OVERVIEWNOV 15 to JAN 21Group Exhibition
- Group Exhibition
- Emerging Artists
Dates and Opening hoursNOV 15, 2012 to JAN 21, 2013
- Adelita Husni-Bey
- Ángel de la Rubia
- Berglind Jóna
- Francesco Arena
- Gerard Ortín / Mercedes Mangrané
- Lúa Coderch
InformationCurated by Juan Canela
The basement of an old house in Buenos Aires conceals a small wonder, "the only place on earth where all places are- seen from every angle, each standing clear, without any confusion or blending". Thanks to this small hole in the immensity of the world, one of the characters from "The Aleph", by Jorge Luis Borges, develops a poem that is actually a description of all the territories on Earth.
If we leaf through the Argentine author's stories, we might notice that he often turns to objects and concepts that relate to Geography which usually work as a pretext or starting point from which to develop his literary world, and make his original readings of the world. Maps, compasses, or astrolabes intermingle with travellers and other characters in an attempt to reveal the meaning of landscapes, to transcribe them in human terms.
At the moment of understanding the world and determine historical and social process, the importance of the geographical factor is undeniable. A place marks and influences what is social, human, or natural. Borrowing the sentence of the title of the Borges tale, El espacio cósmico estaba ahí, en dos o tres centímetros [The cosmic space was there, in two or three centimetres] is a project that brings together the work of various artists whose methodology follows in-depth processes in the spirit of understanding a particular territory through a specific place. More than looking into the geographical, aesthetic, or anecdotal aspects, of a territory, the aim is to present a thorough observation of the societies inhabiting it, their history, and their customs. All presented works take as starting point specific space that is associated, in all cases, with a recreational or meeting spirit: a kitchen, a park, a mountainous leisure zone, a public plaza, or a series of single family detached houses, serve here to shoot up investigations and reflections about different aspects to comprehend contemporary society, or, at least to raise speculative lines around the subject.
In Cucina Democristiana (2012), Francesco Arena inquires into the political memory of Italy, his country, through his own past. Marble pieces and books from his grandfather's library stand on the floor and map out the kitchen from his family home.
Lúa Coderch reflects In Red Star Revisited (2011) on the power of symbols and the transcendence of disappearance. Through sound and a photograph she found by chance, Coderch tells the story of the removal in 1990 of the red star that crowned the building of the Bulgarian Communist Party's Central Committee. In this way, the artist builds a short essay about the shift of signs and about access to the physical body of writing.
Adelita Husni-Bey presents The Green Mountain (2011) a project that delves into the artist's own country, Libya. The Jebel Al Akhdar, or the Green Mountain, is the only raised plain of the country, a place of leisure but also a main focus in recent riots against Gadhafi, and past riots against the Italian colonists. The installation consists of several elements and is concluded by a video that reproduces the style of an anonymous broadcast interview with a guerrilla fighter, constructed by several sources which span different time periods (1911, 1986 or 2011)
In the installation Draw Your Horns & Husband your Resources (2009), Berglind Jóna plays with ideas of collective exploitation and real estate. Materials and photographs taken in 2009 in the midst of Iceland's collapse make up stacks of stone materials used for building luxury kitchens, which are displayed on the wall, forming memories of their current abandon in the form of monuments to the economic crisis.
Gerard Ortín and Mercedes Mangrané present Lake Valley (2011), a critical approach to the industrial, entrepreneurial spirit of early century Barcelona. The video picks up on the failure of a business initiative that consisted in building and exploiting a leisure zone on the mountain nearest to the city, providing access for the working class to a certain form of entertainment that had up until then been limited to wealthier classes, at a time when the city was trying to expand towards the mountain.
Last of all, We don´t see the commies for the trees! (2010), by Ángel de la Rubia, presents a photographic series of Grütas Park. During the time of the fall of the Iron Curtain, the new Republic of Lithuania took down the public monuments and sculptures that were part of the soviet regime's propaganda within its territory. It is in this context that Viliumas Malinauskas requested the soviet sculptures to be donated for their preservation and exhibition in a privately managed museum. And this is how Grütas Park was born, on the 1st of April 2001.
The immensity of the world lies within the stairs of “The Aleph” cellar; we just have to know where to look at and the will to see beyond. In that same sense, all works gathered here, reveal the value of snooping through all that is small, daily or kind, in order to discern the world’s complexity.
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