Displaced Forms, 2021
Lawrie Shabibi Gallery, Cromwell Place, UK
For the exhibition, “Formas Dezplazadas” (Displaced Forms) with Lawrie Shabibi gallery at Cromwell place, the meditative multi-layered works, ranging from free-standing sculptures and floor-to-ceiling pieces through cast wall reliefs and small scale works address themes that stem from concepts of removal and shifting of cultural identifiers to create a dialogue between the permanence of place and the basic forms that shape not only us, but the notions of objects, architecture and design within our educational and cultural systems.
The works offer an extemporal possibility of exchange of ideas that dialogue with the framing of time and its code, meanwhile researching the layering of materials that go with that exploration. A wide array of references drawn from the pre-Columbian world (the archeological ruin, the “Huaca”, the 12 angle Inca stone, the Chakana and the ceremonial vessels), the modernist architecture (blueprints, Bauhaus and south-American modernism), art history (Brazilian Neo-Concretism and Russian Constructivism) are used alongside an exploration of the material signifiers that link together those distant times and places in order to compact their associations in pinpointing contemporary nuances.
Large scale works like Tunic And Blueprint/12 angle stone (concreto) are made from the combination of strength and fragility of materials cast into brass, wood and glass, address formal concerns and social signifiers that function both as symbolic gestures working off of educational memory, geometry and utopian ideals. The works done with fired earth Pupitre (Todas las Tierras) and Endless Column (turista) combined with the Códigos Atemporales are a visual mapping and exploration of the materials and strata that make up our knowledge of site-specific segments of soil studies as identifiers related to people’s culture, ownership and access to land all the while pointing at difficulties with doctrinated education and memory. Two Way Mirror/Ushnu (Pais Casino), Adds to the material and social explorations while creating a metaphorical reference space that treats the idea of the sacred space and the museum object within a framing of the optics of concealment that at both times brings to mind the politics of surveillance and observations, confessionary space, and the aesthetics of fake wealth that form a critique on the abuses of power and self-interest of the political establishment while in parallel highlights new forms of education and knowledge. All this while, triggering a visual relay of transparency and reflection that is dependent on the participation of the viewer.
Seen all in all, these mediating spaces, meditative and educational anecdotes, translucent barriers, and permeable divisions project an imaginary window where temporal and geographical distances collapse, enabling us to rethink the relationship between past and present. In that sense “Formas Desplazadas (displaced Forms)” is a call to trace a different—i.e. fairer—political, cultural, and social horizon for the future.
Max Hernández Calvo