UNIONS AND INTERSECTIONS

01.11.2014 - 20.12.2014

Nils Stærk is pleased to present Guatemalan artist Darío Escobar’s (b. 1971) first solo exhibition in Scandinavia. The exhibition will consist of new and recent sculptural works.

The title of the exhibition Unions and Intersections underlines a general theme in Escobar’s work. The chosen objects, which make up Escobar’s sculptures become markers and signs of both unions and intersections through the way they are arranged and their conversion into art.

Most of the works presented in the exhibition are sculptures made partially or entirely out of sporting goods such as footballs, basketballs, or billiard cues. Sports have been a recurring theme in Escobar’s work in recent years. However, one is not looking at the work of a sports-obsessed artist; someone who cannot get enough of the life-affirming thrills sports can offer. For Escobar these sporting effects are, to a much larger degree, signs of multinational brands and movements, which in the last decades have swept across the world and made any distinction between the local and the global impossible.

To Escobar sports and the culture that surrounds it is inseparable from a worldwide consumerism that offers itself as a ticket to an international community if one is prepared to pay the price. By using effects from this culture Escobar calls attention to this particular situation, though without pointing fingers at sports fans. His work is also not to be understood as a sarcastic comment on the global art world or art market because of its ability to absorb such commercial elements. The works are a sincere investigation of complex power structures, including the relationship between art and consumerism.

Darío Escobar lives and works in Guatemala City. He has been included in numerous solo and group exhibitions, among them, Gold, Bass Museum of Art, Miami, and Fútbol: The Beautiful Game, Los Angeles County Museum of Art (all 2014); Confusion in the Vault, Museo Jumex, México D.F. (2013); 2013 California-Pacific Triennial, Orange County Museum of Art, Newport Beach, California; Darío Escobar/La experiencia del objeto, Museo de Arte Contemporáneo de Santiago, Santiago, Chile, Singular/Plural,  SCAD Museum of Art, Savannah, Georgia, and The Island: A Game of Life, Gallery One, Manarat al Saadiyat, Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates (all 2012); Los impolíticos, Palazzo delle Arti Napoli, Naples, Italy, Périfériks, Centre d’art Neuchâtel, Neuchâtel, Switzerland, and Mundus Novus, 53 Biennale di Venezia, Venice (all 2009); and Poetics of the Handmade, The Museum of Contemporary Art, Los Angeles (2007). Escobar’s monograph A Singular Plurality: The Works of Darío Escobar was published by Harvard University Press in 2013.

DISTINCT FUNCTIONAL LAYERS HELP ESTABLISH HIERARCHY AND ORDER

29.01.2016 - 09.04.2016

Text by Angus Cook

One thing is for sure: the blue lights are no metaphor for mind-control. Rather, questions of mind-control may be understood as a metaphor for the bidirectional relationship of artwork to viewer.

Is it mere coincidence that blue and pink are the colors with the most compelling scientific evidence to support their use as medicine?

That they are similar in this respect is somewhat curious because these particular colors strike me as more chromatically polarized than black and white or red and green.

Color as medicine is a strange idea.

But not as strange as color as medicine as art.

The installation is composed of juxtapositions—visual, cognitive, emotional. Painting and sculpture. Stable and unstable. Daydream and nightmare. Appearance and reality. Freedom and control. Public discourse and the world of the imagination. Life and death. These and other polarities, whose mutual incompatibility is emphasized by way of their juxtaposition, are simultaneously merged by the closeness of their contact, and exchange then lose their ostensible identities.

The tension that is created by this system of opposing forces produces an instability that becomes both an integral part of the structure, and the energy that ultimately undermines it. The destructive instability is in turn counteracted by further emergent layers.

Difference becomes sameness, as sameness becomes something else again.

The very principles of juxtaposition, by which the installation operates, are counteracted by that something else again. Nothing is as it seems because nothing is allowed to stay the same—visually, cognitively, emotionally.

About the exhibition

The exhibition presents a new installation and works on paper. The installation consists of three light posts, each with four blue LED lamps of a kind used on specific train stations in Japan. The supposed anti-depressive color of the light is intended to reduce the number of suicides committed on these stations. The paintings on paper are created using fluorescent pink paint.

The exhibition is Einarsson’s fourth solo exhibition in the gallery. Einarsson has previously had solo exhibitions in institutions such as ARoS, Aarhus Art Musuem, DK, Bergen Kunsthall, NO, Kunsthalle Fridericianum, Kassel, DE, Bonniers Konsthall, Stockholm, SE, Reykjavik Art Museum, IS, Astrup Fearnley Museum of Modern Art, Oslo, NO, The Modern Art Museum of Fort Worth, US, Centre d’Art Contemporain, Geneve, CH, Museum St. Louis, US, Frankfurter Kunstverein, DE, Swiss Institute, New York, US amongst others. Einarsson lives and works in Tokyo.