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Jorge Macchi – Spectrum

14.03 – 10.05/ 2015
Le 19 CRAC, Montbéliard

A key figure in the international contemporary art scene, Jorge Macchi has, for over 25 years now, been honing a rigorous and poetic body of work.His output blends formal components with haiku-like visuals. It stands at the crossroads of issues that interweave images stemming from a condensation or gushing of reality, from an interplay of shadows and lights, from sequential dynamics, and from repetition effects that serve to suspend or invert perceptive or signifying effects. It probes the emergence and dissolution of plot in situations beyond the borders of narrative.

He is adept in the art of toppling perceptions and thereby blurs our habitual view of reality. Such modifications of space situate him in the domain of fiction both for its illusionist aspect and for what this implies regarding a gap between dream and reality. Jorge Macchi corrodes our present through the intrusion into the present of elements from the past or from a fictive future that strip us of our familiar criteria linked to chronological linearity. Macchi’s artworks often end up producing a suspense that destabilizes the identity of things, rendering the image uncertain and unsettling. He turns the world into a theater of doubt and melancholy. Crime lurks near the scenes he depicts, but the story is missing. We are either before or after the plot. This also explains his use of image-fragments or film-fragments as fuel for his visual collages, or which he transforms via alteration, separation or disconnection between text and images, between sound and dialogues. Images, reality, cityscape, consumer society signs and art history are the materials that he configures, associates or juxtaposes by setting up collision or shifting effects which cast doubt upon the identity of beings, situations and objects.

His output, in addition to drawings, paintings and sculptures, also comprises sound and video installations. Le 19, CRAC, which had initially displayed some of his works in 2001, is now hosting his first major exhibition in France. Jorge Macchi has perfected the art of taking utterly banal and anonymous things, images and words, and making them enigmatic and paradoxical. Spectrum alludes to the nature of an exhibition that spans the artist’s output for over twenty years. In addition, it evokes a constant in Jorge

Macchi’s work: the tendency of reality to unravel, the simultaneously ontological and fictive character of ubiquitous signs, and the way in which he treats shadow as the specter of form, the sign of its dissolution. Just as specters can evoke a reality and beings that have disappeared,

his work constantly pursues a logic whereby the consistency of things is lost and their quality inverted; their existence and features have a propensity for becoming equivocal, hovering between the tangible and the diaphanous, between weightiness and immateriality, between reality and fiction.

Spectrum will be the first Jorge Macchi retrospective to take place in France. It will provide the French public with an opportunity to view an ensemble of the artist’s major works (videos, paintings, installations, sculptures, and works on paper). This selection encompasses roughly twenty years of output, ranging from works created in 1992 (La flecha de Zenon) all the way to paintings from the series Memoria externa

(2013-2014), which have not yet been shown in Europe.

Recent large-scale video works, such as From Here to Eternity and Second will be shown alongside earlier video works such as Victima Serial, Diario Intimo, Streamline, Super 8 and La flecha de Zenon.

Four of the artist’s reference sculptures/installations will be presented (Refraction, Illumination, Pendulum and Bed and Breakfast) as well as two works deriving from the wall installations Hotel and Horizon. Drawings and collages such as Liliput, Shy, a relief from 2001 entitled Publicidades and a set of watercolors from 1990-2000 will supply the finishing touches.

Pursuing a different approach, Spectrum follows on the heels of the artist’s recent retrospectives in Europe, Music Stands Still at the SMAK in Ghent (2011) and Container at the Kunstmuseum in Lucerne (2013). This exhibition has been organized with the support of the Peter Kilchmann Gallery (Zurich), the Galleria Continua (San Gimignano), theRuth Benzacar Gallery (Buenos Aires) and the Alexander and Bonin Gallery (New York).

This post is also available in: Spanish