This web-site is both an exhibition catalogue and an archive. The works that conform the exhibition are the result of a one month intensive research period carried on in the little Paraguayan town of Puerto Casado in June 2016. During that period, a group o people coming from different disciplinary traditions has collected the materials that have been transformed in the following months into an archive and an exhibition that has travelled between Paraguay, the U.S. and Italy.
The aim of this collective journey was to narrate the history of the Carlos Casado S.A. tannin company in Paraguay from the year 1889 to the year 2000. During this interval of time, different groups have co-existed in Puerto Casado: indigenous people and peasants coming from different parts of the country, the Salesian missionaries, the argentinean descendants of the Casado-Sastre family, foreign managers and technicians. In an ongoing dialogue with the research fieldwork that the anthropologist Valentina Bonifacio has been carrying on in Puerto Casado since the year 2004, each of the participants has decided to focus on a particular aspect of that history in order to narrate it through different mediums:
- Lia Colombino has co-curated the exhibition with Valentina Bonifacio and she has written the curatorial text that still accompanies it.
- Alfredo Quiroz has used family albums and archival audio-recordings to give life to the past in three video-art pieces.
- Luvier Casali has created an archive of the town through the technique of rubbing, copying and subverting at the same time the meaning of things and signs.
- Marco Benitez has reinterpreted the symbols and images of work, and made the body of the quebracho tree a protagonist of that history.
- Fredi Casco has intervened the abandoned ex-factory administrative archive creating complex layers of meanings and connections.
- Ricardo Alvarez and Silvana Nuovo have been inspired by family albums and other forms of documenting their history on the part of the local inhabitants creating images that stand in friction with one another.
- Edu Barreto has played with the idea of postcard giving us an alternative portrait of the town.
- Sigrid Drechsel has documented migrant plants and insects that inhabit the place.
- Elena Habre has documented the main socio-economic changes that Puerto Casado has undergone before and after the closing of the factory.
- Isabel Saffon has dug into the history of land tenure in the Chaco region in order to contextualize the present struggles for land of a group of local inhabitants.