Tratar un elefante [To Treat An Elephant]. Stills from video-drawing. 4´. 2009

Tratar un elefante [To Treat An Elephant] is a video-drawing that tells the tragic tale of how it is impossible to return to one’s point of departure.

With a sheet of paper, a pencil, and a scanner, a script on the construction of a drawing is put together. The drawing makes use of line and dot—its most basic elements—to mark, erase, rewrite, erase again, leave another mark. Insistent notations on a white support. The journey of a line on the surface.


The elephant is an embodiment of the metaphorical displacement of a heavy and solid mass that leaves its tracks on the page. The transformation of that mass, its erased and redrawn shape, playfully engages the edges of the sheet of paper and drawing as construction.

The mark of the pencil and the remains of the eraser are metaphors for the time of drawing, of its constructive and additive quality.

Sometimes the sheet of paper is too small and has to be adjusted: adjust the trappings of the trade, adjust the outline, and adjust the elephant in a new territory—the sheet of paper that it inhabits and circulates through. It gets its bearings and expands. It goes too far. It adjusts, accommodates, and vanishes, leaving traces.

When the pencil finally seems to have gotten somewhere, the eraser erases its traces, and we are confronted with the detachment of the image that no longer exists.

This is a story about how to draw a drawing, where the line replicated a thousand times over interrogates us in a space of doubt.