ADN Galeria presents Carlos Aires’ second personal exhibition, Let´s Get Physical. In his first show Danzad, Danzad, Malditos, Aires had completed a thirteen-year journey of education and work abroad; in a recapitulative mode, we presented many of the creative registers and practices undertaken by him. This new show is permeated by another autobiographical tone: the reencounter with a more familiar way of living the artist embrace from a shifted perspective. The same point of view Edouard Glissant identified as the perspective of those who can recognize themselves as “Others”, precisely because they are able to look at themselves through the eyes of the other.
Carlos Aires is one of the artists identified in ADN Galeria as global busters; he handles processes of hybridization and an aesthetic of chaos in an inclusive way, thanks to which opposite realities coexist and foster unpredictable springs of knowledge. 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, naturalness and artifice, tradition and contemporaneousness become ambiguous. In Aires’ art, unity is reached precisely when these antagonistic elements meet.
In Let´s Get Physical, we face a group of works and installations in which history, tradition and Iberian idiosyncrasy are mingled with a leitmotiv in Carlos´s oeuvre: titles and lyrics of popular songs about love, relationships, memories and pain. The first work is an allegorical installation recalling Andalusian patios and cemeteries, in which vintage photos of Guardias Civiles are associated with ceramic tricornios - the official Guardia Civil hat – used here as containers for exotic plants and flowers. This conceptual twist ironically fusions Spanish nationalism and globalization. The installation precedes an enigmatic sculpture of Santiago Matamoros, Patron of Spain, holding a golden sword on which Olivia Newton John´s refrain “Let´s Get Physical” is die-stamped. The pun “Let´s be physical” invites thus to reconsider the corporal, even abject, part of human beings.
Musical quotations are also present in the works exhibited in the second space, like for instance the heart-shape installation of knives titled How Deep is Your Love. The title of a well-known love song is engraved in each knife: “Killing me softly”, “Do you really want to hurt me?” or “Se nos rompió el amor de tanto usarlo”. Here again, the antagonism produced by the sweet shapes, the romantic titles and the sharpness of the knives is dissolved then in the fusion between love and hate which enlivens any relationship. This work is an allegory of visceral love, where sweet feelings and violence co-exist, sometimes up to death. The installation is sided by prints of archival photos from the Fotomuseum of Anvers, the Spanish National Library, and the newspaper ABC from Madrid.
In the last room of the gallery we find the installation Let´s Get Lost, in which the artist plays with a repertoire of patriotic, religious, pornographic, and violent iconography. Evoking a baroque altarpiece, several golden-vinyl compositions are displayed in black showcases which stand out the sumptuousness of the cutout figures and materialize an abstract space where unlike images cohabitate. It refers allegorically to the continuous flux of images in the media as well as in Internet, new realm for the possible. Little contemporary altarpieces, where Gods made of flesh are the protagonists of stories taken from newscasts, instead of those depicted in holly writings. Made out of bulbs recalling the fair lights, the sentence Let´s Get Lost also crowns a figure of Jesus Christ painted in black with shinny car pigment. Taken from a song by Chet Baker, the motto invites us to abandon ourselves in love, to get lost with the beloved one. As another linguistic pun, “Let´s Get Lost” also implies to loose control. While “lost” clearly refered to love in the original song, it can also signify to wander without destination, to be lost: an invitation to decide who and what is lost. Despite Chet Baker’s talent of love singer, his suicide and tragic farewell contribute to dye in black this “Let´s get lost”.