Cecilia Brunson Projects is pleased to announce a solo exhibition by the Chilean artist Enrique Ramírez, his first solo exhibition in the UK.
The exhibition will focus on pertinent and key global issues and concerns, those of migration and the personal journey. Ramírez describes his concept behind the exhibition as –
‘In search of the lost wind was born from the creation of a flag, normally used on boats to see the direction of the wind. The direction of the wind is to me today a symbol of the questions, where are we going, what guides us? We live in a world that has begun to lose its way and where thousands of people leave their lands to find a new opportunity far away… far from who they are, it is then these imaginaries that interest me, as a reflection of what is left behind when everything becomes real again…’
A central point for the exhibition is the video work INCOMING. The work takes as its source the infamous image published in the press in April 2016 that captured the Norwegian immigration minister Sylvi Listhaug abandoning ship from a Norwegian rescue vessel wearing a protective orange survival suit. She declared to the press ‘You can’t put yourself in the same situation as the refugees but you can see it from that perspective (and experience of) how it is to be in the water that way.’ With a sensitivity and deft hand, the artist responds to this farcical event by creating a poetic and contemplative work. Ramírez invited a foreigner to replicate this action and launch himself into the North Sea in Stavanger. The descent into the water is shown in slow motion, an action that transforms it into a contemplative piece that goes beyond the specific event. The man becomes an everyman, throwing himself into the uncertainties of life.
The UNHRC (The UN Refugee Agency) has recorded that in 2016 22.5 million people fled their countries to seek safety elsewhere. Ramírez highlights that this forced displacement is a global issue. Other work on display will be made in collaboration with a Haitian refugee in Santiago, Chile, commissioned by the artist specifically for the exhibition, but also as a means of supporting the Haitian. Referencing the fact that in the year up to July 2017, 44,289 Haitian refugees arrived in Chile seeking safety, the artist forces the viewer to engage with this global problem.
Elsewhere in the exhibition, Ramírez includes his signature motif of the sail. Collages of antique postcards depicting sail boats with the sails removed and replaced with images of constellations hint at the romantic notion of the sea. This is a sea that offers hope and freedom, and one that mirrors the journey of life. Ramírez offers a lyrical, positive underlying message in À la recherche du vent perdu [In search of the lost wind], where ultimately there is some sense of direction given in a world that seems so uncertain.