Ordinary, day-by-day materials become lyric sculptures in “Everyday Poetics”, which opened at the Seattle Art Museum last Saturday, November 18th. Featuring 14 contemporary artists from Latin America, including Adriano Costa, Marilá Dardot, Sonia Gomes and Erika Verzutti, the exhibition reveals the aesthetic and narrative possibilities of the objects of daily life that typically go unnoticed.
Although presenting works by older artists, the case of both Gomes, mentioned above, and Cildo Meireles, the main focus of the show is on the generation of artists shaped by the social, economic and political developments in their respective countries (namely, Brazil, Mexico, Cuba and Peru) in the 1980s and 1990s. Hence, they all use humble materials for their assemblages, sculptures, and installations—including dust cloths, measuring sticks, soda cans, cleaning mops, cardboard packaging, and scratch marks of lottery tickets—and repurpose them to poignant effect.
In many of these works, marked by a spirit of improvisation and fragility, it is the broken or discarded leftovers that form the starting point. Such is the case of Marilá Dardot’s “Código desconhecido” [Unknown Code] #5, a series of books cut to the spine in a way that makes them no longer legible, or William Cordova’s transformation of a Coca-Cola can into the winged spirit of Saint Rodriguez. Is is thus through clever alterations and suggestive titles that the artists offer evocative commentaries on history, society, the environment, labor, and human nature.
“Everyday Poetics”, featuring Tonico Lemos Auad, William Cordova, Adriano Costa, Abraham Cruzvillegas, Alexandre da Cunha, Marilá Dardot, Sonia Gomes, Fritzia Irízar, Los Carpinteros, Marepe, Cildo Meireles, Moris, Gabriel Orozco and Erika Verzutti
On view from November 18th through June 17th, 2018