"... -Raúl Santana: In 1974 you started the Immigration saga, didn´t you?

-Ernesto Pesce: Yes, it coincides with my setting up a lithography workshop with Kusnir in 1975, and I had already begun working with that image. It was first meant to be a kind of homage to immigration, or to my family in particular.

-RS: Well, you are not very original on that point; most of us Argentines come from immigrant descent.

-EP: Yes, of course, but I had a very distinct feeling about that great-grandfather who remained there, the grandfather who came here and wound up as a house painter, my old man, who was a graphic worker and I, who let´s say that through the sacrifice of two generations, could accomplish something connected with art. I felt I had to make a homage, in the way that I could. And based on all the photographic material that I had, and driven by something that I felt as a mandate, because, figure this, what a memory! At my father´s wake, a cousin of his, Arturo, who was a kind of pal of my father´s, -they went together to the Colon Theatre and they were both activists in the Socialist Party-, comes over to greet me and says to me: "When you started studying Fine Arts and quit your job -right, because I went through a phase of being a frenzied hippy, we would stay at the caffés and I came home late every night- your father was worried, and I said to him, let him be, let one of us become an artist". It was some conversation. And to think that I had already begun working on this whole series when my old man died. Furthermore, with a lot of suffering, it was wearing on me, because it meant living with death continually present. I had a lot of photographic documents of my family´s history, and most of them were already dead. And many people associate that with nostalgia. I didn´t do this work out of nostalgia, thinking about the past as a better time, no. I am also aware that it was a time when there were many artists working along similar lines, right? Like going back to prototypical images. But for me, at least what I have consciously, it was a kind of family saga understood as a homage to this immigration, a feeling of gratitude towards these people who had founded, in a different land, a place where I could do what I was doing.

-RS: When, approximately, did you work on the Immigration saga?

-EP: Well, between ´74 and ´80, more or less, ´79 or ´80.

-RS: Did you win the De Ridder Prize in 1977 with any work from this series?

-EP: Yes. In 1977 I also won the Grand Prize in Drawing from the National Salon, with a piece of work included in this series, called "In the dining-room". It was a family group, made with pictures taken by members of my family, my grandfather, my father. A photo album, the kind that some families make. Well, in my house there was one, a great collection of photographs, from my great-grandfather on.

-RS: What do you think of those drawings now?

-EP: Something that strikes me is that they are made as a homage, but they are very cold, the images look frozen, very static. With a very restrained line, with colours that I only began to include in my work, very timidly, that year. No connection with what I did with relief in wood and with the sculptures, which were generally lacquered shapes in black or white, and the pencil drawings were line drawings, in black and white."