Diogenes procedure: trying to structure chaos.

When hungry I am a Maltese
When full I am an elkhound
Either way
I´m the kind of dog that people admire
But don´t take on hunting trips
Diogenes of Sinope.

I carry on with the evidences, the exhibition «The Sculpture of the present» (by Diego Bianchi, 2007 UNO contemporary art space) is evidently, a systematic accumulation: a working method that builds (and requires) a reading method. I will talk of a coincidence to understand the procedure.

A while ago, watching television I found out about Diogenes syndrome: a behavioral disorder that affects old people that live alone, usually without social networks. They believe to be living in extreme poverty and accumulate domestic rubbish until they saturate the space they live in, literally fulfilling (without space for metaphor) the economic premises of heritage and wealth.

At the time I was finding this out, the hand without the remote control had a book that explains how the term cynic came up: some Greek philosophers were called Kinicos (similar to the dog [kyon]) because of their behavior and continuous praise of dogs virtues. One of these philosophers was Diogenes of Sinope.

Katinka Pilscheur

Among the behaviors that these philosophers praised, were the radical idea of liberty, shamelessness and the attack against traditions and social ways of life. They didn´t constitute a school (in the academic sense of dispensing knowledge), but acted by matching interest, like a flock.

The book where this information can be found is the recollection made by Diogenes Laercio, called Lives and Opinions of Eminent Philosophers. In the 10 volumes of this compilation, the historian of philosophy includes, together with proven facts, many uncertain information and gossip. Plenty of the data included is what could be called redundant information, the richness of the work can be found in the intensive attempt.

Suddenly, the connections that make this text possible came up: I found the three Diogenes sewn in one plot.


Leopoldo Estol

Diego Bianchi, Leopoldo Estol and Katinka Pilscheur are versions of what I have called the Diogenes procedure: to join, to value and to take distance, to try to structure chaos. These exhibitions reveal, in the spectator, the coincidental points of collections heritage and the historical discourse, appealing to induce reading hypothesis of what is presented in the privileged space of the gallery. They determined the possible range of knowledge construction aiming toward man, but indicating culture.

The habit is replicated in the Diogenes procedure, but with a new significance and as a cynic critic, becoming an indicator of cultural conceptions we have built, of how moral values conditioned our daily behavior, even with ignorance of its historical origins and the implied agreements that supports it. Diogenes of Sinope affirms, that a peasant can concede to everything that is cognoscible.

Finally, we are trying to find the notion that makes an inventory feasible, wishing that behind what we see, there is a purpose that makes it reasonable, a logical and systematic source. It is imperative to the spectator for the facts to be accessible from a narrative, showing causes and not coincidences. Even though often and radically, evidences deny us, showing that there is only a believable fiction to make consequences acceptable.

This fiction is, simultaneously, construction and finding: is an intentional relational method between objects with self-values that have been used as signs of older discursive specifications, though now, they initiate a political indication of culture.

Thus, we desire the world, the systems we presume and the resulting man to be like a dog: a domesticated animal, loyal to the one who educated him and that only sometimes, shows its teeth.

Jorge Sepúlveda T.
Independent Curator
May – June, 2008

Related Exhibitions

  • The Sculpture of the Present. Diego Bianchi, curated by Eva Grinstein, [October 2007] Espacio Uno Arte Contemporáneo. Gral. Roca, Argentina.
  • Robben & Wientjesby Katinka Pilscheur [April 2008]. Galería Braga Menéndez. Buenos Aires, Argentina.
  • Las Mañanas del Mundo by Leopoldo Estol [April 2008]. Galería Ruth Benzacar. Buenos Aires, Argentina

Translated by Ximena Musalem

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