Ariel Orozco – Detrás Del Cristal


Opening Thursday February 9, 18.00 – 21.00

February 10 – March 25, 2012

Federica Schiavo Gallery – Piazza Montevecchio 16 – Rome

Ariel Orozco’s second solo exhibition, curated by Chris Sharp at Federica Schiavo Gallery is a stark and dynamic reflection on some of the contradictions, anomalies and paradoxes that have come to characterize our neoliberal reality and everyday existence. Blurring binaries of plenitude and scarcity, as well as pre-emption and impotence, the exhibition deftly plays a sense of suspense off that of precariousness to disquieting and comic effect.

Issues of fragility, blighted luxury, and bygone plenitude are wryly broached in Untitled, a box of chocolate, whose chocolates have all been consumed and Untitled a bottle of champagne, whose glass container is so riddled with fissures that it would be truly unwise to try to drink it. Paradoxes of lack and abundance take on an even greater amplitude in Untitled (Sed). This work consists of a large-scale installation of thousands of sand-filled drinking glasses scattered across a floor as if they were so many puddles. Here, the expansive absence of a hydrating resource is counterbalanced by the abundance of another, as useless as it is beautiful: sand. Meanwhile, the nearby Untitled (Problema) at once complicates and simplifies things. This installation is comprised of some odd sixty drains of varying colors and sizes, which are scattered haphazardly in the ground of a room with only one plug to stop up any potential loss. The vanity of the solution it offers for a problem, which, it just so happens is perfectly unresolvable, would be alarming, however given the apparent dearth of water, we no longer have anything to worry about (or do we?). A nearby beach ball, full of sea water, is liable to upset this odd reversal of fortune, but so perplexing is this object, by virtue of the tiny parcel of vastness it contains, that any threat it poses seems to virtually dissolve in its enigma.

Fortunately and unfortunately, we are no strangers to such impressively flawed logic. Indeed, in the context of the current moment of perpetual crisis management, these accidental and inevitably provisional methods of problem solving are disturbingly familiar. The potential peril that attends these methods can be experienced, at least in part, in the exhibition’s final, large-scale installation, Untitled. Composed of a spot-light that encircles an outsized, single firework lying on the ground, this quasi-tautological conjunction of illumination does not bode well, inclining us to not linger on the order of our going, but to go at once. With this in mind, the small-scale installation Gris located in the office of the gallery, which already functioned as an incisive introduction, now proposes a fitting coda to an exhibition best seen on the tips of one’s toes. This intervention consists of a gray coloring pencil vertically balanced on its point on the extreme corner of a desk. The tiny miracle performed by this symbolically interstitial object (“gray area”) assumes a particular poignance here, ultimately registering as a metaphor for the virtuosity required to negotiate the growing precariousness of contemporary everyday life.

_ Chris Sharp, Por detrás del cristal


Sed (installation view), 2012


Sed (detail), 2012


Sed (detail), 2012


Problema (installation view), 2012


Problema (detail), 2012


Implosión (installation view), 2012


Fuego Artificial (installation view), 2012


Fuego Artificial (detail), 2012


Océano (installation view), 2012


Implosión (installation sketch), 2012

courtesy Federica Schiavo Gallery, Rome


Sed (installation sketch), 2012

courtesy Federica Schiavo Gallery, Rome


Océano (installation sketch), 2012

courtesy Federica Schiavo Gallery, Rome


Problema (installation sketch), 2012

courtesy Federica Schiavo Gallery, Rome


Fuego Artificial (installation sketch), 2012

courtesy Federica Schiavo Gallery, Rome

Image above: Gris, 2011 - C-Print - 100 x 66 cm - ed. 5 - courtesy Federica Schiavo Gallery, Roma