El Espartano

Interview: “Homesick Home”, by Jorge Macchi


Visual artist Jorge Macchi presented his “Homesick home” work in Colombia. The installation was carried out jointly with El Espartano.

On October 3, at the NC-arte gallery in Bogotá, the Lampo exhibition was opened: a site-specific project made up of two installations where the Argentine artist explores the possibilities of materializing light. The rigidity of the wooden structure of “Gloria”, the first work available to the public, is set against the fluffy aspect of the rug created by Macchi jointly with El Espartano which is exhibited in the second hall. Several dyeing tests were carried out in order to achieve the naturalness in the blurring of the design. Ten different hues of fibers make up the scale of greys thought for this Alexa rug which has been hand-tufted.



Lampo, from the Latin lampāre, makes reference to a fleeting flash of light. Macchi’s work is characterized by the question about the absence, by what is left of something when it is gone… In “Homesick home” the softness of the rug contrasts with the metallic hardness of a lamp which, although it is off, it allows the passage of light. Its imprint leaves us thinking about whether the light is part of the remains of the past or a desire of the present. Or perhaps that lamp was never switched on?

CWhatever the answer, the truth is that Macchi’s works lead us to immerse ourselves in a happy nostalgia where diverse temporalities and materials coexist in harmonious contradiction.

In the following interview the visual arts tells us why he has decided to work with a rug and what he has discovered in this process…

What was the process of production like?

Alexandra Kehayoglou, who I met through my assistant Irina Kirchuk, contacted me with El Espartano. In the first meeting I showed them a sketch which was much more complex than the one we finally made. We decided to start with a simpler project so as to see which problems we would meet on the way. Thus, we chose to work with a scale of about 10 shades of grey in the natural color of the wool. The greatest difficulty of this task was to achieve a gradual passage from black to the natural color chosen while being faithful to the oblong shape of the “luminous” spot. This is something which, as a painter, I can relatively easily do but to weave the superposition of the pattern in zigzag together with the gradual disappearance of black was a hard job of trial and error. 


Which specific features of the rug represent what you want to transmit with this installation?

For me, it was very important for the illumination effect to be an intrinsic or organic part of the rug. For that I needed the rug to be created with that effect… to be woven with such effect. In this way, a kind of contradiction is created in the piece of work: the time of the accident that makes the lamp fall on top of the rug and the luminous effect which seems to be from before the accident. I like to think that the illumination effect is a ghost stuck in the rug.



Is the passage of light on the rug as brief as a flash of lightning, or is it just the perception of it or the effect of time?

Both in “Gloria” and in “Homesick home” there is a brief moment of brightness. The consequence of this action turns into a structure or in an optical effect woven in a rug. I find similarities with the effect that lingers on the pupil when the eyelids are closed after watching a bright object. The difference is that in that case the effect is temporary while in the two works it is permanent.

Homesick Home by Jorge Macchi from El Espartano on Vimeo.