Vol. I: El Taco
Four thousand years ago, northern Argentina was struck by a large meteorite shower that originated from the Asteroid Belt located between Mars and Jupiter. Well-known to the indigenous communities that inhabited the region for thousands of years, the Campo del Cielo meteorites were first discovered by Europeans at the beginning of the colonial times in the 16th century. During the Space Race, scientific interest in the crater field led to consecutive excavations throughout the 1960s and the following decades. In 1962 one of these meteorites, El Taco, a specimen weighing nearly two tons, was retrieved by a US/Argentina joint expedition. The specimen was loaned to the Smithsonian Institution for research and museum display purposes, and was subsequently cut in half at the Max-Planck-Institute in Mainz, Germany, through a complicated procedure that took more than a year. Since then, one half remained at the Smithsonian Institution in Washington, DC, and another was returned to Buenos Aires, where it is on display outside the Galileo Galilei Planetarium.
On September 21st, 2010, the two halves of El Taco, Teil II (1,974 lbs) and Teil IV (1,494 lbs), were reunited by Faivovich & Goldberg in Germany after being apart for almost 45 years. They were featured at Portikus in Frankfurt between September 24th and November 14th during their exhibition Meteorit „El Taco” and have been returned to their original locations.
—Buenos Aires-based artists Guillermo Faivovich and Nicolás Goldberg began collaborating in 2006 on A Guide to Campo del Cielo, an ongoing project based on researching the cultural impact of Argentina’s Campo del Cielo meteorites. In 2010, Meteorit „El Taco” was featured at Portikus, Frankfurt. On occasion of the exhibition, the book The Campo del Cielo Meteorites—Vol 1: El Taco was published by dOCUMENTA (13) and Hatje Cantz. They are currently developing a future stage of their project for dOCUMENTA (13).