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Group exhibition "Like a river that stops being a river or like a tree that is burning on the horizon without knowing it is burning"

With Gabriel Acevedo Velarde, Juan Céspedes, Adriana Lara, Alessandra Pohlmann and Cristóbal Lehyt, Felipe Mujica, Itziar Okariz, Cristián Silva, Javier Téllez, José Luis Villablanca and Johanna Unzueta.

Temporary Gallery, Cologne. October 14 - 29, 2010.

(view flyer)


Excerpt of Press Release:

Organized by Felipe Mujica this exhibition intends to be a fragmented and collaborative review of Latin America; specifically focused on its potential meaning as a space and time of supposedly shared values and intentions, unresolved problems and failed solutions: a space and time where social and political utopias remain relatively alive in the daily life and work structure of many.

As a way to produce a critical dialogue each artist presents a piece of their own making and historical references of their work, which will be installed in an overlapping way and will work as counterparts and retroactive responses to the contemporary pieces. The historical references will or can be other artists’ work, examples of social movements, fragments of literature, photographs, manifestos, publications, music… these references will or can be originals or documentation presented in different mediums. Conformed by supposedly opposite forces – contemporary versus historic, original versus documentation, and so on - the interference between these poles aims to create both natural and forced interactions; temporal, formal and poetic clashes.

The reason to develop a project like this has to do with a search for a wider and more complex understanding of contemporary practices related to Latin America. Most of the participating artists live away from their place of origin, yet it is this same origin and the artist’s displacement that allows the production of a specific kind of work, one that is both traceable and untraceable, in line and misplaced, one that is interested in the almost failed act. The possibility of tracing relationships to personal and universal histories intends to add layers of possible interpretations to each work, both as individual unities and as part of a whole. Like a river that stops being a river or like a tree that is burning on the horizon without knowing it is burning intends to be considered as an experience more than an exhibition, as an investigation into a presentation model rather than a survey, what expectations people might have, of that specific region. 

The chosen title is a phrase extracted from “2666”, the last novel by Roberto Bolaño, a Chilean writer who as a teenager immigrated to Mexico and later on to Spain, where he died at the age of 50 in 2003. He considered himself primarily a poet and began writing fiction novels late, in the early 1990s. “His writing is neither magical realism, nor baroque nor localist, but an imaginary, extraterritorial mirror of Latin America, more as a kind of state of mind than a specific place." (Ignacio Echeverria, former literary editor of El País, Spain). This state is possibly what we are looking for.


ROOM #1>

Installation view room 1

Left photo: José Luis Villablanca, "Cigarette’s", 2008, oil on canvas, 110 x 100 cm. each.

Right photo: José Luis Villablanca Villablanca's Cigarette paintings, Adriana Lara's piece "Zapatos" and on the very left a photocopy reference piece Javier Tellez.

Left photo: Adriana Lara, "Zapatos", 2008, mixed media, dimensions variable - Right photo: José Luis Villablanca, "Cigarette’s", 2008, oil on canvas, 20 x 60 cm.

Installation view room 1

Installation view room 1

Left: reference piece (on wall) by Alessandra Pohlmann and Cristóbal Lehyt, “Referentes”, 2010, plastic resins and paper (click here for detail of "Referentes")

& collaborative sculpture, “San Sebastian II”, 2010, plastic resins, dimensions variable

Right: reference piece by Juan Céspedes, “Untitled”, collage, 2010 (click here for detail of collage "Untitled")

Left: reference piece by Felipe Mujica, "Hélio Oiticica, Metaesquema, 1959, gouache on board, 50.5 x 68 cm. Collection The Museum of Modern Art, New York", Ink-jet print on paper (click here for link to Moma)

Left and right: Gabriel Acevedo-Velarde, “Desaforada, entrevista a mi mama” (Unrestrained, Interview With my Mother), 2010, video, 10:46 min.

Reference piece by Gabriel Acevedo-Velarde, digital prints of photographs of femenist group activities in Lima, Perú, early ‘70s (Acevedo’s mother is in all 3 photos).

Left: reference piece by Javier Tellez, "Yves Klein, Dimanche - Le Journal d'un Seul Jour (Sunday - The Newspaper for Only One Day), 1960", ink-jet print on paper (more information on Dimanche/Wikipedia)

Felipe Mujica, "No State", 2007, fabric and thread, 1 of 3 panels, 300 x 160 cm.



Right: reference piece by Itziar Okariz, poetry from the Basque Country, Spain. Author: Joxe Antonio Artze.Title: Isturitzetik Tolosan barru (auto edition, 1969). Jose Antonio Artze, is one of the founders of ez dok amairu, a group active from 1965 to 1972 that wanted to revitalize Basque culture and identity with social and political elements during Franco's dictatorship (more information on Ez Dok Amairu/Wikipedia-in Spanish)

Left: reference piece by Johanna Unzueta, “Fast Sheep”, found poster (personal collection)

Right: Information area with press release, catalogues, flyer, floor plan, and posters by Juan Cespedes.

Reference piece by José Luis Villablanca, an ink-jet made booklet containing Internet found images of trash piles, floods and land pollution, letter- size folded in half, 52 pages, unique copy.

Johanna Unzueta, “Faucet”, 2010, felt and thread, 25 x 15 x 5 cm.

Javier Téllez, “One Flew Over the Void (Bala perdida)”, 2005, single channel video projection, color, sound, 20 min. edition of 8, Courtesy of Figge Von Rosen Galerie, Köln (click here for short video clip)


ROOM #2>

Installation view room 2

Itziar Okariz, “Gravity: Five helium balloons deflating”, 2009 – ongoing, intervention, dimensions variable. Five helium filled balloons deflate throughout the duration of the exhibition. A phenomenological account of the development it is documented on a diary until their disappearance

Installation view room 2

Left: Cristián Silva, “Pellín”, 2000, digital color print, 60 x 92 cm. each

Right and bellow: Johanna Unzueta, “Transition 2”, 2010, felt and thread, dimensions variable

Johanna Unzueta, “Transition 2”, 2010, felt and thread, dimensions variable

Juan Céspedes, “Pokemones”, 2010, video 10:12 min. Courtesy of Galería Moro, Santiago (click here for Pokemones on Vimeo-complete video)

Reference piece by Adriana Lara, “Nuevo Archivo de Arte Público (NAAP)” (New Archive of Public Art), 2004-2007. Collection of images of public art in Mexico D.F., with descriptive texts and press reviews in English and Spanish.

Left: Felipe Mujica, “No State”, 2007, embroidered fabric, 300 x 160 cm. 3 of 3 panels.

Right: installation view room 2

Installation views room 2

Reference piece by Cristián Silva, “Identicamente iguales” (Identically the Same), ink-jet prints, letter size. Two images found on the Internet, one of Charles Bronson (the actor), and the other his Chilean double. A documentary about this double, titled El Charles Bronson Chileno (o idénticamente iguales), was filmed in 1979 by Carlos Flores Delpino (click here for excerpt of documentary on YouTube)