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Solo show: Joćo Onofre (over)

22 November 2007 until 5 January 2008
  Joćo Onofre
Jćo Onofre, Untitled (masked tap dancer), 2005 Video, colour, sound, 11'53'' | Dimensions variable | Edition of 6
  Cristina Guerra Contemporary Art

Cristina Guerra Contemporary Art
Rua Santo António ą Estrela 33
1350 - 291 Lisbon
Portugal (city map)

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tel +351 (0)21 395 95 59

Joćo Onofre

Opening: Thursday Nov 22, 2007 - 10 p.m.
Performance: Thursday Nov 22, 2007 - 10:30 pm and Jan 5, 2008 - 19 pm

Tuesday to Friday 11 am > 8 pm
Saturday 12 pm > 8 pm

This his autumn Cristina Guerra Contemporary Art presents a new exhibition of Joćo Onofre's work. The show will open to the public on Thursday, November 22nd and will be on view through January 5th. Two live performances with the Death Metal band Sacred Sin will open and close the show.

In this exhibition Joćo Onofre will be bringing together a series of new drawings on paper, the video 'Untitled Version (I See a Darkness)' as well as a massive steel sculpture, especially conceived for the gallery, titled 'Box sized DIE featuring Sacred Sin', all from 2007.

Working in array of mediums, this show reflects the artist's involvement with things that are resistant, his interest in the effects of physical situations on people, such as the uncomfortable and oppressive feeling of being confined, and his pursuit of irreversible, closed systems where the process of entropy and degradation is accelerated, and where the tension of breakdown, decomposition and disintegration is eminently foregrounded.

In his tautological, minimal drawings Untitled (red running dry), Untitled (purple running dry), Untitle (gold running dry) etc. Onofre painstakingly fills in the letters of each sentence with markers that eventually dry out. As previously stated, with this series, initiated in 2005, we witness the artist's extensive study of signs of disintegration, but also his use of forms, a use that is intended as a means of breaking up, rather than affirming unity. The show also features drawings that depart from Alighiero Boetti's use of language as both sign, signifier and material form. Drawn with Swarovski crystal, an unlikely material to historical art povera and conceptual art practices, Onofre's blingy sentence, rather than promise, atonement and change reads the promise of catastrophe.

'Box sized DIE featuring Sacred Sin', one of or the exhibition's centrepiece, stands as an appropriation of American sculptor, Tony Smith's 1962 abstract piece 'Die'. Onofre takes the form of one of Smith's most fundamental structures, his six-foot metal cube, its potentially polysemic title and the historic accusations of 'hidden threatricality' to literalize them. He does this by placing the four-part, Portuguese Death/Black metal band playing inside a sound-proof reproduction of Smith's modular cell. Unable to calculate the exact duration of the performance, which is determined by how long the band members withstand being trapped with a limited air supply, 'Box sized DIE featuring Sacred Sin', with the muffled sound that comes from its interior, raises the hidden the unheimlich resonances of Smith's iconical minimalist cube. As such, Onofre animates an apparently inanimate, hard-edged object, making the sculpture a palpable experience - one of entrapment and death, claustrophobia and asphyxiation.

Similarly, the video 'Untitled Version (I See a Darkness)' also presents a state of flux that is registered in the progressive shift from darkness to blinding brightness. Here the artist has two schoolchildren performing Will Oldham's tune, popularised by Johnny Cash, in a recording studio. In the video, "darkness" tautologically appears as per the song's title. Delivered with passion and focus, Onofre, in tandem with the tautological certainty that consistently defines his work, reinvests the cover version as a consistent means of appropriation. ND

Since graduating from Goldsmith's College in 1999 Joćo Onofre has emerged as a one of the most compelling artists of his generation. His trajectory includes several one-man shows that include P.S.1, New York (2002); Kunsthalle Wien Project Space, Vienna (2003); the Chiado Museum, Lisbon (2003); Centro Galego de Arte Contempoanea, Santiago de Compostela; (2003) Magazine 4, Bregenz (2004) as well as many European and American group exhibitions.

For further information, kindly contact Cristina Correia [] [+351 213 959 559]

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