“Carlos Gómez Centurión, “I Say Mercedario” follows the Argentine artist and his team along their journey, traversing the rugged, virgin landscape of la Cordillera de los Andes, to reach the glacier el Mercedario. Throughout the trip, in addition to employing the naturalist movement of open-air painting, the artist also uses frottage, the technique of taking a rubbing from an uneven surface developed by surrealist Max Ernst in 1925. Ernst was inspired by the grain of the planks on wooden floorboards and captured the texture by laying sheets of paper on the floor and rubbing over them with a soft pencil. Gómez Centurión employs this process to take physical imprints of the land on site, laying canvas on top of the terrain and rubbing it with stones, brooms and other tools.
Gómez Centurión has dedicated his life to his work, painting mountains on site for over 40 years. The film covers his latest expedition, as he travels by horses and mules, to the base of el Mercedario, one of the largest glaciers in the region, which has been rapidly receding due to climate change. Set against the hypnotic landscape of the Andes Mountains, the audience follows Gómez Centurión’s daring pilgrimage to el Mercedario, to secure its essence onto canvas, before the glacier disappears all together.
This film is a poem the artist dedicates to his beloved landscape, which has been drastically altered due to climate change. “Carlos Gómez Centurión: I Say Mercedario” serves as a call to action to inspire change by emphasizing the importance of preserving the wonder and beauty of the natural world.
Directed by Raphael Castoriano and Gustavo Travieso (USA)