Retrospective is the third solo show of Carlos Fernández-Pello (Madrid, 1985) in garcía | galería. The title poses a double game: on the one hand it presents previous work in the manner of a retrospective exhibition, an ironic comment on the end of an art career before it has even begun; on the other, it suggests an ecology of novelty using the ruins of previous works, rehearsing an inexhaustible continuity between the forms of imagination and the forms of matter.
The exhibition articulates again around two supports: two Structures to speak while sitting down, now standing up, derived from some room benches that were never used and that derive in turn from the replicas made by the artist of the Struttura per parlare in piedi by Pistoletto, exhibited in the first exhibition of 2015. From them you can access a series of vignettes recorded on medium density boards that depict tell scenes of the past, present and future of the exhibition, implying that all works are the sum of its parallel universes, as in the Marvel comicbooks. Thus appears a bust from 2005 camouflaged as a current work, with feathers that the artist used in 2016. Or poor copies in plaster of a bronze finger, agglutinated as a column of eight limbs. Also a model of the Future monument of wisdom on top of the ruin of the Old monument of wisdom. And a display for agates made of agate itself. All this in order to cause a simultaneous, circular time, in clear tribute to the fourth chapter of Watchmen, “The Watchmaker”.
As in the collages of the Teleplastia series (2012-13), the exhibition once again becomes subject to itself and in that crease it creates a hole, a stain, a blind spot or a night material. When bending over itself a relief is produced, the subject appears: what escapes of the plane of the image just to return to it. The retrospective is now also its poor image, a labyrinth of gesture upon gesture that copies art history and abandons the myth of temporality. Originality here is made of “samples” and art’s legitimacy emanates from the farce of repetition. Same as this press release.
When we scratch we get rid of the itch by adding up sensations: we saturate the image with its own discomfort. Scratching activates the part of the cortex associated with short-term memory and yet there is still no answer as to why saturating sensation helps to forget the discomfort. The itching is, however, the conscious and exaggerated manifestation of the body imagining one of its parts and this is the relationship that Fernández-Pello maintains with his practice. Art as a trap that catches itself in its desire at a time that demands to do everything meaningfully.
Carlos Fernández-Pello (Madrid 1985) is an artist, curator and teacher, combining teaching with audiovisual production, writing or DIY. As a researcher he has worked for the Facultad de Bellas Artes of the UCM, has been visiting scholar of the School of the Art Institute of Chicago and has been a resident in Hangar Lisboa. He is the author of the book Partial Taste (Universidad Complutense 2017).