Maria Moreno fires Jorge Gumier Maier
– A letter has arrived…! A letter arrived from readers who…! shouted the magazine’s general manager Alfonsina which was advertised in the 1980s as the “First Women’s Newspaper”. She couldn’t finish her sentence.
– From a fascist?
-On the contrary!
The previous week, we had carpeted the city with the poster for the cover of the second issue whose title was “To love another woman” and the advertisers had shouted to the sky from the center and from the left. Then the director had published a kind of defense where he said something like “we are mostly straight, we have children, we cook”, what Rafael Cippolini calls “the return to the closet”.
This letter accused us of having become masks, of having a straw tail in politico-sexual matters. It was up to me to answer, I was the director of the magazine. Don’t answer. I called directly the number that the author had left in the letter. He seemed to be waiting for the call. The next day, she came to the date with crystal bangs hanging from her ears and her fingernails painted green. He was a guy similar to Helmut Berger and his name was Jorge Gumier Maier. We have become friends. Very friends. He introduced me to Néstor Perlongher and the three of us became friends. We used to plagiarize the ideologue Mario Mieli: “As long as there is a woman who refuses or fears sexual rapprochement by another woman, As long as there is a man determined to ensure and defend the virginity of his donkey, the kingdom of freedom will not be conquered. It is the certainty with which the homosexual point of view illuminates the future”. It was delirium. Phrases like ‘sexual falsity’, ‘straight state’ or ‘gaya revolution’ didn’t take away the naivety from our lips that used the word ‘desire’ as often as you eat them.” Gumier Maier was in full effervescence.
Once upon a time there was a hallway. Oh times! Omar Chabán acted naked, passing a piece of bofe over his body or a razor that buzzed like an electric prod; a text called the guinea pig by Emeterio Cerro – he swore there were parts in Franco-Lusitano – it sounded like “plurimo bolo tose, pergola colosose, pompano lame rose”. Garlic prawns, dressed as a baby, pissed on a basement to say what a theatre. Batato Barea, just by moving a chaise longue, installed metaphysics; Yes the Maresca was alive, very much alive. And how to describe the night when Roberto Jacoby organized a Body Art contest under the slogan “Be famous in fifteen seconds” and where the goldsmith of Tucuman Rolly Bombón tried to activate the microphone and was removed from the stage by a patovica? And how difficult it was to get Gumier Maier off the stage when he was the host of a show called the symposium, in which, with a curly papier-mâché wig made by himself, he gave military speeches disguised as Hans Christian Andersen’s toy soldier while the writer Claudia Schvartz portrayed a moving “papuse” who, with the gestures of Negra Bozán, downloaded phrases from Nietzsche and then pulled out a toothbrush, washed his mouth and spat on stage. All mixed up. All. From the front row, you could hear my laughter. His works were therefore flat, but they already had these characteristic curls that brought happiness.
Then Gumier Maier finally left the stage and went from artist to curator and The Cochamber. This this the the wind took This is the exhibition with which Liliana Maresca opened the gallery: a kind of beach after a storm, with the ruins of an unforgettable summer in the form of broken deckchairs, marine debris and carp carcasses. A German brilliant makes of every plebeian matter a part; against the cutlery and the waist according to the wave of the cup in the tankard, the embroidery of Classe d’Oeuvres; and against the leather worked in the machorro gaucho belts, the macramé bundles and full of twists like the shell of a nautilus. The Rojas Cultural Center gallery assessed what already existed but was denied exist out loud apart from the label of crafts or practical activities: domestic know-how without limits of invention such as cake decoration, glitter painting, the art of papirola and wicker weaving, party favors schools and low-cost product labels intervened. Cost. But beware ! : there was also “painting” only from another jar.
MEMORY IN TECHNICOLOR
The metal and sheet metal cutouts of his father Gino’s factory, the pastel colors of the interior of his aunt Ester’s hairdressing salon, the handcrafted furniture that a great-uncle decorated with birds that he first painted with colored pencils on sheets of canson paper, the combinations of formica tables, almanacs and tiles from pizzerias and ice cream parlors that other parents made to spend the summer in Mar del Plata, are the spaces from which the retina of Gumier Maier recovered its copetinera aesthetic of the fifties.
What analytical vulgate would call screen memories, with Gumier, there are no words to interpret. They are pure form. Except for that juicy syllable of saliva – “chi” – that every child savors before submitting to the oedipal orthopedics which obliges him to pronounce “ma” and “pa”. Two one-handed streets to impose the obligatory sense of desire. What strong from have the mother in one turn of the reel!
Gumier found the “chi” earlier than he himself recognizes it, and before his mouth watered to say “chongo”, “concha”, “pinchila”. “Everything that came out was with ch: chicks, trinkets, chafalonías. I felt like a chichipío who does little things. And I also remembered Omar (Schiliro) a lot because he had never made an exhibition with so much color and movement: each work draws for a world, I won’t say totally different and autonomous, but each has its own personality. “Leave those stripes” was the motto of Omar, who was also Chichi, Chichita. So I thought: Chicks? It seemed to me that all the names underlined something childish that did not interest me. And I didn’t want to call him Chi chi because he was so mysterious. So I decided to consult the I Ching, which is always wisdom. And not in the idea that he would give me the title but that he would guide me. The hexagram came out, which had never come out before. What was his name ? Chi-Chi.
The chichi were the works of Gumier Maier escaped from the third dimension, they also had curlers that aroused happiness and made people laugh.
THE FIGURATION AS A RESERVE
“I don’t know if I have as much to do with the Madi movement, as they pointed out to me. The Madi and concrete art were born against illusionist figurative art, considered bourgeois. I remember that everything I saw of Madi – I must have been fifteen, I was at the Beaux-Arts – for me it was pure landscape and illusion. Lozza says that he is only form and color, that his work does not refer to any experience, neither imaginary nor sensory: it is pure perception. Hence the word perceptism. But when I was fifteen, I saw birds, mountains, roads in his works. In concrete art, I have always found landscapes. For Gumier Maier, the desired figuration was strategic, like a large ecological reserve, a thing, an animal, any non-human being, when it was called: “here is a little bird”, “it is a flower”, “a lady”, they automatically remain protected against disappearance.
When Gumier Maier went to live in Tigre, he built three cabins matching Van Gogh’s furniture. He rented one to me for a while. Faced with my complaints about the worn-out crockery, he pointed to the treasures on the walls: paintings by Benito Laren, an Avello located where Catholics usually put a crucifix, and more devoutly, a yellow pineapple against a red display case. , with leaves. whose obscure function could be to store ice but also frozen sangria. He showed it to me with the contagious enthusiasm of a drug dealer.
He slept in a queen bed, covered in cats that hissed at him when he tried to evict them to make himself comfortable. He looked like that Bubulina of Zorba the Greeksuperb between embossed headboards and soft cushions.
They said that Gumier Maier was dead and that day I thought I saw on a photo on his Facebook something that hadn’t really happened: a white matter made of tiny dots thrown into the waters of the Sarmiento river – his ashes, I thought – thrown away in the early morning. I saw the colors of dawn changing until they completed their repertoire (cala white, duckling yellow, Jackie pink, Nile green, krishna orange). Then I thought: “Now you are going to become a myth Amancay, Cat Skin, Brunilda Bayer river” and I remembered an episode of the Teatro Patrio where, brandishing a legüero bass drum, you sang: “Petit os, petit bones, where is my little body.” This could have been a good slogan for human rights, but it had to be considered too bold, because it did not prosper.
December 10, his death. A few days before I called him on whatsapp where I was hospitalized to tell him about the ups and downs of my own hospitalization, the losses in my body (paralysis of the right arm and semi-paralysis of a leg following a stroke) He replied: “Supercalifragilisticespialidoso”. A more enigmatic epigram than Warhol’s “Buying is more American than thinking”. And he added that the thumb of his right hand had been amputated, and that he could no longer draw. I proposed to him to found the artistic organization “Las Manos de Perón”. He did not answer. It was time for due courtesies – “you are beautiful and essential”, more by prescriptive heritage than by critical judgment, he who had always praised me with the most perverse adjectives. Would we do “The Hands of Perón”? In our friendship, there was neither equality nor reciprocity. Fortunately, our pop souls once met like those who today greet each other over their jugulars by bumping their fists twice three times as if they were trying to knock on a door. “We will grow,” he signed. He did not do it. He wouldn’t or couldn’t. HLVS (Hasta la Victoria Siempre) put on foot.