We are proud to announce the opening of Shadow as Rumour, the first solo exhibition by Mexican artist Jose Dávila at Max Wigram Gallery.
Jose Dávila’s work makes constant reflections on modern architecture and urbanism, contemporary art, its forecasts and failures. For this exhibition, the artist has produced new works exploring notions of logical and illogical systems of thought and perception, the hidden geometry embedded into them, whilst offering a moment of reflection on modern history and its cultural tropes.
The exhibition consists of a selection of hybrid works. On the walls are shown a series of prints of iconic historical landmarks - Dan Flavin’s neon sculptures, Felix Candela’s umbrella, and images depicting moments of balance in 20th Century history - intervened on by the artist by removing the central subject. With this iconoclastic gesture, Dávila reduces these images to pure context, reminding us of the indivisibility between the subject and the site, posing the question: what is, or was, more important - the subject, the moment, the place, or the context? With images representing the moments that have shaped our common visual history, Moments of Equilibrium comments on the role of images in our cultural and subjective memory, and develops an active relationship between the work and the viewer - we are compelled to fill in the void, recurring to our memory or imagination, thus performing a creative act. Reproducing this absence by arranging the frames with a void at the centre, the artist leaves a space for the viewer to fill, personally and symbolically.
A large metallic sculpture placed on the floor offers a link between the two-dimensional works on the wall and three-dimensional space. This structure seems to extend beyond balance, presenting us with a nonlogical system of form, questioning the relationship between form and function and its significance in art. The sculpture draws a continuous line in space, a sideways eight, the symbol for infinity. This Möbius strip is disrupted by the artist, who breaks it up with angles, twists, and colour blocking that do not follow a discernible pattern. This sculpture actualises space in relation to movement. The viewer is here invited to walk through and around the sculpture, filling the void with his or her body. Ever changing depending on the point of view, yet uninterrupted, the sculpture becomes a metaphor for history, suggesting its eternal recurrence across infinite time and space.
Dávila appropriates history, works of art, systems of thoughts, architectural models, and takes up their potential by repeating them in a series of critical homages that open them up to discourse and create new moments of creative possibilities.
Jose Dávila (b. 1974, Guadalajara, Mexico) lives and works in Guadalajara, Mexico. Dávila’s solo exhibitions include: Praise to the Shadow, MAZ, Zapopan Museum of Art, Mexico (2012); Only the Shadow Knows, Galleria Gentili, Prato, Italy and Hotel Demetria, Guadalajara, Mexico (2011); Continuum Space, MARCO, Vigo, Spain (2010) and The Sierpinski Variable, Bloomberg Space, London, UK (2010). Since 2011 he participated to many group exhibitions, including: Ugly, Dirty and Bad, Espacio M, Mexico City, Mexico; The persistence of geometry, Caixa Forum, Madrid, Spain; Erschaute bauten, MAK, Vienna, Austria; Now, Museo Cabanas, Guadalajara, Mexico. Dávila’s work is part of many public collections, including Museum of Latin American Art, Argentina; MUAC, Museum of Contemporary Art Mexico City, Mexico; Museo Amparo, Puebla, Mexico; Fundacion coleccion JUMEX, Mexico City, Mexico; MUDAM Museum of modern art, Luxembourg; Reina, Madrid, Spain; La Caixa Foundation, Madrid, Spain.