By Alvaro de Benito | June 11, 2024

Freedom First is the first solo exhibition that Fernando Bryce (Lima, Peru, 1965) presents at 1 Mira Madrid and is practically a declaration of intentions. It is nothing new in the Peruvian artist's production his incitement, almost instigation, to analyse the political, social and communication reality through his works, authentic instruments that make use of the urgency of language and a certain recognizable visual iconography. And when this happens from practically every piece he makes, we can imagine what happens when it consists of an accumulation of pieces, a construction of a denouncing imaginary that leads to questioning history from almost infinite possibilities.


If Bryce's usual rhetoric makes an impact, precisely because of that visual language and that dialogue that is formed with the viewer to encourage us to review reality with our own criteria, his proposal becomes even more necessary in a world in which the self-styled post-truth has been appearing as a trap concept, a period of recent history in which the banal, the superfluous and the political slogans and propaganda of one side or the other have turned our lives into a grey fantasy of speculation and weariness serves as a framework for this new exhibition. 


Freedom First, in addition to that declaration of intentions, is also the name of the series Bryce presents at the Madrid gallery, the same one already exhibited years ago at Berlin's Haus del Kulturen Der Welt and which focused on the structural and language elements in the Cold War and on the contrast of the quasi-propagandistic elements of one side and the other. The exhibition also includes and is completed by the series he dedicated to illustrious historical figures or his most recent American Way (2024), in which he uses anti-American collages to reinforce the criticism of certain tendencies of political encumbrance.


Preserving history as something untouchable through instruments that encourage its distortion is as serious as assuming that the past is not part of a present doomed to the immediate sublimation of any hint of combat against the surrender of the material and the real in favour of the cheap mantra that builds an improbable postmodernity. Bryce's proposal stands as that documentary tool, almost a tool for the reconstruction of certain existing realities so that they do not remain in oblivion. For this, it is necessary that desired instrumentalization of his work, of his drawing, which leads to that individual questioning, even though the author's subjectivity, obviously, is evident in the selection and arrangement in that order that, almost like an editor who watches over the editorial line of a medium, leaves some room for reinterpretation and criticism.


Fernando Bryce: Freedom First can be seen until July 23 at 1 Mira Madrid, 16 Argumosa St., Madrid, Spain.

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