Luciana Brito Galeria presents solo show by Argentinian Liliana Porter.
As suggested by the title, the exhibition Time Line is configured as a small retrospective of the US-based Argentinian artist Liliana Porter (b. 1941), presenting from historical pieces from the 1970s to her most recent works.
The solo show antecedes the presence of Porter’s production in the city with the group show “Radical Women: Latin American Art, 1960–1985”, opening in August at the Pinacoteca, after being exhibited at the Hammer Museum (Los Angeles) and the Brooklyn Museum (New York). Still in 2018, the artist will have three institutional solo shows in the US—at the Perez Museum (Miami); El Museo del Barrio (New York City), and OMI Art Center (Ghent, NY)—, other than presenting a new performance at the legendary art space The Kitchen, in New York City.
Since early in her career, Liliana Porter has been interested in exploring the ambiguous space between reality and representation. In her works from the 1970s that are included in “Time Line”, this investigation manifests through lines that cross different representational spaces, as well as through the superposition of different temporalities, which are concentrated in one single moment—another key aspect of her production. In these works, Porter merges photography and drawing, extrapolating the limits of the first through graphite lines that begin as interventions on photographic paper and continue on the wall, inserting what is photographically represented in the three-dimensional architectonic field.
Her recent work is marked by the constant presence of small figurines and trinkets, be them represented on photographs, prints and videos, or directly added to paintings and installations. These miniatures, that the artist has been collecting for decades, represent characters, inanimate objects, toys and animals, among others. For Porter, these objects “have a double existence. On the one hand they are mere appearance, insubstantial ornaments, but, at the same time, have a gaze that can be animated by the viewer, who, through it, can project the inclination to endow things with an interiority and identity”. Called “theatrical vignettes” by the artist, the situations created with these figurines tenderly speak of the human condition, the simultaneity of humor and distress, banality and meaningfulness.
An exemplary work from this research and one of the highlights of “Time Line” is Man with axe, a hitherto unseen piece from 2018 composed of the miniature of a suited man in a hat brandishing an axe and destroying the platform on top of which he lays. The work is part of a series that includes the installation Man with the Axe_Venice, which Porter exhibited last year at the 57th Venice Biennale, “Viva Arte Viva”, upon the invitation of curator Christine Macel, and which is now part of the Perez Museum collection, in Miami. In the series, variations of this tiny character are inserted in sceneries of chaos and destruction disproportional to the reach of its tiny tool. The installation—which the artist has interpreted as a metaphor for time, where the trail of all memories is condensed on a single point in space—synthetizes the core points of the artist’s research, that is, the presentation of suggestive situations whose narrative must be completed by the viewer; the simultaneity of different temporalities; and the game between reality and representation.