The Poetics of Resistance, 2018
Site specific installation, prints of intervened photographs and handwritten slogans, represented by Artco Gallery, Aachen
Over the years, Brodsky (b. Buenos Aires, 1954) has developed a distinguished poetics based on the interaction of images and texts. The artists, who works at the crossroads between visual arts and human rights activism, manipulates black and white photographs collected in documentary archives around the world by adding handwritten annotations and highlighting meaningful details with colours. His objective is to activate personal and collective memory in order to communicate a message of resistance that may connect people across time and space.
The Poetics of Resistance reunites two major groups of works created by Brodsky between 2014 and 2019: 1968. The Fire of Ideas, composed of intervened archival photographs devoted to the international mobilisations and protests of workers and students in 1968, and the series centred on the decolonisation process of Africa and its progressive transition to independence during the second half of the 20th century. Visualizing past traumas, Brodsky’s works counteract the fatalism that too often inhibits us from resisting, taking constructive action and contributing to big and small revolutions occurring daily around the world. The comprehensive catalogue The Poetics of Resistance is edited by Artco Gallery in conjunction with the project at Art Paris. VL
Somos Constelaciones (We Are Constellations), 2018
Site specific installation with steel cable, brass plumbs and pulleys, represented by Galerie Wenger, Zurich
Ricardo Rendón’s (b. Mexico City, 1970) artistic practice is concrete and tangible as much as it is abstract and conceptual. If his creative process is based on a material-oriented approach and a manual ability honed over many years of practice, the essence of his art centres on an intellectual investigation of the fundamental laws that rule nature and the universe: gravitation, matter and light. Working at the limit of the physical substance of the artwork, the artist challenges the idea of its traditional stability, opting for mutable and transforming formations.
For Somos Constelaciones, the site-specific project conceived by Rendón for Art Paris, the artist has taken advantage of Newton’s law of gravity. He has created abstract compositions resembling a configuration of stars by using the physical weight of a brass plumb and pulleys inserted into the wall to keep a steel cable in tension through an accurate balancing act between matter and void. Rendón’s Constelaciones are the result of a manual gesture comparable to the act of weaving. Their essence however, as the title reveals, points at a reflection over the space they (or we?) occupy within the cartography of the universe.
As the artists explains “In the end we are made of the same matter as the stars." VL
Niña bogotana de espinas (Bogota girl with thorns), 2019
Digital printed fabric, 5 pieces, each one 300 x 150 cm, represented by Galerie Ernst Hilger, Vienna
Born in Mexico and raised in Bogotá, as a teenager, Stinkfish started using the tag “Stink”, which he later combined with a “fish”. Trained as a graphic designer, in the early nineties he began making graffiti on the streets of Colombia’s capital city. As he states, “the real graffiti exists only on the street” and is by nature a political statement born out of the illegal act of appropriating a private or public space. This, however, does not stand in contradiction with the fact that Stinkfish also works as an artist: “Street art”, he explains, “is a product which is in demand on the market. We live in a capitalist world. This system encompasses all domains, also the street art.”
Starting from the photographs of random people he takes, unbeknownst to them, either in Bogotá or while travelling around the world, Stinkfish creates big-format cardboard stencils which he then employs to realize his graffiti by applying paint and spray-paint directly on walls or other surfaces, sometimes including assemblages of different materials.
For Art Paris he has conceived a site-specific, 11 meter-long composition portraying a subject from his home country, which will be revealed only at the opening of the fair. “Some street artists portray Donald Trump or Hillary Clinton on the walls. I am much more interested in people who disappear anonymously into the multitude.”
Stinkfish’s practice is an instrument which contributes to a global understanding of people’s diversity and specificity by underlining their commonality as human beings. In the end, this is a political act. VL