Artist: Fernando Palma Rodriguez
Venue: House of Gaga, Los Angeles
Date: July 11 – September 1, 2018
Full gallery of images, press release and link available after the jump.
Images courtesy of House of Gaga, Los Angeles
Gaga is pleased to present the third exhibition by Fernando Palma Rodríguez in the gallery.
The exhibition expands on the works currently on view at MOMA PS1, In Ixtli In Yollotl / We the People and his recent retrospective at the Museo de Arte de Oaxaca, Guex Liu, Kuu ñunro, Totlalhuan / Nuestra Tierra (Our Land). In the same way as in past exhibitions, Fernando takes on and reprograms sculptures made in the last two decades.
Familiar characters reappear again. El Soldado (The Soldier) (2001), red, sentinel of the West and representative of Cihuatampa, who looks to the place of the warrior women and guards the entrance to the temple, marching forwards and backwards, while in the distance his three brothers point to the other three regions of the horizontal world. Mictlampa to the north, Huitlampa to the south and to the east Tlahuiztlampa, governed by Xipetotec.
Climbing up the steps we are greeted by Xipetotec (2018), who rules the region of the rising sun and represents the renewal, the detachment of what is no longer useful, the regeneration of spiritual nature, as well as the transformation of dry soil into fertile soil, covering his face with the skin of a sacrificed young man. He is also the god of craftsmen, tender maize, abundance and wealth and the one who punishes those who steal. He invites us here to witness a dialogue and a dance. Xipe is surrounded by the snakes of the Cuatlicue and a chair dances under his hand.
On the second plane of the gallery, a rather unconscious one, appears Xi mo matlazacan ce cehce (2006), dance of the unripe corn and the weed, country and city, the more “cheerful than cheerful” work the artist has made is a kind of self-portrait of the coyote, his alter ego, which takes us back to the time when Fernando was working at Anthony D’Offay, installing works by other artists up on a ladder.
On one side, three characters, Los Nahuales (2017), discuss the present, past and future. The Nahual is the part of the individual linking us with the sacred, it is our guardian animal and some can even become it. Their layers protect them from water and they will soon cease to exist. Nahual also means to cover oneself with a rebozo. They remind us, says the artist, how in the future only stones will remain while all the rest will disappear. The stones that come from Oaxaca serve to grind the corn, to carve shapes, or those coming from the L.A. River supporting and decorating, “Nation’s property”, hold the soldier as a Sisyphus in reverse to return again and again to the same place.
Two paintings are part of the exhibition and continue the exploration and theories Palma Rodríguez has developed on prehispanic codexes. The cat bullying the mouse, Michin huan quimichtin (2016), image that resonates with the enormous amount of abuses of power in Mexico and Tetzahualiztli (2016) or spectrum, parts from a dream imagining the way back to the village, premonition of commitment with the ancestral land.