Hotshoe Gallery opens its doors to welcome the Venezualan Pavilion

© Magdalena Fernandez, ICTERUS. digital animation with sound, dimension variable, photo courtesy the artist and the gallery

A quick peek inside the latest show at HotShoe Gallery, London with work by Magdalena Fernandez, (photo above), the gallery entrance to the show, (below), and a gallery shot, (see more).

The following extracts are from the text by Felix Suazo, translated by Daniel Izquierdo:

“The works by Daniel Medina, Magdalena Fernandez, Jaime Castro, Federico Ovalles-Ar, Javier Rodriguez and Ivan Candeo, conceived from a contemporary standpoint, are not defined by the national context they come from, but rather through a well thought exploration of some model strategies of representation that expose the clash between vernacular aspirations and foreign patterns.

‘In this manner, abstraction and nature, professional architecture and popular edification, the act of representation and reality, converge in a hybrid panorama, saturated by anachronisms and reverences. Consequently the exhibition introduces a comment, not exempt from irony, over the Venezuela’s current situation and the construction of visuality, and outlines a “cultural geography” constituted from appropriations done in vain as well as from fruitful mistakes.

“It is perhaps due to this that several of the proposals included in this show assume a physical precariousness as well as the debilitation of signs as a cultural metaphor. Regarding this, Rodriguez’s research recycles graphic errors and aims to transfer them into moving image; we find this appearing as low-resolution video mobile uploads of the waste material incurred by traditional printing processes. The capricious extensions of floors and false walls by Ovalles-Ar recreate the fragility of improvised or unfinished edifications that try to catch up with the housing needs from the less favoured.

”Something comparable may be noticed in Candeo’s video work, where a swarm of rats devour a printed image of the reclined effigy of Francisco de Miranda, precursor of the Latin American independence and creator of the national emblem (also called the National Pavilion). Finally, Fernandez’s disrupted geometries; the project of residential units conceived from a template of the Louvre museum by Medina and the simultaneous views of Caracas captured from a popular neighborhood by Castro, swing between a sense of visual completeness and a desire to leave things unfinished, throwing itself into a paradoxical interstice.

Venezuelan Pavilion installation view

“In all these works, the visual sign circulates through a cross-over of media, encompassing video, painting, printing and architecture in order to create relations based on analogy or tension and involve strategies and means of expression different to those vehicles which serve them.  Exemplary of this mode of practice are Fernandez and Castro’s works; the first making reference to Alejandro Otero’s chromatic compositions, the latter connecting to the local landscaping tradition.

“In both, the video activates certain assets that belong to the pictorial discourse in their abstract and figurative aspects, taking from them their latent meaning and juxtaposing it to contemporary connotations. Rodriguez and Candeo explore another form of multimedia dialogue through printing editions, addressing issues on the work’s technical reproductivity. The switch from one media to another results in a series of losses and distortions of the original, which ultimately contribute to the disparity of the referent.

“In conclusion, we find Medina and Ovalles-Ar’s proposals, which introduce a counterpoint of scales between installation art and architecture, focusing on the analysis of modifications, inserts and spontaneous adaptations of the inhabited space as a consequence of the need or product of the wrong maneuvering performed by political institutions destined to solve the shortage of housing.”

“What these artists are interested in doing is to unveil the structured game of representations and to dismantle the arbitrariness of the medium that serve the works as a support, be it artistic or ideological. That is, the intention of these creators is not that of expressing either nostalgia or frustration towards modernism in Venezuela, but rather they choose to interrogate the symbolic mechanisms that have made possible the incorrect “naturalisation” of those ideals and the impact those have on contemporary visual culture.”


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