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Archivo Caminante: Constellations and Performativity

Eduardo Molinari, El paragüas (The Umbrella), 1987, ink, collage, cardboard, 40 × 50cm. Courtesy the artist and Colección Amalia Molinari
Looking at Eduardo Molinari’s archive-in-process, Archivo Caminante, Teresa Riccardi finds echoes of Walter Benjamin’s constellations of new meaning. A ghostly image, one that foreshadows future constellations, seems to say it all. A blind man walks with difficulty, looking upward under a storm of newspaper clippings, an umbrella covering his head. He has lost one shoe, but he keeps on walking, protecting himself from both the past and the present. This may well be how Eduardo Molinari saw himself in 1987 when he made the painting-collage El paragüas (The Umbrella): tormented by a past that was impossible to deal with. More than ten years passed before Molinari managed to conjure this image again with the creation of Archivo Caminante (Walking Archive), an artistic/ archival production of a performative nature that he has been carrying out since 1999, and under its official title since 2001. When Terry Eagleton termed Walter Benjamin a ‘Marxist Rabbi’ he was referring to Benjamin’s ability to celebrate the codified allegories from the past contained in present-day objects and the nostalgia or alienated emotional attachment that people project onto these commodities.