Yes, in his work EL MUNDO, Carlos Aires (Ronda, 1974) has taken over Sabrina Amrani gallery's whole space to shape a disturbing metaphor that fluctuates between unrest and hope, between discouragement and the will to persevere and continue. The conscience of the fact that the energies that humans deploy in building, destroying, and repairing can not find rest, is present in the artistic exercise of bracing and supporting ceilings and floors, so that neither the actual gallery nor, symbolically, the world in general will sink. Surprise, uncertainty and hope intermingle with sensations and thoughts about death, which is like a soundtrack that filters into trail.
EL MUNDO (2023) is an installation syntactically formed from two material elements – a series of construction struts and a set of sculptures – and one idea: the generic concept of support. The metal struts have phrases coming from songs that conform the personal and autobiographic discography of the artist. The phrases, fire-cut in the iron, allude to the universal power of music and the unconscious plot that connects us through it. The brass sculptures are pieces of icons – understood in our culture as great values – that have been made in 3D from digital files. As if he was a hacker, the artist appropriates of significant fragments of historical works (Farnese's Hercules, the Aphrodite of Knidos, the Apollo Belvedere, the hand and the head of Michelangelo´s David, a Christ without a cross...) that he finishes with clean and somewhat violent cuts.
These sculptures have something of a corpse, of rupture, of finishing, of an end, of the repeated idea of the death of art, and that what has traditionally sustained it is disappearing: from the ideas of individual genius and originality to the social and mercantile strategies that boost its production. And yet, these sculptures serve as double support for the props that press them against floors and ceilings. The idea of death is reiterated by the presence of a coffin built in wood as if it were an art transport box. This coffin-box has the exact dimensions of the artist's body, and the complete lyrics of the song After I'm gone by Jimmy Scott inscribed inside. The box has been closed since 2011, the year it was built, and the lyrics are never physically seen, they are only shown in a video that was filmed with an infrared camera. The box usually accompanies the artist in his exhibitions, and although sometimes it is kept in store, now is displayed on the top floor of the gallery.
The visitor that walks through the strut and sculpture rhythmed space will find out that there is not a specific narrative in this Carlos Aires' installation, but in fact a clear connection with the baroque idea of vanitas, with the Existentialist reflections of the permanence and disappearance, with the politic conscience that both the artwork EL MUNDO and our own world can disappear at any time. The fact of propping up a gallery extends the idea of persistence in the art field to the global metaphor of how essential it is to prop up our planet. The walker submereges into an atmosphere that awakes their conscience of the useless and how necessary it is to continue thinking, feeling, creating, and resisting.
Text by Rosa Martínez.
Press release courtesy Sabrina Amrani.