Mónica Heller

The Importance of
the Origin will be
Imported by the Origin
of the Substance


Mónica Heller

The Importance of the Origin will be Imported by the Origin of the Substance


Mónica Heller (b. 1975, Buenos Aires) is a cartoonist, painter and video artist. Throughout her twenty-year career she has created 2D and 3D animations, using both amateur production strategies and CGI models taken from open-source and free libraries. The self-taught nature of her approach to digital technology and the artisanal dedication she puts into each of her pieces laid the foundations for a DIY work ethic that characterizes and singles out both her varied production and the place she occupies within the Argentine art scene.

Her works have been exhibited individually and collectively in Buenos Aires, Rosario, Salta, San Martín de los Andes, Tucumán, Barcelona, Santiago de Chile, London, Lyon, Budapest, San Pablo and Berlin, among other cities. Among the several awards she received in recent years, the following stand out: the First Prize of the Fundación Andreani Award (2017), the Stimulus Award of the 72nd Salón Nacional de Rosario Castagnino + Macro (2017) and the Third Prize of the Fundación Fortabat Award (2021). She is a member of the experimental drawing collective “Geometría Pueblo Nuevo”, together with other Argentine artists. She participated in the first edition of the Artists Programme of the Universidad Torcuato Di Tella.

Mónica Heller is represented by PIEDRAS.



Alejo Ponce de León (b. 1987, Buenos Aires) is a self-taught art critic and translator. He specializes in contemporary culture and in the correlating expressions between visual arts and other media ecosystems such as literature, technology and party politics.

In catalogs, newspapers and magazines he wrote about the works of Argentine artists such as Flavia Da Rin, Claudia del Río, Santiago García Sáenz, Fátima Pecci Carou, Marcelo Pombo, Gabriel Chaile and Adrián Villar Rojas. He curated solo shows by Paula Castro, Nicanor Aráoz, Florencia Böhtlingk and Maricel Nowacki, among other artists. He is the co-founder of Futuro Museo de Cine and a member of the curatorial research collective known as Titularidad no Informada.


Mónica Heller’s 3D-video installation at the Argentine Pavilion of the 59th International Art Exhibition – La Biennale di Venezia immerses us in a sensory landscape designed to shake our perception of sociomaterial reality, as it invites us to question ourselves about the bodily, imaginary and cognitive limits of the human, in times dominated by the suspicion of its decline as a civilizational paradigm.

The characters created by Heller in each of the exhibited pieces come from a deeply personal, handcrafted matrix with which she addresses the symbolic world around her. Byproducts of an anthropomorphism that subsumes the living and the lifeless to the point of making them indistinguishable, these characters seem to emerge from the same source from which the beings that populate both dream life and children’s fables spring.

Following the critical impulse that animated surrealism, Heller’s 3D animations compile a collection of paradoxical and absurd vignettes in which humor, the abject, social satire and metaphysical spatiality come together. Its protagonists, locked inside infinite time loops, repeat action cycles through which they construct, deconstruct and reconstruct themselves. 

El origen de la substancia importará la importancia del origen [The Importance of the Origin will be Imported by the Origin of the Substance] thus offers an insistent choreography that rejects any form of narrative unity. A landscape of vibrant iterations through which resonates both the neurotic recurrence of the .gif digital format and the resort to repetition that different avant-garde currents of the 20th century employed in order to expose the public’s sensibility to an emancipatory fugue.

Curated by Alejo Ponce de León, the exhibition consists of 13 independent audiovisual modules, composed of projections and LED screens of different sizes. The installation is completed by a surround sound system, ambient lighting and an original soundtrack. Also, in an unprecedented way for Argentina, the catalog of the exhibition includes the participation of fellow artists, making it an autonomous work of experimental and collective nature that expands the representative possibilities of the current Argentine art scene. 




Padiglione Argentino
Arsenalle della Biennale Sestiere Castello Campo della Tana 2169/F
30122 Venecia

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Biennale Arte 2022
23 April – 27 November 2022

23 April to 25 September, 11 am – 7 pm
27 September to 27 November, 10 am – 6 pm
Arsenale open until 8 pm on Fridays and Saturdays
Closed on Mondays (except 04.25, 05.30)

Information and tickets



Organiser: Dirección de Asuntos Culturales del Ministerio de Relaciones Exteriores, Comercio Internacional y Culto de la República Argentina. Artist: Mónica Heller. Curator: Alejo Ponce de León. Commissioner: Paula Vázquez. Selection panel: Paula Vázquez, Valeria González, Matilde Marín, Teresa Anchorena, Virginia Agote, Analía Solomonoff, Mariana Telleria, Juan Usandivaras y Andrés Duprat. General coordination: Sec. Andrea Alba González , Lic. Jorge Cordonet. General production: Agustina Vizcarra. Collaborators: Piedras Galería (Rafael Beltrán, Santiago Gasquet), Marcelo Galindo, GPN (Paula Castro, Cotelito, Ariel Cusnir, Clara Esborraz, Marcelo Galindo, Constanza Giuliani, Mónica Heller, Mariana López), Pablo Katchadjian , Bárbara Wapnarsky, Claudio Iglesias. 3D rendering, animation and mapping assistance: Gonzalo Silva, Mariano Giraud, Federico Lamas. Composition, Mastering, Sound Design: Joaquín Gutiérrez Hadid. Musical Production, Foley: Lola Granillo. Press: Renato Mauricio Fumero. Web: Estudio Ohlasser. Production in Venice: Eiletz | Ortigas Architects.


PIEDRAS gallery and Mónica Heller are very grateful with

The unconditional support of Fundación Ama Amoedo, Inés Justo, Colección Oxenford, Erica Roberts, Gabriela Yaceszen.

The essential support of Daniel Alacahan, Larisa Andreani, Atilio Bugliotti, Teresa Bulgheroni, Gabriel Guilligan, Leticia Kabusacki, José Luis Lorenzo, Alejandro Londero, Cecilia Remiro y Horacio Torcello.

The significant support of Andrea Arditi Schwartz, Félix y Stéphanie Bader, Clemente Calandra, Karina Mindlin, Laura de San Martín, Ariel Sigal, Maria Gabriela Roig, Verónica Zoani de Nutting.

And the commitment of the collections: Leilani Benadon, Valentín Benoit, Colección Brun-Cattaneo, Colección y archivo Bruzzone, Atilio Bugliotti, Michele E. A. Codoni, Esteban Drincovich Martorell, Colección Mariana Guerrero, Gabriel Guilligan, Inés Justo, Alejandro Londero, Diego Obligado, Colección Eduardo y Cecilia Mallea, Raquel Montero, Colección del Instituto Di Tella, Gabriel Werthein and those who wish to remain anonymous.