Non Site

29 Apr 2011 > 30 Jun 2011
artist(s): Luis Gómez

Tasneem Gallery presents Non Site the first solo show in Barcelona by the Cuban artist Luis Gómez. Taking as its starting point the concept of Robert Smithson’s “non site”, which proposes a dimensional metaphor that one site can represent another site which does not resemble it, Goméz reflects on facets of human behaviour and its context, interpreting them as events that are built from experience. Composed of three series of drawings on paper and two video works, Non Site explores concepts related to the history of development, time, space, consumption and decoding of knowledge.

Two of the selected series debates power-relations. Through the watercolours of the series Lote, Luis Gomez refers to how the value of art is constructed and legitimised. He locates on the same plane copies of Western paintings, specifically the European abstraction, and makes them coexist with representations of African tribal artefact and Japanese paintings. In this way he invites us to see them in the same field – to recognize their differences, but at the same time understand them to be equal. He outlines the stereotypes that have guided our view of cultural practices that are not generated from established power systems. The series Errors is related to the same debate, but this time, similar to a coin, he expresses himself on both sides of the paper. The artist chooses different techniques and materials, creating fine line drawings made with crayon and ink on folded rice paper, where he suggests the fragility and delicacy of our existence, alluding also to an inner anguish where we confront our own limits and loneliness.

With the series Untitled, Luis Gomez formulates his perception of objects in space. The series consists of charcoal drawings on cardboard where the dark and flat figures lose their detail and contrasts starkly with the background that supports them. These pieces are the first notes of an installation, are the sketches that allow him to study the structure of an idea that is not yet fully defined, a bank of ideas, a part in his creative process.

From a very personal perspective the video-projection Rosario, which references Fritz Lang’s film Metropolis, represents the coming of death. That moment before death is announced and the attempt to push it away. Can we delay this moment, to reflect on what we missed, what we failed to do, what we might have achieved?

The men who never existed is a video that plays with the idea of names as representations of identity. The names in the video are of personalities who influenced and shaped the progress of mankind, but who over time are largely forgotten. The work is an expression of how collective action can have the effect of erasing detail and individuality. It points to how we make constant use of knowledge, restructuring and adapting it – but in all this perhaps there is something that remains constant.

For this artist, art is a process that occurs during the encounter between the viewer’s experience and the artwork, which is understood as an open instance with a multitude of possible interpretations. Hence the creation of environments through installations and space is a constant in his work. The use of various media such as photography, drawing, painting and video is a hallmark of his work, in which these media are also used as research tools.

About the artist

Luis Gómez, born in 1968, is a graduate of the High Institute of Art in Havana (ISA). His work has been exhibited at the National Museum of Fine Arts in Havana, in the 49 Esposizione Internazionale D´ARTE, Venice Biennale, Italy, in the Samuel Dorsky Museum of Art, New York, USA, at the Ludwig Forum für Internationale Kunst, Aachen, Germany, at the Barbican Center, London, UK, in Art Basel and Maastricht and the Havana Biennial. He has participated in several Art Residences from institutions like the Mattress Factory, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, USA, the Europe University of Madrid in Spain and The Ohio State University, Ohio, USA.

His work is in many different collections including the Ludwig Forum, Aachen, Germany, the Arizona State University Art Museum, USA, the Cincinnati Contemporary Art Center, Ohio, USA, the NINART, Mexico City, the National Museum of Fine Arts in Havana, the Van Reekum Museum Apeldoorn, Holland and the Wakita Museum of Art, Japan.