Ana Gallardo Seeks the Fountain of Age

THE DAILY PIC: Gallardo's videos look at seniors who get growing old right.


MY DAILY PIC (#1554): Sometimes, I get jealous of artists: Something notable starts to interest them, and they can follow that interest deep into the work they produce. Their preoccupations can be their profession.

That’s the case with the Argentine artist Ana Gallardo. She realized how little most of us think about life in old age, even though all of us (with luck) will go through it. That led her to seek out old people who seem to be aging notably well, and to make a series of videos, called “Primary Actions,” about how these exemplary seniors lead their lives. (I caught her videos in her retrospective at the Museum of Modern Art in Buenos Aires this spring, but they’ll be screened again at the museum of contemporary art in Mar Del Plata in July.)

Today’s Pic shows a still from “Primary Actions: Japanese Dance,” which looks at Mariko Sakata, an 83-year-old Brazilian of Japanese descent who teaches other old people to dance. Gallardo didn’t just film Mariko teaching; she joined the class, where, despite her relative youth, she comes across as one of the less promising pupils. (That’s her in back in the darker kimono.)

It’s as though Gallardo wants to start practicing now for an old age that she knows – or hopes – she will have to go through. Her video doesn’t teach dance. It’s a DIY kit for something much harder to manage with grace: aging.

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