All revolutions go down in history, yet history does not fill up; the rivers of revolution return from whence they came, only to flow again.
– Guy Debord
For his solo exhibition at Ellen de Bruijne projects, Otto Berchem’s REVOLVER focuses on the relations between language, architecture, history and poetry. Consisting of paintings, drawings, sculpture and video, and interacting with past experiences, as well as specific sites within his current context of living in Colombia, Berchem produces a series of work revealing the aesthetic connotations of past revolutionary moments.
Through the use of a personal chromatic alphabet developed originally for the project Blue Monday (2011) Berchem proposes a review of iconic images. Creating a parallel history by strategically deleting the pre-existing slogans, he replacing them with his own.
Berchem creates these gaps in time, occupying the image with his chromatic phrases, generating a new tension between history and his version of it. This allows the artist to explore the human necessity for rebellion and protest, and reach for his own place within the power structures that they challenge.
The title REVOLVER spins in different directions. On one hand it alludes to the guns used to aid revolutions, on other it makes reference to the cyclical nature of revolt, and ultimately its failure.
Otto Berchem lives and works in Amsterdam and Bogota. His recent work has been shown in Stem Terug, De Appel, Amsterdam 2012; Etat de Veille, Jousse Entreprise, Paris 2012; You Are Not Alone, Fundacio Miro, Barcelona, 2011; (solo) Blue Monday, La Central, Bogota; Out of Storage, Timmerfabriek, Maastricht 2011.