« Reviews

Adonis Ferro: Conjuro

Punctum Galería - Mexico City

Curated by Juan Antonio Molina

By Irving Domínguez

“Conjuro” (Incantation), Adonis Ferro’s first solo show in Mexico City, is a new chapter in the series El intenso proceso de descentrar that he started in 2013. Comprised of small-format sculptures and installations created with materials recycled or found at the exhibition locale, the series uses as motivation the symbolic and material erosion of certain notable events in literary modernity, taken as much from Western culture as from Cuban culture. For this he manipulates examples of texts used as raw material for his artistic production, and they end up combined with objects associated with religious practices different than Judeo-Christian monotheism.

The process of destabilization is taken even further when the artist inserts small texts that he has written himself into some of his paintings, as well as into pages ripped out of books. These are disconnected phrases and word associations full of lyricism, echoing the same deconstructed modernist referents. In this way, Víctor Hugo, José Martí and Rubén Darío are examined in detail in Regla de Oro (2013), as well as Legado del maestro and Díptico (both from 2014).

For this exhibition, painting is the axis around which the curatorship of Juan Antonio Molina is organized. The collection of selected pieces is characterized by intense work on each canvas, transforming figurative space conventions into a dense surface, refractive as though referring to black mirrors. Ferro makes modifications on them, revealing the impenetrable character of the representation. Guided by the intervention of the text, inscriptions allow for the incorporation of new elements into the composition. The preceding is very clear in Tu piel caliente (2015-2016) and Conjuro postpasional (2016). In Padre (2015), an indistinct object, perhaps a stone or plastic bag, dominates the painting. Before a dark background, it appears to dissolve, and the word, like a smudge, amplifies the play of dissolutions in which the artist engages continuously.

Adonis Ferro, Regla de Oro, 2013, book-object, 8.26” x 7.08” x 1.81.” Courtesy of the artist.

Adonis Ferro, Regla de Oro, 2013, book-object, 8.26” x 7.08” x 1.81.” Courtesy of the artist.

Since 2013, Ferro has distorted the expectations of the audience vis-à-vis these actions, mise-en-scènes and interactions with the public in the field of contemporary art. Contrary to the conventional consumption of theater arts, this young artist breaks the distinctions between performers and the audience through a process of horizontalization, which compels audience members to acknowledge their role as secondary participants in the actions that they are witnessing. All of his series Des-concierto goes to great lengths in this respect.

With a different impact, “Conjuro” is inspired by such interest and seeks to display the ambiguity of production in the current visual arts for which its conditioning as painting, sculpture or object art depends completely on a linguistic designation. Ferro gets ahead of us in this manner, not only entitling the work in advance but also including it in the work itself; that is to say, he inscribes the function in a useless object, if we respect the modernist conception of art. However, he does not always get what he wants. An example of this is Prosopopeya (2013), a video also included in the show, in which it is futile to define how much is documental and how much is pastoral in the presentation.

(July 9 - September 9, 2016)

Irving Domínguez is an independent curator and researcher. In 2015, he completed a decade of curatorial experience. He is the coauthor of Alberto Flores Varela. Esplendor del retrato en estudio, Nuevo León: CONARTE (2014). He is author of the blog http://usuariobsolescente.wordpress.com/, which compiles his critiques and documentation on his curatorial projects.

Filed Under: Reviews

Tags: , , ,

Related Articles

Leave a Reply

You must be logged in to post a comment.