Opening: Friday February 24th 2012.
Deus ex machina. Gods made by man.
By José Manuel Springer
The drawings of Emilio Valdés does not obey a reason or rational justification; they are works which, as is already common in his work, part from a master intuition that he had the value to follow and to carry to its last consequences.
The theme of the military aviation is in itself a goal-story that points in many senses to a metaphor on the current situation. As Emilio has shown in his previous work, the drawing serves to process a series of anxieties that lives in his mind and of which he has the skill not to interpret; his way is to viscerally pursue the impulse that leads him to draw.
Emilio resorts to modern images of war as an example of the obsession of security and the assertiveness that prompts present day.
The sequence of the shown works initiates with a series of separate drawings in which the figure of those large flying monsters alludes to the male physical presence of airplanes of war. There„s an admiration by the machine that prolongs the human body in these aeronautic models, which involves a series of aspirations: power, value, the elimination of fear of dying and the search of gratification which challenge provides.
The destructive, flying machines, belong to that environment of the human competence which finds in war the higher expression of the patriarchal values. For as long as we can remember weapons and metallic armor has involved the sense of nobility and sacrifice, fundamental principles that govern the warrior.s ethics. Nevertheless the primitive survival instinct yields to the thirst for power and to the obsession of belonging to a class of super-humans which fight epic battles, as a resource to elevate themselves above the other mortals.
The capacity to fly turned to reality the warrior.s dream to equal the power of the gods, which from the sky sent lessons and blessings to the mortals living down below. It.s on the celestial vault where chariots of fire arises, winged horses or flying dragons which impart justice or gives undeserved punishments to the human beings that challenge the divine sentences.
The modern steel birds carry inscriptions in the fuselage which denote their double role as human machines imparting justice from the heights, but which also operate fed by the erotic desire of voluptuous goddesses, in ships flown by the righteous narcissism, painted in evangelical phrases on the nose.
In the great sequence titled "Is this trip really necessary?" The drawing carries us visually by a metamorphosis: from the machine of omnipotent esthetics, a God created by the hand of mankind, there from the phrase Deus ex machina, to a degradation, splendid achieved through a drawing increasingly more organic and expressionistic, where the bombers are transformed into divine animals whose epidermis is destroyed by the effects of velocity and violence. The heavenly battle does not distinguish between allies or enemies; it puts an end to everything and everybody equally.
The end of the sequence is the sum of the metaphor, the total immolation of the artifact which remains wrapped in balls of fire, reduced to debris, its own desire of immortality consumed by the flames. The fragments of the collision represent the transformation of the force of the beast in an accumulation of debris cut flesh and broken bones. The remainders of the apocalyptic creature collapse on the land with fury. The esthetics of the destruction and of human haughtiness become the final spectacle as a marker of times.
Emilio Valdés graduateded from the National School of Painting, Sculpture and Engraving "La Esmeralda". As recurrent media he uses video, photography and drawing. In previous projects he has worked formal aspects of sculpture and large formats which suggest a play of power, insertion of the scale of the spectator, which shows the ordinary as something extraordinary. His themes have studied the fight of desires, the loss of adolescence and how to return to that moment of narrative incoherence, the possibility of the man-animal metamorphosis. For Valdés a source of raw-material is found in the phenomena of destruction, in different moments of history, as well as in common relations. Expresses drawing as a means to go back and forth in time; the use of characters from popular music, family and airplanes of war, they attend the mechanisms of memory which should mark a reminiscence of the fragmentation of existence.
At times he has presented his work as being the unconscious demonstration of the ghost of colonialism, the voice of a bastard race that you can.t understand. Lives and works in the Third World. Valdés, has exhibited collectively since 2003 at Luis Adelantado in Valencia, Spain. At the Stenersen Museum in Oslo, Norway; at the Museum of Contemporary Art Zamek Ujazdowski in Poland; at the Gallery Play in Berlin, Germany; at CIFO in Miami, US and in Mexico City at the gallery of the" Esmeralda" in the CENART, at Projects Monclova and GARASH Gallery. He was awarded a scholarship form the program "Jóvenes Creadores" (2004-2005) in the discipline of Alternative Media; he was also selected in the program of grants 2007 from CIFO, "Cisneros Fontanals Art Foundation" and in 2009 he was awarded for the second time in the "Jóvenes Creadores" scholarships program 2009-2010 in the discipline of video. His work is part of collections such as: the Jumex Foundation / Collection in Mexico, Daros Foundation in Switzerland and the collection Group HABITA in Mexico, among others.
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