RPM (Revolutions Per Minute) is a unit related to a machine’s power and speed; in this case we have taken the concept to create an analogy, where the innovative vigor of the artists has been transformed into creative energy and whose works are the manifestation of that power and the movement of different generations of Guatemalans contemporary artists.
The temporal shift becomes real and the artists express it differently. Such that the RPM concept functions as a double bind. The works on display are based on various media that refer to the effect, the imprint, and the meaning of actual movement in reference to transportation or working machines, as well as the industrial materials with which they are built.
The gallery is pleased to invite for the first time the artist Luís Díaz, who has a long history with and a great influence on the Guatemalan artistic production. With “Documento” (Document) (1972), Díaz was a pioneer of conceptual art in Guatemala, placing a piece of cardboard on a manhole cover on which a spontaneous colography was performed within the street context in which it was found. Through colography, Díaz managed to capture the traces of passing cars, whose evidence is displayed in the exhibition in a circular composition inside a rectangle, tending to abstraction. With this gesture, Díaz documented an action whose testimony has managed to remain and transcend for over 40 years.
In “La demoledora” (Demolition woman) (2010) Sandra Monterroso documents an action using various modes of representation. The videoperformance shows the artist driving an industrial steamroller over tin pots of the kind used to cook tamales -objects associated with stereotypical domestic femininity. Violent, yet oddly liberating, Monterroso’s act equally rethinks and abolishes female roles. The installation is composed of the video documenting the action, the flattened pots, and several colographies made using a process akin to the one employed by Díaz in “Documento.” The colographies become an abstract representation of the action while affirming the dispossession of the pots’s original function.
In “ Construcción Geométrica # 5” (Geometric construction #5) (2014), one of the main interests of the artist Darío Escobar is brought into question. The wooden bodies of Guatemalan rural transport vehicles are the found objects that Escobar uses to pose questions regarding the Latin American geometric awareness. Through this aesthetic resource, the artist reflects on a modernity unconsciously acquired in nations that by definition do not meet the Western standard of having achieved homogeneous progress.
“Construcción Geométrica # 5” subtly critiques such national condition, yet it is not far from its industrial origin. As it hangs on the wall, the sculpture moves by means of hinges attached to its structure, allowing for the reconfiguration of the panels while adding some dynamism to the work.
Similarly, Lam Esvin Alarcón is known for resignifying objects within a national context, in this case, addressing public transportation, such as city buses. In “Desplazamiento No. 2” (Displacement No.2) (2014), the pieces achieve both chromatic and calculated harmony, turning into spontaneous geometric compositions as a result of careful formal conclusions.
The selection of materials chosen by the artist is motivated by his interest in evidencing the passage of time and the physical erosion caused by lived spaces. With this piece Alarcón Lam was invited to participate in the exhibition “Spatial Acts” at the Americas Society in New York last year.
Like Escobar, Diana de Solares recontextualizes the found object. In this instance an object that moves away from modernity and refers back to the pre-industrialization period. In “Existir en un estado de peligrosa distracción “ (Exist in a state of dangerous distraction) (2010-2014) Solares covers the plow with automotive paint, stripping it off of its agricultural functionality so that it can be perceived as a new object, a work of art suspended in time and space. As part of the composition, the artist added dried branches treated with curative wax to provide contrast between the materials; the juxtaposition between the organic and the industrial creates tension and highlights the fragility of the plow’s elements, alluding to the object’s temporality.
Due to her intuitive processes and attention to material combinations, Solares seeks to preserve a dose of mystery and enigma allowing the viewer to openly interpret her works. Such works become meaningful to talk about the human condition, related to the evolutionary and industrial development, physical and conceptual movement, and different ways to approach it, which proves the strength of the national