“But it is true that in ‘dark times’ the warmth which is the pariahs’ substitute for light exerts a great fascination upon all those who are so ashamed of the world as it is that they would like to take refuge in invisibility”
Y Gallery New York is pleased to present 10.21-23 The Plague of Darkness, a solo exhibition by Juanli Carrión curated by Cecilia Jurado. The ideas of the artist are based upon the notion that light is a creator of reality. He has chosen to look into darkness to discover what is hidden, versus what has been designed to be edited by our visual memory.
What is illuminated seems to be true and ideal, but when looking in dimness the authentic truth may be revealed. In the video 10.21-23 Carrión explores an imaginary city immersed in total darkness, a place where humankind is obliged to live in obscurity, where exposure to radiation and sunlight is fatal. It is a land where the human eye has developed the capacity to see through the darkness. The lack of illumination has forced the foundation of new strategies to explore the world, where not long before visual memory was the element that gave credibility to human experience. Behind the video’s images lies a sociological study, exploring the artificial darknesses of the first world’s enclosed spaces and weighing the triviality of our daily life. In 10.21-23, observation in obscurity opens unknown and hidden doors.
Carrión continues his investigation of darkness and reality through a series of barely illuminated night-landscapes of New York City, where the legendary and picturesque nocturnal horizon is devoid of its radiant gloom. Carrión exposes the metropolis submerged in shadows, consumed by a sudden blackout. The city appears static and opaque, like a contemporary archaeology of corporate stardoms, all equally exposed by a lack of illumination.
In extension to the erasure of luminosity in corporate edifices in New York, Carrion draws constellations of the major business conglomerates existing throughout the United States. Pfizer, Exxon, Allstate, Walmart, and several others are represented separately in each piece as whiteout spaces filled with black stars, using Google maps to chart their placement nationwide. What we see in each piece is an inverse of the sky we see at night, enlightening a viewer as to how prevalent these powerful companies actually are, and suggesting that they are holes that suck the light out of the inhabitants.
The exhibition finishes with a series of drawings based on YouTube video stills of infrared war documentation. These pieces will be viewed in total darkness through the help of special “nightvision” glasses.
Juanli Carrión is a New York City based artist, born in Yecla, Spain in 1982. He received his B.A. in Fine Arts at Universidad de Granada and Université Paris 8 Vincennes-Saint Denis. Visual Arts M.F.A at Universidad Politécnica de Valencia. Exhibitions include ARTIUM (Contemporary Art Museum of the Basque Country), Spain; White Box, New York and EGO Art Center, Mexico. Residencies include ISCP in New York, Nagoya University in Japan and Kuona Trust Studios in Kenya, among others. Nominated for the 2011 ICP New York Infinity Awards and recipient of grants including the Grant for Visual Arts by the Cultural Department of the Government of Murcia, Spain.