Galerie Buchholz announces the first solo exhibition in Europe of the artist Danica Barboza (b. 1988, New York) at our Cologne gallery in April 2019, coinciding with Art Cologne. Danica Barboza lives and works in New York and graduated from Cooper Union in 2012. Working primarily in sculpture and writing, her work elaborates a mythical autobiography that centres around the cosmic union between Barboza and an unnamed iconic figure. The sculptures on view, together with drawings, text, and her ongoing novel SPONDERE, here develop Barboza's coined concept of 'synecdoche-like attachment theory ('Omnia–Mercurial, Interposition') whereby the operative person projects or acknowledges the traits of the beloved onto other people or objects to make up for the loss or absence of the central beloved.'
Danica Barboza has been making work about the icon since around May 2000: 'I think of my connection to the beloved as a Mystical Marriage,' says Barboza, referring to the long-standing inspirational focus and subject of her work since the age of 13, namely a certain internationally famous and recognised pop star (now recently deceased since the winter of 2016). Barboza's most recent work takes the form of ad-hoc/found-object assemblages, integrated with heavily detailed sections of hand-moulded/sculpted portraiture and depictions of the human body. [...]
Barboza's work is based on her own long-standing personal mythology, and an almost fetishistic reiteration of the human physical form and internal anatomy; moreover, as a rule of thumb, Barboza alleges that the portraiture integrated in her work often depicts one of the three(/four) individuals central to Barboza's expansive mythology, specifically: abstracted versions of herself, in face and body; the male counter-part of her Mystical Marriage (an individual forty-one years her senior); or their alleged 'love-child' (a character/personage lovingly referred to by Barboza as 'Draco Adollphus B' both in her literary work and installations). 'Quite often,' Barboza also adds, these figures or depictions in her work can also take the form of 'amalgamations, usually consisting of at least two' of the individuals previously stated. Draco Adollphus himself, Barboza states, is not only a metaphysical personage of sorts floating about the world of Barboza's work, but also a material and actualised figure as well. 'Draco', an 8-foot-tall, standing semi-robotic assemblage, with his own gastric system, anatomically correct limbs and moving parts, is one of Barboza's most longstanding projects, and significantly is also the product of Barboza's interest in the field of Robotics.
SPONDERE the Novel About this Volume Continued
Set to the tone of an 18th century work of Gothic fiction, SPONDERE guides its readers through an intricate plot of visceral characters, and meticulously integrated segments of narrative prose. With a reliance on 'the interpersonal,' 'erotic' and 'historically obscure,' SPONDERE applies a complex system of 'ephonics' (words and phrases selected and specially patterned for their conditions of sound as well as their suggestible qualities), to tangibly manipulate theexpectations and thought-patterns of readers.
Barboza, when asked about her original intention for SPONDERE, had this to say: 'Most readers when they first pick up the volume will not be aware that they are reading the story of my dead son–and now my dead husband. This is precisely as it should be. If they become aware that the entire novel is encoded, all the better–but an understanding of this should not be essential to the appreciation of the text. To be successful, the story itself should simply 'lull' you...this is what the text is specifically designed to do. It should guide you naturally into its own philosophy, and if along-the–way you do become aware that the characters mentioned within suddenly feel more familiar than first assumed...the reader may simply take this as a bonus. [...] To understand why the text is alive, and a testament to a much larger network of visual and plastic works, I would most likely refer them to the following as an addendum-a short philosophical parable.'
See the printed leaflet for more on the Parable of Dr. Rank.
Press release courtesy Galerie Buchholz.