Walls and Gateways

Group exhibition in Existentie, Ghent (Belgium)

June 2008

Other participanting artists: Brody Condon, Liam O’ Callaghan, Davide Bertocchi, Julia Oschatz, Vargas Suarez-Universal, Lode Geens, Filip Berte, Nathaniel Rackowe and Mihail Milunovic.

Curated by Lara Pan

I participate with the video installation A Dream_Teeth and the narrative installation Mimicry, in a new version: printed in posters, which are displayed in four stacks and available for public to take home.

Excerpt from the catalogue:

The works of the Spanish artist David Maroto are an ironical reflection on identity. They are mostly collages of photographic material that are placed in a narrative structure, either in sequences of images or video installations. The characters are depicted in a consciously sloppy manner and to a certain extent also seem to be aware of their artificiality. In the work Mimicry (2008) for example, where the characters clearly are cut out pictures, provided with a new background, one of them says in a speech balloon that he does not feel to be at the spot where he finds himself. In Maroto’s work the constructed nature of art is underlined but on its turn this functions as a metaphor for the artificiality of the human identity. The characters often have the feeling that they are copies. Even with their most personal thoughts and emotions they feel that they are walking the beaten tracks. Individuality and the pursuit of it are in that way exposed to be a cliché like any other.

Because of their explicit unnaturalness the characters seem to feel displaced, which in a way makes them human again. Many times they try to find the missing core of their existence. In Mimicry from one image to the next we each time see a closer image of the man that is speaking. His face does not become more clearly visible however, as it more and more adopts the colour of the background. While lying in Freud’s couch he “confesses” the philosophical idea that the boundaries between the self and the environment are blurring. Such allusions to psychoanalysis, which in Maroto’s work frequently occur, are so obvious or abstract that the characters come across in an even more artificial way. Rather than to define their identity psychoanalysis is used here to demonstrate the loss of it. But it is precisely the lack of personality which makes Maroto’s characters touching.

Matthias van de Vel

Links: www.existentie.be

thenewartproject.com

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