In the final weeks of Once an Alien, Mi Padre (2007) by Ana Gallardo was presented at ROZENSTRAAT. Both works are about migration, resilience, the search for new grounds for existence, as well as the passage of time, precious and painful memories. Whereas Semâ literally follows her father to his native soil, Ana takes her father back in memory to the moment of his arrival in the country where he started a new life with his newly pregnant wife.
She lets the unsuspecting, now elderly, man read a 1957 newspaper article about a young artist couple fleeing the civil war from Spain to settle in Argentina. He begins even voiced, but it is not long before he realizes that the piece is about his past.
A sudden grief overwhelms him, along with the realization of a past life and the longing for his lover, Ana’s mother, who died young. Mi Padre records this extremely intimate moment and is also the first time the father shares this event from his past with his daughter.
The process of aging, testimonials and memory are important themes in the work of Ana Gallardo (Argentina, 1958) and she has already portrayed it in various ways, not infrequently inspired by her own life or that of family members. She has had solo presentations at Museo de Arte Contemporáneo de Rosario (2009), Sam Arts Projects, Paris (2013) and at Parasol Unit, London (2012).
Her work has also been shown at the Venice Biennale (2015) and the Sao Paulo Biennale (2010) and at the 7a Bienal do Mercosul (2009). She recently won the Julius Baer Art Prize, an award for women artists from Latin America. Until October 2023, her work can be seen in the exhibition (I Look for You Under Another Name). Guatemalan Journal 1987-2023 at Museo de Arte Moderno in Bogotá.