Cecilia Brunson Projects Santiago is proud to announce a solo exhibition by the Argentine artist Sebastián Gordín. The exhibition will bring together a selection of the hand-crafted wooden magazines that are central to Gordín’s practice. Inspired by pulp fiction of the 1920s, the artist uses meticulous marquetry to fabricate the covers and inside pages of fictitious magazines. The slow and precise process of production, with the meticulous use of different woods that references the ancient technique used in the Renaissance, contrasts with the nature of the modern, throwaway pulp magazines.
The logic from there was to go for an ultra-glossy and seductive finish, inviting the viewer to touch, hold and feel the piece. In that sensory ‘invitation’ lies a gulf between the polished, crafted piece with its resistance to the passage of time and its course, throw-away, pulp originator. This style of shadow play between the two fascinated me to such an extent that I completely immersed myself in the form. In fact the passage of time and its earthly manifestations have always fascinated me…… The way in which time grinds to a halt in certain situations opens up an infinite world of possible explanations and stories; all these are of central importance in my work.
So the magazines are playing on one level with the contrast between the title and the depicted scene and on another with temporality and presence. These books are to be admired and looked at rather than read; the impulse is to touch and hold not to casually discard into the nearest available bin. But on the other hand they retain, for me, the essence of the original paper versions; production for mass entertainment…
… in these pieces, past and future boil down to a fundamental relationship between the image and the materials. Mostly the image takes the form of trivial events of daily life, minor gestures twisted into strange, mythical forms and witnessed, literally, from a different angle, between the lustre of the various woods and their movements across the cover.
Gordín manipulates the pre-existing patterns of the wood so that they become an integral part of the work, replicating brushstrokes. The intricacies of the wooden patterns are reminiscent of the painterly style of the Expressionists, particularly Edvard Munch. Within the works, the macabre events are intended to resuscitate the subconscious at the same time as the works themselves seduce the senses.
Gordín is one of the central artistic figures to rise to prominence in the post- dictatorship Argentina of the late 1990s. Rejecting the growing intellectual- isation of Argentine artistic practice, Gordín’s work evades overtly political and conceptual tendencies. Instead, it can be characterised by playful and experimental exploration of life and aesthetics, often through the use of traditional or everyday materials.
Born in Buenos Aires in 1969. Lives and works in Buenos Aires.
Sebastián Gordín has exhibited widely internationally, including ICI Instituto de Cooperación Iberoamericana; Buenos Aires; Espacio Fundación Telefónica; the Museo de Arte Moderno de Buenos Aires (MAMBA); Museo de Arte Contemporáneo de Mar del Plata, Buenos Aires, Argentina and his work was featured in the 29th Bienal de Pontevedra, Spain in 2006 and the 13th Bienal de Cuenca, Fundación Bienal de Cuenca, Ecuador.
His work is in museum collections such as MALBA, Argentina; Museo de Arte Contemporáneo de Castilla y León, Spain; Frac des Pays de la Loire, France; Blanton Museum, Texas and MAR – Museu de Arte do Rio, Brazil.