Eduardo Gil

Return to Artist

 

 

 

Much of my artistic work would probably exist in a category I would term, “found, living, social re-installations,” comprised of testimonies, created enunciative (at times, denunciative) spaces containing objects, or collections thereof, conjured by collective grief coupled with hope.

In my socially derived allegories and nominal commentaries, language in all its forms occupies a central space, and fragments of the real world—memory, community, history, and collective social gestures—are reflected and contextualized along several levels using various materials.

The natural poetry of human existence and its discourses has catalyzed the visualizing and creation of these re-installations—poeticized languages unto themselves that question conventional meanings by granting expression to what had previously been silenced or veiled by the main cultural discourse.

I have used a variety of media—sculpture, text, sound, video, spiritual phenomena, and found objects—in creating these “spaces of criticism,” where different ways of being, acting, perceiving, or thinking seep, and, sometimes, flood in to bind others into a discovered simultaneity of pro-social thought and feeling, or, more conductive, into the wider social discourse.

In the re-installation  HANDS UP! ,  composed of vintage back scratchers collected  from various sources. The back scratchers range from the more common bamboo segments to the seemingly arbitrary images of anything and everything—from sharks and donkeys to dead animal paws and tennis rackets. Typically hung upside down, the back scratcher here is installed upright, in order to subvert the benign association with the tool. The title references the cries of protesters following the failure to indict police officers in Ferguson and New York City for the murders of Mike Brown, Eric Garner, and other victims of police brutality. Echoing the upended position of the back scratchers, the artwork suggests that those in a position to serve and protect have turned their duties on their heads.

My re-installation, Readings of Saliva, Sweat and Tears, explores the societal upheavals in Venezuela via the exchanging of life-eroded pillows found in orphanages throughout Caracas for fresh, crisp, new ones. While the new pillows were providing new comfort to the orphans, the worn found pillows were displaced to a Santero (Spanish for “saint-maker”), a Santerían religious artisan-priest, who would interpret them by “reading” their contours, stains, and indentations—the silent testimonies to the rough, nocturnal existence of the same discarded children who had once laid their heads on them. The interpreted pillows were amassed into a site-specific installation with an audio player embedded into each so that viewer-listeners can, by placing their ear as close to each pillow as the orphans once had and listening to the Santero’s recorded reading, experience through sound and touch their abysmal conditions.

By transposing the testimony of abandoned human beings left to the parentless discomforts of an orphanage into the language of those whose spiritual magic often clashes with the modern, material world, Readings of Saliva, Sweat, and Tears portrays a critical view of a Venezuelan society that has bonded symbolic regressions with self-fulfilling tragedy. Both Venezuelan orphanages and Santería suffer the effects of a society, a country, and a texturized existence propelled by a “sophisticated barbarism” in which violence and annulment proliferate. The piece’s unique method, composition, and sound uneasily depict the genesis and dimension of the unspeakable across multiple modalities.

Another social re-installation, Flossers, articulates broken and discarded mannequin hands onto the gallery wall using dental floss to bind and hang them into shapes and gestures. Through their posed expression, they become simulacra of appendages “hanging on by a thread.” Here, hygienic and orthopedic language struggles to express through inert hands, incapable of touch, gesture, or feeling. Their very nature endangers them as their “flesh” attempts to construct devoid of human impulse. Flossers explores gestural and emotional muteness by rendering once-sturdy-and-expressive human-driven prosthesis into a language at semantic risk.

These works probe society to reveal the maladies deriving from the human condition, question the societal forces that lead to them, reflect the ravages that even a “normal” society, willingly or unwillingly, imposes on its members will and expression—and, in the best case, prod the viewer to pay more attention.

Born in Caracas, Venezuela, 1973

Lives and works in Brooklyn, New York

Education

1997    

Metropolitan University, Caracas, Venezuela, M.S., Civil Engineering

 

Solo Exhibitions  

2017

Res Pretiosas ,  Metales Pesados Gallery, Santiago, Chile

2016

White over white, curated by Juan Puntes, Theredoom Gallery, Madrid, Spain

2013

Mamas operadas por mi Papá y pintadas por mi Mamá,  Carmen Araujo Gallery, Caracas, Venezuela

2010

Hasta la Fecha,  curated by Ruth Estevez ,  Museo de Arte Carrillo Gil, D.F. Mexico

Selected Group Exhibitions

2017

Rotative repository of Latin American cinema: mono canal, curated by Hernan Rivera Luque, Museo del Barrio, New York

2016

Veintitrés ensayos en tiempo real, curated by Sandra Pinardi, Ateneo de Maracaibo, Venezuela

2015

Story of a Story, curated by Shlomit Dror, Smack Melon, Brooklyn, NY

2014

Carribean : Crossroads of the World, Perez Art Museum, curated by Elvis Fuentes, Miami, USA

2013

Bienal de Sao Paulo en Caracas, Hacienda Cultural la Trinidad, curated by Carmen Araujo, Caracas, Venezuela

2012

Caribbean : Crossroads of the World, Queens Museum of Art, curated by Elvis Fuentes, New York, USA

XXX Sao Paulo Bienale, curated by Luis Oramas, Sao Paulo, Brazil 

2011

Monturiol updated, curated by Ruth Estevez and Sarah Demeuse, ESPAI, Barcelona, Spain

2010

ARTEBA Art Fair, curated by Gabriela Rangel, Buenos Aires, Argentina

De Frente al Sol, Martin Janda Gallery, curated by Patrick Charpenel, Vienna, Austria

2009

Art Videotheque, Miami-Basel Art Fair

Los de Arriba y los de Abajo, Sala de Arte Publico Siqueiros, curated by Javier Tellez, Mexico City, Mexico

Space is the Place, Newman Popiashvilli Gallery, curated by Javier Tellez, New York, New York, USA

Teleprompter, Lisa Sette Gallery, Scottsdale, Arizona, USA

2007

S Files, Museo del Barrio, curated by Deborah Cullen and Elvis Fuentes, New York, New York, USA

Arte Agora, Instituto Cervantes, curated by Elvis Fuentes, New York, New York, USA

2006

Destino: Video Caribeno, Centro Cultural San Martin, curated by Elvis Fuentes, Buenos Aires, Argentina

Destino: Video Caribeno, Fundación de Arte Contemporáneo, curated by Elvis Fuentes, Montevideo, Uruguay

Jovenes con Fia, Ibero-American Art Fair, Caracas, Venezuela

Rewind…Rewind…, Instituto de Cultura Puertorriqueña, curated by Elvis Fuentes, San Juan, Puerto Rico

The Studio Visit, Exit Art, curated by Papo Colo and Jeanette Ingberman, New York, New York, USA

2005

Traffic, Exit Art, curated by Papo Colo and Jeanette Ingberman, New York, New York, USA

2003

L Factor, Exit Art, curated by Papo Colo and Jeanette Ingberman, New York, New York

AIM Program Exhibition, Bronx Museum of the Arts, curated by Lydia Yee and Amy Rosenblum-Martin, Bronx, New York, USA

2002

Queens International, Queens Museum of Art, curated by Hitomi Iwasaki, Queens, New York, USA

 

Residenties and Fellowships

2003

AIM Program, Bronx Museum of the Arts, New York

2012

Foundation  Armando Alvares Penteado, Sao Paulo , Brazil

 

Bibliography

2017,

Dan Jakubowski, “Rotative Repository of Latin American Video Art: Mono Canal“, Art Forum, March, 2017

2015

Benjamin Sutton, “Dissecting and Detecting Stories in Found Objects and Remnants”, Hyperallergic , July, 2015 

2013

Camila Molina, “Sao Paulo Biennial”, Art in America, January, 2013 

2011

Demeuse, Sarah and Estevez, Ruth, “Monturiol updated”, Exhibition Catalog, ESPAI, Barcelona, Spain

2010

Estevez Ruth, “Hasta la Fecha”, Exhibition Catalog, Museum Carrillo Gil, Mexico City, Mexico

2009

Rosenberg, Karen, “Art Review: Space is the Place”, The New York Times, July 17th, 2009, p. C25

Chura, Nathaneal, “Tennis is a White Box”, Tennis Week, July 2009 

2007

Schwendener, Martha, “Art Review: A Latino Biennial That Bucks a Global Trend,” The New York
Times, August 31 , 2007, p. E28

2006

Smith, Roberta, “Art Review: The Studio Visit”, The New York Times, February 24, 2006, p. E40

2003

Boucher, Brian, “Art fragments from the big: AIM 23 The Bronx Museum of the Arts”, Flash Art International, October 2003, #232

Cotter, Holland, “A New Latino Essence, Remixed and Redistilled”, Holland Cotter, The New
York Times, November 28, 2003, p. E41

Levin, Kevin, “Group Portrait”, The Village Voice, December 19, 2003, p. 84

2002

Johnson, Ken, “A Pluralist Exhibition in the Plural Borough”, The New York Times, August 23, 2002, p. E1