Galleria Continua / Beijing inaugurates Cont-IN-ua project, a new space dedicated to side-exhibtions and special projects, with the solo show of one of the most promising artist from the Brasilian art scene André Komatsu.
The duality between power and its subversion is an inherent part of André Komatsu’s artistic practice. His installations are both subversive and poetic, drawing from everyday observations made in an urban context. Komatsu reconstructs these observations in a visually purified manner, with bold strategic interventions that lead to an ironic undermining of the transformed construction itself. The reconstructions are reflections on power structures that build on order and strength and will become “ruined” by the details of their own transformation. His tools for communicating a political vision from below, made of tension and resistance, are drawing, sculpture and installation. Komatsu’s research also creates parallels between the city and the body, both impermanent and subject to disintegration. It is a spiral going through physical and/or legal obstacles. It is about questioning the different forms of man’s iteration, the way that we handle the urban space and the way that we handle established powers. Komatsu underlines the transitory state of things and creates the possibility of understanding different rhythms and speeds. Carrying out a cycle of transformation that reveals subjective times of use and wear, reaching up to the point of total failure and thus establishing the creation of a space of tension.
In his first solo show in Beijing, Komatsu presents, “When the Sun Falls Down”. The artist uses metaphors composed of common elements used in his career, creating poetic situations, to bring forth political questions. A symbology of the sun looking to its representation in history, as a symbol of the omnipresent and omnipotent nature of power. The “sun” as the presence of reason. The empire falls, the certainty of reality turns to a blur, and this failure could transform into a way to rethink the status quo.
Base Hierárquica is a work that has been installed by the artist in various countries over the last few years, each time using glasses or cups from everyday life, sophisticated crystal wine glasses and building materials readily available locally. In our context, for the Beijing project, the work consists of a series of blocks of cement and bricks piled on top of one another, and resting on typical solid Chinese cups that are capable of sustaining the weight; close by, a shattered crystal wine glass attests to the fragility of its elegance.
The series Realidade perecível were made with a construction net covered with concrete, which is painted, varnished, and laterally fixed onto a wall. The artist’s action with the concrete layer starts to break of its own accord, showing the structural construction net of the work. The process mirrors the coexistence of the construction and the deconstruction of elements of symbols and words. These forms and words already presented carry within themselves statements that, when manipulated, have their stability weakened, doubted, and exposed to a process of aggregation and disintegration. The integrity of the work at rest is put at risk by movement, it is words, images, empires, conceptual bases and certainties in being dismantled.
Fantasma is a new series of works that Komatsu has been developing since last year. Using a common steel net and plastic sheets, the artist creates a kind of camouflage fence, the control element par excellence, using basic plastic coverage. At the same time, a lamp burns the plastic and exposes the presence of the fence. It is a powerful refelction on security and society, on hierarchies and the illusion of control. Formally the shape and the size of the works that belong to this series take up the rigourous geometry of Brazilian modernist architecture and radical constructivism, well rooted in the cultural background of the artist.
“With my work, I’m trying to bring back world discussion to the centre of art discussion. I am creating some artifices to discuss artifice,” Komatsu says.
André Komatsu was born in 1978 in São Paulo, where he currently lives and works.
He has participated in several important group exhibitions: In 2015, 56th Esposizione Internazionale d’Arte, Brazilian Pavilion, Venice, Italy. In 2014, “Beyond the Supersquare”, Bronx Museum, New York, US. In 2013, “Blind Field”, Krannert art museum, Urbana, Illinois, US. In 2012, “Sex-tanisquatsi – Desorden habitable”, X Monterrey Biennial, MARCO Museum of contemporary art, Monterrey, Mexico; Triennale Poli / gráfica de San Juan y El Caribe, San Juan, Puerto Rico. In 2011, 8th Mercosul Biennial, Porto Alegre-RS, Brazil; “The Peripatetic School: Itinerant drawing from Latin America – Drawing Room”, MIMA, Museo De Arte Del Banco De La Republica, London, UK; “El Ranchito”, Matadero, Madrid, Spain. In 2010, “Para ser construídos”, MUSAC, Leon, Spain. In 2010, he had two solos shows: “Acaso por intenção”, Vermelho gallery, São Paulo, SP, Brazil and “Concreto / Periódico”, Natalie Seroussi gallery, Paris, France.Courtesy of the artist and Galleria Continua. Photography: Zhang Kai