A mad mix of people showed up for Thursday night’s opening of Zona Expuesta at Canal 7 – TV Pública. A roster of artists from Cortina Abierta — the home / gallery hybrid behind the exhibition — provided a rich display of works in a variety of mediums that drew in a crowd almost as interesting as the art itself.
Stepping through the door, my senses were greeted by A short story-fabuloso, Ramairas Alvareidas’ sweetly-scented soft sculpture of a teddy bear and a bunny wearing a crown and holding a lit-up sphere with another sculpture inside it. The artist arrived shortly after and while I was asking him about how he scented the sculpture, to which he replied by saying it was a great secret and mischievously pulling a can of air freshener out of his jacket, Sabastián Mur showed up with a live snake wrapped around his neck like a scarf! I nearly had a heart attack, but Andy Donohoe picked up the orange serpent as he would have a glass of wine at any other art opening and immediately started snapping photos.
In the next room, I checked out a new project by art duo Herrero – Ibáñez called Almohadas para soñar (pillows for dreaming), where people where browsing through a selection of pillows hanging from a clothes rack. Each pillow held a tag offering a different dream, and Herrero explained that you can write to the project’s Facebook page and submit your own dream to become part of the project. Touching the crisp white linens, I wondered what my own dreams would hold that night, later to find them affected by Mur’s serpent scarf. I dreamed that I was talking to an artist and Mur’s pet snake crawled over the artists shoulder and looked right at me. I’m sure there is a texbook Freudian explanation for it, but I don’t even want to go there.
Off in the far room, Andy and I marveled at Sergio Lamanna‘s gigantic moveable knight on a horse sculpture. Made of translucent materials, the sculpture gives off a ghostly effect in the video beside it, where it shows the horse running and light shining through it. Interested in the science of movement, especially that of horses, Lamanna talked animatedly about what inspired the sculpture, which is so wonderful to see, I would go so far it’s worth seeing the exhibition just to see that work.
But of course there is so much other great stuff to see at the show, like my all time favorite soft and sequined sculptures by Soledad Rithner, and Marcos Luczkow‘s French paper works that somehow manage to combine the intricacies of the classical paper cutting medium with notions of social revolt. In Estrago (Ravage), Luczkow includes miniature paper pieces flying out of an iron pot. The pot makes reference to a middle-class act of protest in 2001 when people banged pots and pans on the street and on their balconies in response to being refused access to their bank accounts.
In and amidst all the works, a wonderful crowed milled, which included Cortina Abierta’s magnetic curator Natalia Saenz Valiente, who exhibited her usual enthusiasm by wrapping Mur’s snake around her own neck and placing Rithner’s giant sequined sculpture around my shoulders.
Zona Expuesta is a must see as far as I’m concerned. I know I’ll go back and take a look at it again when I’m not so distracted by the fabulous crowd, and of course, the snake!
Through May 31
Monday – Sunday, 8 AM – 8 PM