Liliana Porter: To See Blue
Galeria Brito Cimino is inaugurating the solo show by Liliana Porter titled To See Blue. The artist is presenting 20 artworks seen here for the first time, which include photographs, paintings, installations and video. Liliana Porterstates that “I wanted to see the work in a different context. I believe what is important is to see how the work changes according to the place where it is shown, how the works are organized, for whom and how they are exhibited.”
The basic image in Liliana Porter’s oeuvre is taken from mass culture, from figures created in this sphere and used by it, ranging from animated cartoon characters to political and religious icons. Figures with different forms and content coexist on neutral backgrounds, with every indication that they exist in their own autonomous world, not being metaphors of ours. In the words of José Luis Blondet: “What is, is only what it is. And it is not nothing. This is what gives rise to the meaning which is both hopeful and tragic at the same time. The situations are easy to understand and to read. They are clearly delineated and there are no distractions surrounding them.”
To See Blue presents artworks that “dignify” the souvenirs and toys chosen by Liliana Porter according to their potential for unexpected and humorous alterations. In Please Don’t Move, for example, the characters seemed to be dressed for the occasion and pose for the camera, just like in authentic studio portraits. In Reconstruction, a photograph of a porcelain penguin broken into pieces is presented beside the same penguin, standing whole and unbroken on a shelf. According to the artist, since “everything has so often gone to pot, such an absolute reconstruction can become a hopeful metaphor.”
In relation to the paintings, the artist states that “when thinking about the canvas, everyone imagines a situation different from the one I create.” Her paintings are based on the premise that there is no precise line between the image and depiction, between real and virtual space; ignoring the boundaries of the canvas, they extend outward, occupying the wall or the neighboring artwork. José Luis Blondet comments that “Porter paints the almost invisible backgrounds of the canvases to make them more visible as the support of the action, like a silence accompanying the dialogue.”
The installations in the seriesForced Labor present tiny statues playing big roles, legitimizing the humanity they have always had: one woman is sweeping a vast surface, another is sewing a piece of fabric larger than herself, a man is painting a large expanse of the gallery’s wall. “This disproportion refers to the imbalance between our knowledge and the ultimate explanation, between what we grasp and what escapes us,” the artist explains.
The video chosen for the show, Fox in the Mirror, was conceived as a concert. The protagonists are inanimate objects (terra-cotta, ceramic and plastic statuettes and dolls), representing dancers, singers and musicians. The video is structured in the following segments: Preliminaries, Rehearsal, First Part, Intermission and Second Part. The scenes briefly allude to questions of time and language, as well as to death and violence. The figures represent a range of characters and evince moods spanning from tenderness to comical or pathetic, and even the horrifying – everything from just-married couples to little Nazi soldiers. The soundtrack was created by Sylvia Meyer, who has collaborated previously in other videos by Liliana Porter.
“How can one keep from smiling at a dialogue between a fox and a stork? And it’s natural to be annoyed by a conversation between a cicada and an ant. One can’t help but ask: since when do foxes like grapes? The genre’s apparent simplicity can become its most lethal aspect.” (José Luis Blondet, 2008).
Liliana Porterwas born in Buenos Aires, in Argentina, attended the Escuela Nacional de Bellas Artes and later took up residence in New York. In the 1970s, her work became conceptual and minimalist, consolidating the poetics the artist has continued to express, until today, in a range of mediums including painting, silkscreen, photography and installation. Her recent exhibitions have included the solo shows Fotografía y Ficción (Centro Cultural Recoleta, Buenos Aires, 2003), The Space Inside the Mirror (Center for Photography at Woodstock, New York, 2000) and The Secret Lives of Toys (Phoenix Art Museum, 2000). She participated in the VI Bienal do Mercosul (2007), the Trienal Poligráfica de San Juan (2004) and the VII Bienal de la Habana (2000). In Brazil, her work has been featured in the exhibitions Conversas (Instituto Tomie Ohtake, São Paulo, 2007) and Heterodoxia (Galeria Marta Traba, Memorial da América Latina, São Paulo, 2004). Her work has also been shown in museums, including the Guggenheim Museum (Drama Queens: Women Behind the Camera, 2001), the Museo del Barrio (Latin American Still-Life: Reflections of Time and Place, 2000) and the Queens Museum of Art (Conceptualist Art: Points of Origin, 1999). Artworks by Porter figure in important public collections, such as that of the Museo del Barrio (New York), the Fundação Calouste Gulbenkian (Lisbon), the Metropolitan Museum of Art (New York), the Museo Nacional Centro de Arte Reina Sofia (Madrid), the Museu de Arte Moderna do Rio de Janeiro, and the Museum of Modern Art (New York).
20.08.2008 to 20.09.2008
tuesday - friday, from 10 AM to 7 PM
saturday, from 11 AM to 5 PM