A Klee painting named ‘Angelus Novus’ shows an angel looking as though he is about to move away from something he is fixedly contemplating. His eyes are staring, his mouth is open, his wings are spread. This is how one pictures the angel of history. His face is turned toward the past. Where we perceive a chain of events, he sees one single catastrophe, which keeps piling wreckage and hurls it in front of his feet. The angel would like to stay, awaken the dead, and make whole what has been smashed. But a storm is blowing in from Paradise; it has got caught in his wings with such violence that the angel can no longer close them. The storm irresistibly propels him into the future to which his back is turned, while the pile of debris before him grows skyward. This storm is what we call progress.
—The Concept of History, Walter Benjamin.
westlondonprojects is pleased to announce U-turn, an exhibition by Mauricio Guillén.
If one considered the movement, and subsequent eternal pile-up to which Benjamin refers, to represent the unfettered modern linear teleological progress; Mauricio Guillén offers an antidote by simply pointing in the other direction. Using the aesthetics of the readymade and interventions, Guillén continues his inquiry of cultural or discursive structures through location and relations.
Each of the four works in the exhibition deal with movement vectors. United along a continuum in scale, beginning with the personal, the immediate experience is of encountering a compass, in this case, reconfigured by Guillén’s Ubication and Influence. More space is covered by the room-sized intervention, Counter Weight, 2.75kg, in which gravity provides an inexorable course of movement and rest for large shiny ball bearings. An even larger scale is portrayed by drawings, entitled Recaptured Time, which record bus trips from Guillén’s Studio to westlondonprojects and back. Key to the entire exhibition is the Earth-sized pictorially represented scale in a small photograph of a world map oddly rendered in the grime of the city.
By intervening with and recording the normal processes of direction and movement Mauricio Guillén’s exhibition subtly convenes a selection of poetic objects and images, which conspire to bring scrutiny upon Cartesian assumptions.
Born 1971 in Mexico City
Lives and works in London
MA Photography, The Royal College of Art, London, England
BA Photography, Parsons School of Design, New York
Conversions, Grieder Contemporary, Zurich.
Yo no cruce la frontera, la frontera crossed me, FA Projects, London
Mingle, Art Project section, Art Basel Miami Beach
Getting on Agreeably, Guild and Greyshkull, New York
Peripheries, FA projects, London.
Learn to Read, Tate Modern, London
Black & White, Ibid Projects, London
As if by Magic, Peace Centre, Bethlehem, Palestine
Salad Days, Artists Space, New York
Fake State, Grieder Contemporary, Zurich, Switzerland.
Only The Paranoid Survive, Hudson Valley Center For Contemporary Art, New York
Pleasures Gardens, Northern Gallery for Contemporary Art, Sunderland
Black: Implicarion Flooding Colony, Birmingham
V Bienal do Mercosur, Porto Alegre, Brazil
Threshold, Max Wigram Gallery, London
Misunderstandings, GAM, Mexico City, Mexico
The Truth Society, Northern Gallery for Contemporary Arts, Sunderland
East End Academy, Whitechapel Art Gallery, London
New Contemporaries, Barbican Centre / Liverpool Biennial
XS, FA Projects, London
The Progressive Development Plan, The Empire, London