Mario García Torres “When Time Lost Its Patience” at Franco Noero Gallery, Turin
Franco Noero Gallery is proud to present When Time Lost Its Patience, the first solo exhibition by Mario García Torres in Turin, at the gallery in Via Mottalciata, which for the occasion changed its configuration to host a series of works in exclusive preview – sculptures, paintings, photographs, and a book – to which the artist added a 2013 video and a piece from his early career.
“What’s the point in delaying, interrupting, or even abandoning a project? To what is an artist’s hesitation due? Doesn’t ‘having a break’, or the refusal to evolve and the associated rhetoric perhaps deserve reflecting upon?”. These are just few of the questions García Torres raises in the prologue of the book A promise not fulfilled, the publication accompanying the show and at the same time representing a fundamental part of it, so much as to be considered by the artist a true work of art. Starting from an apparently unfinished work by David Hockney, Untitled (Red Square), 1964 – a red square with “My Dear Jim + Jack, – I’ll come back and finish the picture later. This is just/a background colour. Love David XX” – the Mexican artist brings the past episode in the spotlight again, and asks six Italian authors – Gabriele Di Fronzo, Matteo Nucci, Emiliano Poddi & Elena Sottili, Enrico Remmert, Gianluigi Ricuperati, Andrea Tarabbia – to imagine the events prior to Hockey’s phrase; a fictional story by each writer, but all with the same ending sentence. In fact, we do not know what stopped Hockney from completing the painting, nor why he has decided to include the work in his portfolio.
The reflection on the concept of unfinished, incomplete or not completed, is the leitmotif linking all works in the exhibition, headlined by La esposición de Mario García Torres ha sido pospuesta [Mario García Torres’ exhibition has been postponed], one of the artist’s first-ever works, which announces exactly what is stated in the title by means of ‘assembly’ (ASM) language used in digital programming, ending with a video monologue in which the artist defends the idea of hesitation as a political statement against progress, created by García Torres on the occasion of the collective exhibition at the Stedelijk Museum of Amsterdam in 2013.
The works created specifically for the art show express the same concepts: six photographs in sequence, like an inverse Fibonacci, portray the hall of the Massimo cinema in Turin gradually emptying – movie after movie – throughout the 8-hour film marathon organized in September by the artist himself as a prologue to this art show. Hanging on the walls of the gallery, there is a series of large canvases of the same format but with different tones and grain sizes, all quite empty as if prepared to greet the colour of brushstrokes. This is indeed their history, in that each of them has been created strictly following the following the guidelines written by Giorgio De Chirico, whilst their format faithfully replicates the size of the canvas exposed in De Chirico’s home-studio in Rome, probably the last canvas on which the artist planned to work on. The series entitled Lost Act includes fifteen bronze sculptures apparently laid out across the floor randomly, as little crumpled sheets of paper blown away. Once again, there is the idea of something not fully planned, and indeed Lost Acts is the result of an instinctive action by the artist performed on the original cardboard packaging structure over which the artist modelled the metal sculptures, and at the same time the work becomes a challenge to the term used by Mexican artists in the 1960s to define the act of plastic modelling, know as ‘plastic act’, referring to a public, theatrical mise-en-scène rather that a private art expression. García Torres picks up the heritage and innovation brought by avant-garde movements of the 1960s in terms of installations, relationship with and use of materials, as well as Arte Povera and its new outlets.
Through his new works, the Mexican artist investigates the production mechanisms of artistic thinking and explores the darkest sides – unofficial and not given historical importance within conceptual art – of its figures and practices, focusing on the most intangible part of its heritage, related to news, voices and live witnesses. Once more, the artist decides to use different media including video, sculpture, painting, photography, and writing, in order to widen the direct availability experience of the works exhibited, whether tangible or intangible, communicating through the involvement of third persons or the viewers themselves within his artwork. When Time Lost Its Patience is an attempt to shift the momentum of creation and perception, stopping time and asking one’s self if it is truly desirable to establish completeness as an objective and continue to perceive works of art as finished objects rather than the middle element of a process that has occurred before and will continue to occur in the future.
at Franco Noero Gallery, Turin
until 3 February 2018