Danh Vo “Jardín con palomas al vuelo” en la casa estudio Luis Barragán


Through a work as personal as it is inspired by historical and political events, Danh Vo questions the construction and legacy of conflicts, values ​​and cultural traumas. When Vo was a child, his family fled Vietnam and settled in Denmark: his integration into European culture and the political events that prompted his escape are intrinsic to his artistic research. Vo's work clarifies the relationship between the inseparable elements that make up our identity, through both collective history and personal experiences. The presentation of objects based on the principle of the ready-made is a characteristic strategy of Danh Vo's artistic practice; Through objects charged with a symbolism that retains and sublimates the desire and sadness of individuals and entire cultures, Vo examines how context alters meaning. Enigmatic and poetic, Danh Vo's work deftly sidesteps the didactic by exploring the underlying power plays in liberal societies and the fragility of our concept of the Nation-State.

From November 5, 2018 to January 13, 2019, Estancia FEMSA and Casa Luis Barragán present a solo exhibition by renowned Danish artist Danh Vo (Bà Rịa, Vietnam, 1975) made up of pieces and interventions created especially for this venue. In them, from a series of light and silent gestures, the artist explores the architecture and the life of the objects and the people who have inhabited the Casa Luis Barragán.

It can clearly be seen that in the first part of the exhibition, Danh Vo reveals to us the invisible systems that work behind the scenes to ensure the functioning of the house, in the same way that he shows the conservation tasks to which the maintenance staff submits it. the institution. Vo proposes subtle alterations in maintenance routines, such as the removal of carpets to reveal the traces of light on the floors over the years, the accelerated restoration of part of the furniture as well as certain spaces, as well as the of some sections that remain closed to the public; it also manages to displace objects in order to exacerbate decorative gestures, such as the creation of flower arrangements by the house staff.

To achieve all of this, Danh has relied in part on old photographs of the House, taken by Elizabeth Timberland in 1952 and found in the Esther McCoy collection. And it is in this way that the temporal layers that accumulate in the space and the multiple transformations that it has undergone since its construction are revealed, pointing out the impermanence of its museographic discourse and understanding Barragán's architecture as a living archive and an active laboratory of ideas.

The second part of the exhibition consists of the elaboration of an installation for which Danh Vo has arranged, throughout the house, beeswax candles made by master craftsmen in Oaxaca. In the process of preparing these, the original yellow of the wax is discolored by the sun for days; then the candles are assembled, layer by layer and finally they are dyed with cochineal grana in different densities. The interaction of materials with the environment and their transformation over time is for the artist a constant source of fascination in his work.

The candles, on the one hand, allude to the historical lineage of dyeing with grana cochineal —a pre-Hispanic technique whose cultural use survived the Viceroyalty and formed an essential part of the economy of New Spain— and, on the other, they evoke with their ceremonial character the Catholic faith, which is a central theme both in Barragán's life and work and in Danh Vo's research, although the latter manifests itself very differently in both cases. Using these specific elements of Mexico's cultural history, the artist reflects on colonization, globalization, and the resignification that occurs when objects are extracted from one context and “migrate” to another.

In a certain way, this installation forms new experiences of the Casa Luis Barragán for its visitors, as the candles will light up and burn down throughout the exhibition, which will allow visitors to see the interior of the enclosure at sunset and will create a new dialogue of light and shadow inside.

Danh Vo studied at KADK-The Royal Danish Academy of Fine Arts in Denmark and the Städelschule in Frankfurt, Germany. In 2012, he received the Hugo Boss Prize and in 2007, the Blauorange Kunstpreis awarded by the Deutsche Volksbanken und Raiffeisenbanken; in 2009, he was nominated for the Preis der Nationalgalerie für junge Kunst in Germany.

Among his most important exhibitions are: Danh Vo, CAPC Bordeaux (2018); Danh Vo: Take My Breath Away, Guggenheim Museum, New York and SMK Copenhagen (2018); Danh Vō, National Gallery Singapore, Singapore (2016-17); Banish the faceless / Reward your grace, Palacio de Cristal del Retiro, Madrid (2015); Danh Vo: Wād al-ḥaŷara, Museo Jumex, Mexico City (2014/2015); We The People, commissioned by the Public Art Fund for Brooklyn Bridge Park, New York (2014); IMUUR2 (Hugo Boss Prize), Guggenheim Museum, New York (2013); Chung ga opla, Villa Medici, Rome (2013); We The People (detail), Art Institute of Chicago, United States (2012); Hip Hip Hooray, SMK-Statens Museum for Kunst, Copenhagen, Denmark (2010); Danh Vo: Where the Lions Are, Kunsthalle Basel, Switzerland (2009); Package Tour, Stedelijk Museum Amsterdam, The Netherlands (2008).

His work has also been included in group exhibitions such as: Stories of Almost Everyone, Hammer Museum, Los Angeles, United States (2018); Stepping into the Unknown, National Museum of Art, Osaka, Japan (2018); Question the Wall Itself, Walker Art Center, Minneapolis, United States (2017); Collected by Thea Westreich Wagner and Ethan Wagner, Center Pompidou, Paris (2016); Sculpture on the Move 1946 – 2016, Kunstmuseum Basel | Gegenwart, Basel, Switzerland (2016); The Precarious, The Menil Collection, Houston, United States (2015); Magnificent Obsessions: The Artist as Collector, Barbican Centre, London (2015); The Ungovernables, New Museum, New York, (2012); Heroes, Galleria d'Arte Moderna e Contemporanea di Torino, Turin, Italy (2011); Strange Comfort, Kunsthalle Basel, Basel, Switzerland (2010); Morality – Act II: From Love to Legal, Witte de With Center for Contemporary Art, Rotterdam, The Netherlands (2009); Jahresgaben 2008, Kunstverein München, Munich, Germany (2008); among other.

Danh Vo participated in the international art exhibition of the 55th Venice Biennale (2012) and represented Denmark at the 56th Venice Biennale (2015) with the exhibition mothertongue.

DANH VO Garden with flying pigeons.
Luis Barragán Studio House:

Encantados de conocerte.

Regístrate para recibir contenido interesante en tu bandeja de entrada, cada semana.

Rocío García