Obsessions: Memory, Ideology & the Creative Process
November 12th, 2016– January 14th, 2017
Participating Artists: Gustavo Acosta, Abel Barroso, Oscar Bony, Ariamna Contino, William Cannings, Edouard Duval Carrie, Carlos Estevez, Leon Ferrari, Jose Manuel Fors, Ruben Millares, Santiago Porter, Sandra Ramos, Tracey Snelling, Toirac & Meira.
A man’s life is spent looking for something. You could call it an obsession with obsession itself. We obsess about life, death, beauty, ugliness, the future, money, art, fashion, love…etcetera, etcetera. Obsessions make us want to live, they push us to achieve our dreams; but we are capable of dying for them too, either because they evade us to the end, or because we dedicate our lives to reach a goal which has become an obsession itself, like freedom, for example, which is as much illusion as it is obsession.
With this show we wish to draw attention to how themes explored in art are constantly circling around an individual’s life: registering the deepest of his/her objectives, his/her obsessions. A large part of contemporary art production, that which negates pure structuralism, examines the fears and passions in the life of a common man, and those of society (politics, aspirations), in other words everyday life. Thus a work of art is converted into a race to perpetuate in our memory that which is condemned to the ephemeral, man’s life itself.
Obsession happens in many aspects of life, sometimes as a subtle current and others taking over. One of the definitions of it is “an idea or thought that continually preoccupies or intrudes on a person’s mind.” Artists are no different than any other human being and as such have worries of their own that ponder in their minds.
The difference lies in that they have the capacity of translating it them to an artistic medium such as canvas, film or objects; leaving behind a visual trail. Following that idea, this exhibition brings together a group of artists who are consistently exploring recurrent themes. These artists have steadily worked with the same subjects for years.
One of the main sub themes explored in the show is Memory; Memories are important in people’s life, and it has served as inspiration to many artists or at least as departure point for their work. Among those we have in the exhibition Carlos Estevez and Jose Manuel Fors, both concerned with anthropological memories.
There are two other sub themes part of the cycle of life associated with memories: sex and death. Sex is implicit in William Cannings’ and Tracey Snelling’s pieces. The preoccupation with death is documented in Oscar Bony’s and José Toirac and Meira Marrero’s works.
Ideology is another recurrent sub theme in many artists’ work and explored in this exhibition. Artists such as Abel Barroso, Ariamna Contino, and Sandra Ramos explore it through social comments. Others like Gustavo Acosta and Santiago Porter touch on it by exploring architecture as a symbol of power.
The creative process is perhaps the sub theme that could unify all the artists since all of them go through it, and it is implicit in their works. In this show is represented by pieces of Edouard Duval-Carrie, Leon Ferrari, and Ruben Millares. In their pieces, the process takes the protagonist place, in a kind of trompe l’oeil effect. We are first fascinated by the manufacture, and later by all the hidden meaning behind the aesthetics.
These are universal themes connected to the human existence, from basic needs such as living spaces (architecture) to memories or the need generated by the creative process as such. Here we present this group of artists with wide-ranging pieces and leave it to the viewer to evaluate and decide when it is a theme explored to exhaustion, a fixation or an obsession.