January 25th - April 30th, 2014
ADN Galería opens on Saturday 25th of January 2014, Carlos Aires’ exhibition: This is not just fucking business. The solo show explores the semantic twofold established by the artist through the re-coding of icons and values. It is a compendium of works and installations where our collective imagination, the contemporary iconography and the common places cause visual traps questioning the obviousness of the image.
The first exhibition space hosts an installation in which the artist has papered the wall with portraits of illustrious characters from different bank notes. Among this confusion we can perceive a work framed with gold leaf, where the sentence: "This is not just fucking business“ can be read. Camouflage is understood in this context as that which conceals or hides the presence of something, just as used in the war strategy. Aires also questions the selection of the portraits that each country chooses to be printed on their banknotes.
The sentence "This is not just fucking business" can also be read repeatedly in the opposite wall, this time made from cuts of original banknotes of the thirty richest countries in the world. The sentence becomes a statement of Aires’ intentions, his understanding on the essence of the art world , its intrinsic dynamics and modern capitalism. The sentence comes from a conversation he had with a curator and an art collector where they wordlessly affirmed, " Carlos , this is just fucking business" . As a mantra, the artist turns the original locution into its negative form and replicates it in order to remember that intimate and unique space that corresponds only to the artist : that of unmeasurable parameters and free of commercial strategies. The exhibited work becomes the credo of the artist now turned into a child who repeats to never forget.
In the second part of the gallery stands the work " 30 euros 15 minutes" (2013 ). It is a compilation of ads that have been caught on the windshield of the artist’s car. He has been collecting them overall several years surprised by their content. These urban waste are dissimilar ads : from prostitution to deals selling properties, gold buyers, religious mediums to stop drug dependence and prophets messages. Photocopied and transformed into wooden blocks in different formats - and golden coated with 24-karat gold – they operate as an acute speaker of the prevailing crisis in the country. Therefore these messages where everything is bought and sold are prints of contemporary decadence, an explosive cocktail in which young prostitutes mingle with mediums, real estate speculation, and religious preachers. Indeed the work represents the most acidic side of everyday reality .
Disasters are the starting coordinates of the video: "The End" (2013 ) showing a succession of movie credits where that term is juxtaposed with the sound of actual disasters. "The End" is understood as the end of a cycle, a vertigo that fades.
The exhibition continues with the series " Disasters " (2013 ) : a set of banknotes from various countries of the world in which Aires includes images from the media concerning disasters and wars of the same country form which the banknote belongs to. This imagery comprises our contemporary iconography and puts into question the real and symbolic value of money. Somehow Aires decodes the global agreement that sets the value of the banknotes and pulls his gesture to an illegal action destroying the banknotes as well as canceling their function. The framed banknotes becomes ironic receptacle of our economic system: nodes of contemporary consternations.
We continue with the installation "Black Sea" (2012 ) that invades the last gallery space . Using traces of illegal immigration Cayucos and boats found in Cadiz, Aires draws a sea timber in a way to reveal the economic basis of current geopolitics. The idea of travel and the search for a utopian destination intermingle with the visual poetry of the piece in which two carpenters venture into a graveyard of boats to extract its wood. African immigration is echoed in the title of the project and in a subtle sound of a Moroccan radio that is heard at the end of the video. "Black Sea" reveals an autobiographical memory of Aires who was born in Ronda and has toured continuously the roads of the coast of Cadiz.
We could say that Carlos Aires has this external view pointed by Edouard Glissant and identified as the perspective of those who can recognize themselves as “Others”, precisely because they can look at themselves through the eyes of the others. This is not just fucking business articulates an aesthetic of chaos in an inclusive way, where opposite realities cohabitate and ultimately foster. Aires interferes with our perception of reality through ideas crossbreeding and a conscious use of stereotypes. The dichotomy between reality and fiction, truth and falsity, irony and sincerity, become ambiguous. Eventually is when these antagonistic elements meet where the genuineness of his artistic practice arises.