The photograph Aristocratica (Aristocratic), 1994, shows the face of the artist, Liliana Moro, partly covered by a carnivalesque plastic pig’s snout. The self-denigrating disguise is completed by a sort of cap that conceals the artist’s hair. Partly hiding her features, Moro calls into question what makes conventional portrait. Traditionally considered the noblest pictorial genre, the portrait sometimes presents an idealized version of the sitter. Aristocratica, instead, is the image of a presence that immediately tends to become absent, given the impossibility of identification. The masking contrasts with the idea of beauty, turning it into its opposite. However the pose remains, and it evokes a seriousness and detachment that are truly aristocratic, worthy of the noblewomen portrayed by generations of artists. The work is the photographic elaboration of a video piece created by the artist the same year.
The use of objects from the world of childhood is a conscious choice by the artist and often occurs in her work. “Speaking through children’s games,” the artist says, “means speaking through a highly metaphorical but easily understandable language.” In this way Moro succeeds in making specific situations universal, tempering the autobiographical realm from which her works sometimes emerge. Anti-heroic and anti- “high art,” the artist’s turn to fairy-tales and elements that belong to the universe of play imply a “lowering” of art, understood as a an alternative point of view in respect to the conditioning imposed by culture and society.