Smoke Signals: Portals y Paisajes

written by Eddie Arroyo

“… nothing stays permanent” -Hiroshi Sugimoto (interview with Giampaolo Penco: 2007)

This is one of the quotes which seem to resonate in Smoke Signals: portals y paisajes exhibition at Under the Bridge. It is a show curated by William Cordova in order to illustrate social change due to personal perception. The exhibit was printed in a brown newspaper, it explained each piece, giving it a periodical sensibility. I was compelled to reach for a cup of coffee instead of the red wine before me, when reading through the description of each piece of artwork.

Onajide Shabaka
Total Disappearance 1905 (2012)

Onajide Shabaka’s “Total Disappearance 1905″ video instillation explored multiple physical and metaphysical layers of landscape through a one minute eleven second video narrative of a bayou. The layers of interpretation moved from a visually serine bayou to a documentative narrative describing a mythological and metaphysical event that is specific to South Florida. What is impressive is that all of this occurs simultaneously and is unassuming in its presentation, as a matter of fact. It was beneficial that the video is short in timeframe which allows for it to be viewed a number of times in order to truly appreciate its weight.

The perception of overall architectural structure is conveyed in Carlos Sandoval de Leon’s “Untitled (2012)” which strides to adhere to the very essence of the human touch. It is designed with yellow squares painted with acrylic giving the perception of levitation, making use of a small sheet of tracing paper which has been placed at the center. This opens the illusion of space and brings about an overall effort to complete the intention of an overall structure.

Carlos Sandoval de Leon
Untitled (2012)

Glexia Novoa
Pupila (2001)

Robert Thiele
Lil (2012)

Adler Guerrier
Untitled (2006)

Gean Moreno
Untitled (2012)

Luis Gispert
Untitled (I still miss you) (1999)

John Espinosa
Untitled (1998)

Then there are the haunting silhouettes of John Espinosa’s “Untitled (1998)” which is essentially a tiny plastic translucent pillbox. In it there are two black and white photos of a man’s back turned towards the viewer. The very nature of using the pill box as a medium reinforces an active effort to change perception however this rests more on medical means to do so. The presentation is ever so lovely and the intimacy is multiplied by its scale. This is a very precious piece.

Moving along the space the exhibition is quiet in balance and creates a dialog which allows the time to absorb its overall message.

written by

Eddie Arroyo | editor
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