The Way Things Go


28 JANUARY – 14 MAY 2016.



The exhibition The Way Things Go (So are things) pays homage to the video of the same name, a masterpiece of Swiss artists Peter Fischli (1952) and David Weiss (1946-2012). Since its premiere in 1987, the video has done nothing but gather praise under the explosive combination of conceptual rigor, irony, and absurd elements that otherwise characterize their entire oeuvre in sculpture, photography, and installation.


The video documents a chain reaction performed with various everyday objects such as chairs, ladders, tires, balloons, firecrackers, tables, etc., which develops in a continuum for 30 minutes by the use of gravity, water, and fire to cause all kinds of physical phenomena, motion paths, precarious balance, and various effects, including some chemical reactions.


The staging of these objects is a fine example of exactitude in that the forced “happenings” occur one after another with the precision of clockwork. The work immediately hypnotizes, thanks to the tension and wonder produced by the sequences. But beyond the seduction that ensues, the work involves a profound reflection on the concepts of instability and insecurity, on the crisis of the idea of progress, and the relations between cause and effect, as well as the arbitrary course of historical events, which are, in turn, the underlying premises of this exhibition’s curatorial proposal.


The mixture of economy of means and work with poor materials and waste to produce deeply sophisticated video effects reinforces the subversive idea of the work where the aesthetic hierarchies are in constant questioning. It is a work that plays with the idea of uselessness and gratuity, where there are tensions, triumphs and defeats, always with burlesque and parodic humor.


Through drawing, painting, sculpture, and video the works of the artists participating in the exhibition The Way Things Go connect the ideas mentioned above from different points of view: the precariousness and fragility of the utopian idea, understood as historical and fictional discourse reflected in architecture and mural drawing, part of the series “Because every city has the right to be called utopia “ ( 2001) by Carlos Garaicoa. In this work, Garaicoa draws the landscape of an ideal city, lightly sketched by the lines of a thread that translates the ethereal figures of mills, an architectural typology anchored in the literature as a symbol of the impossible, pursuing the idea of renewable energy through wind turbines in the fields.


While on the other hand post-colonial conflicts, eloquently reflected in the video “Oil and Sugar # 2” (2007) by Kader Attia, in a relationship between a cube of sugar consumed by oil and a categorical challenge to the notion of the future, one that promises improvements, development, and well-being in the piece “Burnt Word” (2012) by Santiago Sierra, are two examples that use physical phenomena and chemical reactions to explain the motivations and the questions that arise, moving from one place to another, not only in space but in time, to make direct reference to the destruction of the word “Future”.


The speeches on modern architecture, translated into object-oriented paradoxes of books that cannot be read, whose content is denied, yet evoked, are part of the sculptural works of Fernanda Fragateiro present in “Untitled_Architecture Words” (2015) and “Not Abstract_Orange and Mirror “(2015).


On the other hand, David Panos presents a video part of the project “Untitled (The Dark Pool)” in which the artist superimposed images of silhouetted bodies and objects to talk about the ghostly and theatrical aspect of the goods. In an idea of natural selection, Sandra Gamarra’s “I Found Self-Portrait” (2012) is a series of twelve paintings in which the artist appropriates images of works by other artists, where the common denominator is the balance, understood as a metaphor for the difficulty of positioning onself as a definite and definitive being. Original works become found objects, which Gamarra reuses for her own purposes.


The intricate sculptures made from found objects by Alejandro Almanza Pereda, in his piece “Sticks & Stones No. 4” (2014) “, remind us of the fragility of the balance with which not only objects but ideas of physical and mental constructions are presented, wrapped in a halo of utopian creation. In the sculptural work “Untitled No.4”, Darío Escobar borrows the minimalist aesthetic to transform it and to return to basic materials such as wood, where the basketball ball seems to float between the two elements.


Curated by Patrick Hamilton & The 9.99.