NUEVOS VECINOS. ADRIAN GAITÁN’S EXHIBITION AT LA COMETA
Nuevos vecinos (New neighbours) seeks to set up a dialogue between the last two projects by Adrián Gaitán: Para los tiempos que corren, presented in the XI version of the Luis Caballero award in 2022 and Nobleza Obliga, carried out in NC arte in 2021.
Nobleza obliga (Noblesse oblige) is an exploration and juxtaposition of real elements –soil, canvas, picks tea– and fake ones –the carpet, the walls, the tiles, the crystals– in one great living room. He uses that to portray social relationships: are they made of truths or lies? Or both?
“The truth is bitter; lies are beautiful. In the exhibition it is evident that only what is fake needs authenticity titles, signatures, or seals: degrees, honors, art, and money. Gaitán hast explored this topic time and again through a work that is surprising in the sense of matter and also, conceptually deep”, explains Julia Buenaventura in the show’s curatorial text.
The artist’s second project Para los tiempos que corren (For current times), uses Saint Sebastian’s figure and history, especially the way he was tortured with arrows that although they entered his body, were not able to finish his life. He reproduces this image several times on wood using as pigment the viscous stains of gasoline or diesel that leak from cars and that are found on the floor of parking lots.
“With reverberations from the pandemic, the installation concentrates on another fever, one that we haven’t recovered from: the one of the “black gold” that moves the industrial society and has caused wars in the last century. Amid a transition where those fossil fuels begin to be substituted by renewable energies with zero emissions, several of the largest hydrocarbon companies have devised in the last years a grant and patronage policy to different museums all over the world. These act as a source (or shelter) for cleaning the corporate image that the artist alludes to in a sort of luminous threshold or a cinematographic scenery that, immersed in many forms of collapse, can belong to the end of times or to the beginning”, states Emilio Tarazona, curator at the exhibition.
Adrián Gaitán's work focuses on the deconstruction and revision of symbols that are usually associated with high culture and with the most representative images in the history of western art. Gaitán constantly rethinks on the image and the aesthetic reference that Europe represents for Latin America.
His pieces are made and treated with abject, recycled materials, with a high symbolic potential of what could be considered as "low culture". The materiality is essential to understand his work since it generates irony regarding the triviality of the objects that the most privileged possess and also, the fragility of the concepts and images associated with art and culture.
Elements such as soil, cardboard, motor oil, used plastic, wood, among others, denote Gaitán's interest in the power of materials and in their ability to bring into tension any rigid concept.
Nuevos vecinos. Individual exhibition by Adrián Gaitán.
Until February 15th, 2022.
Galería Cometa. Calle 10 A # 37 – 40, Medellín, Colombia.