Slide Show in the context of Buenos Aires Loop – Kunsthalle Vienna
4 May – 6 June 2006
Structure, form and surface plays a significant role in all of Gustavo Mendez-Liska’s works. In texture and colour one finds a strong analogy to the earth, to the Pristine stone, to nature and at the same time to the old faded paper known from the old European drawings: a brown surface that recolours the work. His technique consists of applying several layers, which in the end result in a compact structure. He thus succeeds in expressing the complexity of his realities through a specific lightness. The optical roughness of the surfaces, the ochre colours are reminiscent of pre-Columbian, historical art. The contemporary materials and techniques, however, refer irrevocably to today. The new, Latin American-European hybrid has succeeded.
Gustavo Mendez-Liska embodies two cultures, or several, and invites the viewer to engage with them. Sometimes he is allowed to go into the depths of the work, sometimes he finds himself reflected in it, always he is present. Paradoxically, the viewer is mirrored in the artist’s strong subjectivity. Whether he stands on one side or the other is then no longer relevant as an option. There are only two spaces or possibilities in which the viewer feels included or alienated. But he is never not perceived.
“Doppeldecker” focuses on a significant part of Vienna, the Gürtel line, which functions as the edge of two realities. This Viennese Gürtel is the turning point of two different worlds, which in turn become their own world. This geographical point exists in every major metropolis and in every metropolis it is the turning point, the point of contention, the point of evaluation, the point of decision, the definition: white or black, good or bad, up or down. Gustavo Mendez-Liska thematises these two levels and thinks about them simultaneously, at the same time, almost loudly, almost shouting, reflecting, constantly, without evaluation, fascinating, red….
Double Decker, 2006
80 slides, colour
Courtesy Gustavo Mendez-Liska
Text © Enrique Guitart 2006