The Landscape of Theory

Jorge Luis Cometti

The Latin American Art Museum of the City of Buenos Aires has been often interested in the point of view of those travellers who reached American shores during the first centuries of the Spanish conquest and colonization, as well as during the early years of the formation of the respective republics. The exhibitions “Travellers: Emeric Essex Vidal” and “Guido Boggiani and the Chaco: A 19th Century Adventure” are only two recent examples of the Museum’s interest in these issues.

As time went by, chroniclers, painters and photographers have provided us  with early views of places where we familiarly step into today, or portraits of our predecessors: all of them historical sources that reveal themselves as fascinating testimonies sparking our imagination and supplementing –with a singular perspective– the construction of our very identity.

Accounts and images of travels often generate a close relationship with their readers and observers, who thus become travel partners, both of previous ways and of those to come.

Their world is one in constant movement, represented by the desire of fully reconstructing it over and over again. Our knowledge about others, their life style and cultural forms is complemented by information about the traveller's place of origin,  thus generating a circle of understanding. However, each journey carries with it all previous knowledge, a cultural experience usually so heavy that the desire of knowing about the other becomes just an inclusion issue.

The art of travelling has its own strategies, and its underlying reasons may be the craving for knowledge, ignorance, boredom or boldness. The Bold Prince, Fearless John, and the hero portrayed in Iwein –the knights novel by Hartman von Aue– are just examples of how travels may begin. And they resemble the beginning of the long journey taken by Liborio Justo, which always contrasted with his set of ideas due to his family background.

The exhibition opening today at the Isaac Fernández Blanco Museum , within its series of photographic exhibitions, encompassess a series of images of an extraordinary artistic value,  acknowledging at the same time, one of the most interesting protagonists of our recent history.

Liborio Justo has been one of our travellers. He has photographed his own paths, and his images record the way he saw the world –the landscape of his theories–, portrayed with mastery within the same core of the world he tried to fight against.

His travels have been the great metaphor of his existence, of  his knowledge and  search for his own identity. Liborio Justo has dreamt of and traveled his paths,  those of his desire...


Jorge Luis Cometti
Director of the Latin American Art Museum “Isaac Fernández Blanco


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