Opus 2012 - Juanli Carrión
March 1 - 31, 2013 - Opening Reception: Friday, March 1st, 6 - 9 pm
Curated by Aldo Sánchez
Juanli Carrión’s site-specific interventions are the result of his critical analysis of the contemporary landscapes of our society and his brilliant aesthetic reactions to them. For his most recent project he revisited his childhood musical talents to create an opera to be performed in the desert of Mexico, a version of Don Giovanni. In his new adaptation of Mozart’s classic, he used parts of the second act, replacing most of the original libretto with excerpts from Barack Obama’s State of the Union Address delivered in January 2012.
With Opus 2012 Carrión seeks to emphasize the tremendous dependence that current democratic regimes have on the industry of mass communication. The melodramatic characterization which has been acquired by the figure of the president for the strategies of quantifying "public opinion" is clear: to excite the pulse of acceptance in a captive audience—the citizens who elected him at the polls—qualifies the tone of his speech, but essentially does not change the development of the plot. Representation has ceased to be the fuel of our lives as citizens.
The dramatization of political discourse and its insertion into the poetics of opera establishes a direct relationship between the public performance of the politician and the character of Don Juan, though he is now cast as a lover unsatisfied in his relationship with Power, seeking out new conquests and proofs of his capacity and position.
For his second solo show at Y Gallery, Juanli Carrión presents a special-edition video documenting the live performance in the Mexican desert. Set in the north of San Luis Potosi, Mexico, the video alludes to the geopolitics of that specific site, crucial for millions of people that cross the U.S. border every year. Four singers stand behind black podiums that appear as minimalist sculptures as well as anonymous, authoritative entities.
A photo installation depicts twelve excerpts from the new opera text superimposed over stills from video that documents the movement of the universe across the night sky, captured the night of the performance’s representation in the desert. The words result in oracular texts that confuse poetics and the political.
Juanli Carrión was born in Yecla, Spain in 1982. He has exhibited internationally in Mexico, Costa Rica, Greece, Spain, Portugal, UK, Colombia, Germany, Kenya, Japan and the U.S. His work is included in the collections of the Museum of Contemporary Art of the Basque Country ARTIUM; Caja Madrid Foundation; Photographic Center Manuel Álvarez Bravo, Oaxaca, Mexico and The Royal West of England Academy, among others. He is represented by Rosa Santos Gallery in Spain and Y Gallery in New York.