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23.06.2006 - 29.07.2006, Karlsruhe
Mario Garcia Torres
Paradoxically, It Doesn't Seem That Far From Here / What Happens In Halifax Stays In Halifax (In 36 Slides)
Meyer Riegger is pleased to announce the first solo presentation of Mario Garcia Torres’ work in the gallery. Composed of two separate shows, the work involves the rethinking of histories related to artists from the recent past.
"Paradoxically, It Doesn’t Seem That Far From Here" is a group of works that together form a film treatment or the beginning of what could be a script related to Kabul, Alighiero Boetti’s One Hotel in that city and the impossibility to understand, represent and react to the current social and political situations in those latitudes. Composed of short notes hypothetically faxed to Boetti by the artist, a couple of speculative film props and an actualised remake of a piece by the Italian artist, now contaminated by the new situation in Afghanistan of which he never knew of, Paradoxically, tell the story of the artist trying to find the location of the destroyed One Hotel while wandering about Kabul in late 2001.
Along the potential script, Today (Latest News From Kabul) is a wall piece made by the artist after Alighiero Boetti where instead of the date the piece was made, the beginning of the latest news from that city is written with right and left hands simultaneously. Each time the piece is installed it will be composed of a different text depending of the current situation there. A dark mobile with a long title is seen as a take on modern thinking and the way this has influenced in different times the westernisation of life in Kabul. The Kabul Golf Club: Open in 1967, Relocated in 1973, Closed in 1978, Reopen around 1993, Closed Again in 1996, and Reopen in 2004 become then one of the most clear illustrations of western influence and the battle it has implied during the last decades.
What Happens in Halifax Stays in Halifax (In 36 Slides) is the recount of the final part of a research involving a secret piece that conceptual artist Robert Barry submitted to the Nova Scotia College of Art and Design’s Project Class back in 1969. Told through a set of black and white slides, the story involves mainly the students that participated in such piece and their views as seen from today. In 2005 Mario Garcia Torres organized a class reunion in Halifax, where the piece was made. The students -that had not seen each other for more than 30 years- and the then instructor David Askevold met there to visit the sites that where important to the class and to corroborate if the Barry piece is still in existence since the only precondition that the work imposed was that if the agreed idea left the secrecy of the students group it will no longer constitute a work of art. In Garcia Torres’ presentation the notions of memory, loyalty and cultural imaginary are discussed.
Mario Garcia Torres’ practice is concern with rethinking history and more specifically about calling attention to minor historical narratives for which the artist reconsiders their status value. Mainly surrounded by artists mythologies from the last decades, in the work of Garcia Torres, the politics of memory are revised while the poetics of disappearance are found.