Caligrafías Inmersivas, 2020
Hand-drawings on wall-paper. The wall paper was made after one of my drawing from Caligrafias del pantano.
Neon sign and Arduino-controlled light play.
Minimum dimensions of exhibition room:
5m. (length) x 3.50 m. (width) x 3.50 m (height)
Similar to Monet's learning at Giverny about a hundred and fifty years ago, I learned many things in a water-lilies pond, without really being aware of how many things a pond can teach, or the fact that I was mimicking a genius's learning path. After that experience I had the chance to immerse myself in a huge market city: Hong Kong. The installation results from crossing those immersive experiences: quietness and stillness plus hypnotic, almost hallucinatory neon play in certain places of a city oriented to goods consumption.
The sign is a direct reference to Bruce Nauman's EAT WAR (1986). I make such directly a reference because I see that a relationship can be established between "eating" war in the late 60s as the threat of extermination derived from war, on one side, and today's "eating" as the threat of extermination derived from the depletion of the planet and climate change. I feel it is intimately linked to consumption.
Indeed, the Vietnam war was the first live-broadcasted war, which in turn was also the origin of the censorship to the media of live-broadcasting wars. The pillars supporting the counterculture that emerged in the USA and other countries during the post-war period were anchored in this mediated war. I believe there to be a line drawn from the threat of extermination linked to war at that time, to the threat of extermination from depleting the planet's resources. Like then, pillars are being built and counter cultural movements emerging.
I appropriate Nauman's EAT WAR calligraphy, size and colors because, apart from the great visual power of the text and the fact that neon light has a plastic/visual relationship with the type of environments I explore in this work, I am interested in the political charge presented in some of Nauman's works. Although in 1980 Nauman expressly said, "I don't know any good art, or very little god art that has any direct political or social impact on culture", I believe that several of his works have strong political implications, such as RAW WAR (1968), Double Steel Cage (1974), South American triangle (1981), Diamond Africa With Chair Turned D.E.A.D (1981) as Peter Plagens says (Bruce Nauman: The True Artist, 2014). Also, according to Plagens, "if there is a medium seemingly made for political art, it is neon, not only it is the nocturnal language of our turn-of-this- century era, but its synonymous -indeed near identical with- sending an imperative message: buy, eat, see, drink, sleep, save. All that had to be done was to make it legitimate as a fine art medium, something that was accomplished by Rauschenberg, Johns, Rosenquist, Chyrssa and Nauman in the 1960s."
Exhibited for the first time in February 2020. LA Galería arte contemporáneo. Bogotá.