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Solo show: Carlos Aires - Letīs Get Physical (over)

13 April 2011 until 14 May 2011
  Carlos Aires - Letīs Get Physical
Carlos Aires
  ADN Galeria

ADN Galeria
Enric Granados 49
08008 Barcelona
Spain (city map)

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tel +34 934 - 510 064

ADN Galeria opens on April 15th Carlos Aires' second personal exhibition at the gallery, Letīs Get Physical. In his first show Danzad, Danzad, Malditos, Aires had completed a thirteen-year journey of education and work abroad; in a recapitulative mode, we presented many of the creative registers and practices undertaken by him. This new show is permeated by another autobiographical tone: the reencounter with a more familiar way of living, seen by the artist from an altered perspective. The same point of view Edouard Glissant identified as the perspective of those who can recognize themselves as "Others", precisely because they can look at themselves through the eyes of the other.

Carlos Aires is one of the artists identified in ADN Galeria as global busters; he handles processes of hybridization and an aesthetic of chaos in an inclusive way, thanks to which opposite realities cohabitate and foster unpredictable springs of knowledge. Aires interferes with our perception of reality through ideas crossbreeding and a conscious use of stereotypes. The dichotomy between reality and fiction, truth and falsity, naturalness and artifice, tradition and contemporaneousness become ambiguous. In Aires' art, unity is reached precisely when these antagonistic elements meet.

In Letīs Get Physical, we face a group of works and installations in which history, tradition and Iberian visceral are mingled with the most recurrent leitmotiv in Carlosīs oeuvre: titles and lyrics of popular songs about love, relationships, memories and pain. The first chapter of the show shelters an allegorical installation recalling Andalusian patios and cemeteries, where vintage photos of Guardias Civiles are associated with ceramic tricornios - the official Guardia Civil hat - used here as containers for exotic plants and flowers. This conceptual twist ironically fusions Spanish nationalism and globalization. The installation precedes an enigmatic sculpture of Santiago Matamoros, Patron of Spain, holding a golden sword on which Olivia Newton Johnīs refrain "Letīs Get Physical" is die-stamped. The song speaks about the necessity to get a physical contact and leave apart self-control through sexual encounters. The pun "Letīs be physical" invites thus to reconsider the corporal, even abject, part of human beings.

Musical quotations are also present in the works exhibited in the second space, like for instance the heart-shape installation of knives titled How Deep is Your Love. The title of a well-known love song is engraved in each knife: "Killing me softly", "Do you really want to hurt me?" or "Se nos rompió el amor de tanto usarlo".

Here again, the sweetness of the shape, the romantic titles and the sharpness of the knives express a strong antagonism, dissolved then in the apparent and attractive fusion between love and hate which enlivens any relationship. This work is an allegory of visceral love, where entrails and feelings meet, and feelings can be charged with violence, sometimes up to death. The installation will be sided by fifteen prints of 17th century anatomical handbooks and archival photos from the Fotomuseum of Anvers, the Spanish National Library, and the newspaper ABC from Madrid. Prints and photos will be engraved in bas-relief with lyrics in 24-carats gold.

In the last room of the gallery we find the installation Letīs Get Lost, in which the artist plays with a repertoire of patriotic, religious, pornographic, and violent iconography. Evoking a baroque altarpiece, several golden-vinyl compositions are displayed in black showcases which stand out the sumptuousness of the cutout figures and materialize an abstract space where unlike images cohabitate. It refers allegorically to the continuous flux of images in the media as well as in Internet, new realm for the possible.

Little contemporary altarpieces, where Gods made of flesh are the protagonists of stories taken from newscasts, instead of those depicted in holly writings. Made out of bulbs recalling the fair lights, the sentence Letīs Get Lost also crowns a figure of Jesus Christ painted in black with shinny car pigment. Taken from a song by Chet Baker, the motto invites us to abandon ourselves in love, to get lost with the beloved one. As another linguistic pun, "Letīs Get Lost" also implies to loose control. While "lost" clearly refered to love in the original song, it can also signify to wander without destination, to be lost: an invitation to decide who and what is lost. Despite Chet Baker's talent of love singer, his suicide and tragic farewell contribute to dye in black this "Letīs get lost".

Next year Carlos will exhibit at CAC, Centro de Arte Contemporáneo de Málaga, at the MIAC, Museo Internacional de Arte Contemporáneo de Lanzarote, and at the Centro de Arte de Alcobendas, in Madrid. His works have been shown at the Artium Foundation in Álava; Centro de las Artes de Sevilla; Museum of Contemporary Art in Canada; Fotomuseum Winternthur, Switzerland; Museum of Contemporary Art in Málaga, Archeological Museum of Murcia; and at the Bucharest Biennial. He is present in collections of institutions such as Artium, Spain; MAK, Austriam Museum of Applied Arts in Vienna, Austria; CAC Seville, Spain; Frans Masereel Centrum of Karsteriee, Belgium; and many private collections from Spain, Belgium, Holland, Germany, France, Mexico, Norway, SouthAfrica, New Zeland, Switzerland, Equador Israel and the United States.

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