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Gestos Urbanos | Urban Gestures

16.01 – 22.02 / 2013
Johannes Vogt Gallery, New York

Johannes Vogt Gallery is pleased to present Gestos Urbanos | Urban Gestures, featuring works by three Colombian artists, Juan Fernando Herrán, Kevin Simón Mancera, and Jaime Tarazona. The works brought together for this show offer a range of approaches, from drawing to sculpture to overpainted etchings. Each artist alludes to an overlaying of historical and contemporary urbanism as a structure that binds inhabitants to territories, be it through architecture, public spaces, or local news.

Juan Fernando Herrán (b. 1963) will present three photographic works from his series Escalas (Steps) that responds to the proliferation of architectural structures built by the people in the outskirts of urban areas. The images show at first sight the fact that the inhabitants fulfill an act of territorial possession in which they conquest and subjugate the land. In a second level, they prove that the layout of public space in these territories is collaborative by necessity. It is the outcome of a series of dynamic and shared architectural processes that allows them to partake of the “city” and “progress” notions. The resulting structures are a chaotic remnant of a social situation cut short. The exhibited photographs also serve as counterparts to the artist’s own construction of staircases from wood or concrete.

Kevin Simón Mancera (b. 1982) has created a detailed, pen and ink replica of the “New York Times” edition from January 16, 1890, a date exactly one hundred and twenty-four years before the exhibition’s opening. Building upon previous projects such as his 2009 work, Al Mal Tiempo Mala Cara, that targeted the Colombian newspaper “El Tiempo”, the artist has drafted the entire content of the newspaper in a one to one scale, recreating all images and text of the original issue. Mancera’s unique drawings have then served as template for a mass-produced newspaper print. Editions of the artist’s newspaper adaptation lay in stacks on the floor as if standing ready for delivery. To this extent the artist turns the gallery into a warehouse and the viewers into delivery mechanisms subverting the trajectories the paper will follow throughout the city, obscuring the origins of the information. Mancera’s contribution to the show expands the space of the gallery to the streets and inhabitants of New York City.

Jaime Tarazona (b. 1973) presents the viewer with a series of interventions into historic etchings of scenic landscapes. Abstractions of seemingly impossible modernist structures hover over antique images of continental Europe creating a beautiful and subtle bond with the grounding content. Tarazona addresses notions of historical progress alongside the ultimate failure of Latin American modernism. His architectonic proposals exist somewhere between seriality and the original and their status as potentials squarely locates them at the collapse of art, architecture and design.


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