Noé Sendas, Urban Legends #05, 2007, C-print on PVC , 85 x85 cm
Jan, 10 - Feb, 23
Opening: Thursday Jan 10 - 10 p.m.
Cristina Guerra Contemporary Art is pleased to present THE HUNTER, a solo exhibition featuring new work by Noé Sendas.
Best known for his anonymous, destitute figures sculpted from epoxy resin in tattered, charity shop look-a-like clothes and weathered shoes, his earlier video works, such as the woman found permanently falling and more recently for his work and as an assembler of images, a Benjaminian collector with an eye for encounters that slip unnoticed through our hands, Noé Sendas continues the modern experience of recovering, renovating and re-evaluating our relationship with modern-day objects, which includes images both moving and still, with his new show, deftly titled THE HUNTER.
Consisting of two video installations and one photo-installation, this show presents the work of a ragpicker who finds his material in the public domain and transfigures it with his concern, with his ability to arrange, tinker and prompt involuntary memory and unanticipated links. Sendas thus personifies the letimotif of this show, the hunter or one who scents and imagines spirits in things.
In 'The Urban Legends' series, for instance, Sendas works with images and popular legend. In 'Urban Legend #1' we see the reflection of the otherwise ordinary soundstage number 28 at Universal Studios in Hollywood. Said to be haunted by the ghost of actor Lon Chaney, all who have tried to dismantle it have fallen victim to fatal accidents. In this particular case, Sendas melds an image of the stage with Chaney in the role that immortalized him, that of the masked, disfigured Phantom in the 'The Phantom of the Opera', bringing the shadows and the spectres of the picture of the stage to the fore, showing us how death animates the photograph. Fundamentally, here, spectrality has nothing to do with whether one believes in ghosts or not, but is about demonstrating how ghosts are very much alive and at work within the living present, that is, how our world is scarcely as self-sufficient as it claims to be, how the hauntological disseminates and deconstructs the ontological.
In the video 'Dead Weight', another piece on view, Sendas plays with the principle that nobody wants to be seen with a dead body or weight. Comprised of two different parts, in the first, a man on the beach strolls into a dead body. As he approaches the corpse, a second man appears. The first man runs a way, giving place to the second. As this second gentleman approaches the cadaver, he is spotted looking. In fear, he too takes flight from the scene only to give space for the first man to come back. In the second part, we see a man on the verge of jumping from a window. Down below, a passer by who sees him runs inside the building, attempting to rescue whom he can only presume is about to jump. Only the rescuer becomes the rescue, that is, he only comes to occupy the place of the suicide: on the ledge, poised and ready to jump. Here, as in Urban Legends, Sendas returns to the Becketian eternal present, which is at once an uncanny beginning without and end and an end without a beginning - opposed to a sense of continuity and unbrokenness. ND