Arts for a nonsensical world
Gallery: Edel Assanti
Timing: 12 Sep, 2020, showing until 19 Oct, 2020
You have found your new biggest fan, @farley_aguilar23. These works are on show in Farley Aguilar’s first solo exhibition in the UK, opening on 12 Sep, showing until 19 Oct @edelassanti. The artist utilises found photographic imagery ranging from historical reportage to portraits to crowd scenes and presents in garish colours a haunting and necessary commentary on socio-political realities, including stratification as depicted by dress, objects, and surroundings. There are no smiling figures, only zombie-like faces with either crossed out eyes, smeared lipstick, sewn up mouths, or obscured by ghoulish masks. He uses childhood as a vehicle to gauge the status of western societies’ egalitarian aspirations and trajectory.
Aguilar draws inspiration from Thomas Piketty’s book ‘Capital in the Twenty-First Century’, which addresses inequality not being an accident but rather a feature of capitalism. Piketty argues that today we are veering back to ‘patrimonial capitalism’, in which much of the economy is dominated by inherited wealth.
Said Aguilar: ‘I think that enlightenment in terms of philosophy and science will always be turned into something very dangerous and destructive when mixed with the darker sides of our nature. Enlightenment in art is less dangerous and has to do, at least for me, with revealing the fallibility of human beings and the power structures they create… All my images make explicit the dichotomy between individuals and groups. For me, a group is always an institution that is dangerous to the individual and individuality.’
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