But you are afraid and run towards your neighbor."

Fernando Allen

August 2023


Pinta Sud > 7:00 PM to 9:00 PM GALLERY August 8, 2023

● Artística Galería de Arte (Denis Roa 1034 esq. Sucre). 
Entre márgenes. Exposición de Mónica González y Fernando Allen.