Category Archives: Argentina

Fernando Traverso

In March 24th, 2001 actual size, black bicycles started appearing in Rosario, Argentina. At the beginning, it was a surprise since nobody knew who had painted them or whether they had a special meaning. Then, one day it was discovered that Fernando Traverso had made them. Fernando Traverso is a plastic artist who militated in the Juventud Peronista in his youth at the same time the bloody dictatorship of Jorge Rafael Videla took place. Among the abundant crimes it committed such as economic and juridical issues, there was the multiple human rights violations.

Fernando Traverso painted 350 black bicycles and this figure links with one of the darker episodes in the Rosario history. 350 is precisely the number of disappeared people from Rosario under the dictatorship. The Argentinian repression is known first for kidnapping people, then for torturing and finally for disappearing thousands of Argentinian.

There is a red number bellow every black bicycle indicating the number of bike in the series. Not surprisingly, cycles play a central role in this Traverso work. The reason why is that is because an episode in his youth. One day in the grey streets of the dictatorship, he was walking when he came across a friend who was riding a bike. Traverso surprised since he did not say hello to him and after a few minutes he found his friend’s bicycle locked to a tree. The next day, the same bike remained in the very same spot. This detail impressed Fernando Traverso and after some time he determined his friend had been a victim of the dictatorship. He had been murdered.

The project was awarded by the Museo Municipal de Bellas Artes Juan B. Castagnino in december of 2003.