Gonzalo Borondo stages an insurrection against the authorities who would hope to instruct you how to think about art in the public sphere, the right of the overlord to pollute the visual landscape at will, and the limitations of our imaginations in Segovia a nine-month installation.
A 32 billboard installation totaling 17 locations, the Spanish street artist and conceptual installation artist evokes sepia-soaked memories of history as told through the view of those recounted in a communal uprising here 500 years ago.
Extending beyond the frames with sculpture, layered textures, and projection, the post-industrial modernist documents events and takes liberties with his interpretation, a 5 chapter “INSURRECTA” that instructs and reflects with symbols and figures and open spaces. For those familiar with his vocabulary over the last decade+, it’s a fulsome maturity that commands as it expands, with poetry. Sometimes it plays with it background, other times the background has its way with the canvas.
Paying homage to Goya, his engravings of “Los Caprichos” and “Los Desastres”, he works within a narrow palette and innovates forcefully, playing with perspective and your willingness to interpret.
In his description of the Segovian people and their fierce spirit of defiance and riotous acts in pursuit of autonomy and self-reliance, he says he is inspired by “humanity confronting nature, the discourse of the urban in the natural landscape, the effects of imposition on society, the reappropriation of spaces by different agents.”
Leaning heavily on visual metaphor, many in the graffiti and street art communities can identify with his take on reappropriation of land, resources, and the expression of art in the public sphere. It has become commonplace to expound upon street art as an “outdoor gallery”, but this mapped and self-guided tour looks as close to a museum exhibition as we’ve seen, and it’s even walkable for many.
As ever, you decide the route.
Gonzalo Borondo presents INSURRECTA alongside the City Council of Segovia in collaboration with Acción Cultural Española (AC/E). The project sees the Department of Culture commemorate the 500th anniversary of the communal uprising in the city.
Segovia, Spain, from 29 June 2020 to 23 April 2021