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Area Under Construction

Solo Show
Ricardo Rendón

ArtNexus #68 - Arte en Colombia #114
Mar - May 2008

Mexico City, Mexico
Museo Experimental El Eco

Carlos Antonio De la Sierra

How can one abbreviate experiencing a space as if it were a fragment of one¿s own skin? What is the term for breathing when the exhaled breath turns into stone and fire, veil and beauty, into the limestone and mortar of one¿s personal history? How can artistic creation be perceived when its extension is a leap into itself, an accident under the skin, a residence erected without construction castles? In his poem San Ildefonso Nocturne, Octavio Paz writes: ¿At this hour, /the red walls of San Ildefonso /are black, and they breathe: /sun turned into time, /time turned into stone, /stone turned into body¿. One segment of the contemporary art of today oscillates between these magnets: from body to stone; from stone to body, from both of these to a sacrilegious and fervent aesthetic experience.

The exhibit Zona en Construcción (Zone Under Construction) by Mexican artist Ricardo Rendón (1970) is underway at the Eco Experimental Museum in Mexico City. The Eco, an experimental architectonic proposal created by German artist Mathias Goeritz in 1952, has become the ad hoc space to fulfill once again what was one of the original reasons for its creation: working in situ and the open visualization of the everyday creative effort. Mimesis and multilayered anecdote; fusion and ever-changing mural; synthesis and walls bloodied with memories. Zona en Construcción is a proposal that takes artistic creation beyond the individual experience and delivers it to the forefront of public scrutiny: the possibility of revealing expeditiously and animatedly the creative endeavor in a setting built for the judges. Zona en Construcción is an anarchic catapult that thrusts the creator away from the confines of the artist¿s studio and turns the work on itself in a natural space of cohabitation; it may not be a harmonious device, but is certainly oblique and provocative. Rendón¿s intervention does not shatter the foundations of Eco or, as the curator of the exhibit suggests, turn it into ¿¿ a platform open for the construction of axles of a deliberately unfinished process¿; to the contrary, the exhibit serves as an ominous x-ray exposing an unhealthy body: The Eco and its entrails. The great paradox in this intervention, having acquired strength from its own justifying discourse, lies in that by regarding the work as a deliberately unfinished process in the strictly semantic terms, it renders the work finished from its initiation.

Zona en Construcción extends in situ 25 steel rod structures, those supporting structures that are used in any building construction (25 castles, rods of several thicknesses, and rolled wire), over Eco¿s tiled central patio. Rendón¿s proposal concerns an alternate appreciation of artistic endeavor: creation as a process, perhaps incomplete, carried out by means of perpetual itinerant suffering. In other words, the master builder targets the evanescence of the artistic disciplines. Thus, it is possible to speak of a sculpture that has been ¿built¿ as if it were a building, employing architectonic tools. Or it could also be presented as the tearing down of the artist¿s fourth studio wall, resulting in the possibility of an open interaction between the viewer and the creation itself. In appearance, Rendón¿s almost labyrinthine castles are able to devour passersby who venture into them and who will anguish on finding themselves inside these perennial and anarchic unfinished constructions. And I say in appearance, based on an anecdote from the time I went to see the exhibit. I was the only visitor at that time, and the museum keeper (I am not refereeing to the curator, although I would not suggest that a great difference exists between the two) opened the museum for me and said: ¿They are just construction frameworks. I could have done that¿ and by myself¿. This is Kafka and his surveyor before the castle.

Four works on a smaller scale complement the exhibit: Trabajo con Router (Work with Router) (2007, modified MDF sheet, 120 ◊ 120 cm); Trabajo con Tornillos (Work with Screws) 2007, screws on MDF, 122 ◊ 122 cm), and Trabajo con Taladro (Work with Drill) (2007, sheetrock and vinylrock on wood, 200 ◊ 100 cm.). Zona en Construcción by Ricardo Rendón will be on exhibit until January 2008 at the Eco Experimental Museum in Mexico City.



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