ARCO Madrid 2019

  • February 27th - March 3rd 2019 | Madrid, SP
  • Bianca Bondi Bloom Series
  • Bianca Bondi, Petra
  • Marco Montiel-Soto, Maracaibo monumentale
  • Marco Montiel-Soto, Maracaibo monumentale 23




27 FEB – 03 MAR Madrid

JosédelaFuente presents at ARCO Madrid 2019 Time-consuming, an unprecedented collaboration between artists Bianca Bondi (Johannesburg, South Africa 1986) and Marco Montiel-Soto (Maracaibo, Venezuela 1976) that revolves around the consequences that human intervention and the inevitable, but often deliberate, passing of time have in materials, objects and societies. The selected works tell histories that go from the personal to the political and from the primitive to the postindustrial. Both artists use the time as an artistic mean in order to explore the intersections between political, scientific and poetical territories from multiple perspectives. Whilst Bondi’s vitrines, microcosms in which the natural and the artificial blend and change color and form organically after being treated with corrosive substances, Montiel-Soto’s installations tell us about the history of Venezuela. The artist reveals the ruins of current tropical regions through collections of anachronistic objects and plant-based materials drawn directly from nature. Although their practices seem formally distant, a conceptual parallelism reflects on the impact of human actions on our environment.

On one side, Bianca Bondi acts on her objects like oxygen on human bodies, whilst bringing them to life; she corrodes, transforms and decomposes them. Within this framework, we humans, understood as products of our own environment, are subjects caught up in a continuous transitional state in between forms. We are the result of all the manipulations to which we subject our surroundings to and therefore, a reflection of the consequences these actions have. Building on the concept of “transformation”, central in Bondi’s praxis, the South African artist addresses from multiple perspectives the influence that such interventions may have on the planet and in our bodies. These effects, although predictable, are indeed uncertain, being the product of a confluence of almost infinite variables over which one cannot always have control. Thereby, “time” and “what cannot be seen, but can be felt” become essential in her works, autonomous microorganisms consisting of many materials chosen for their aesthetic, poetic and psychological qualities, as well as for their ability to change and react to external agents. Vitrines that instead of preserving the objects they contain, accelerate their decomposition; installations in which barely perceptible factors, like the humidity of the exhibition space, play a major role in the development of the work; or plastic bags full of wastes, as if they were stomachs, are the works through which Bianca Bondi presents for the first time in ARCO her way of understanding the macrocosm we live in.

On the other hand, Montiel-Soto reflects in his works the abandonment and the decay of still extant wilderness areas and primitive societies that have not yet been contaminated by industrialization. His objects reconstruct memories and histories engraved in the mind of artists, and his installations immerse the viewers in an odd vision of the tropics filtered through the sieve of time. Truth, problems and ruins, concealed beneath a dreamlike appearance, are revealed by Montiel-Soto throughout collages, trunks, postcards, bills and other found objects. In response to this evident abandonment in which violence, corruption and political decline are central issues in current Venezuela, the positions adopted by other countries make us wonder what would be the best option: to take part or to let things run their course, considering the fragility of natural environments and structures that support its societies? Just like chemical solutions in Bondi’s vitrines, in this case, any intervention is always a double-edged sword with unforeseen consequences.

ABC Cultural. Mejor Solo (o en Dúo) que demasiado acompañados (03/03/2019)



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