A site-specific immersive exhibition by the artist at Museum of Contemporary Art Esteban Vicente From April 8 to September 26, 2021
Style and genre, and era have never been particularly magnetic topics for Borondo; his heart is too poetic for such limitation. Instead, he continues to bring an ambiance, a sense of place – after he has studied it.
The former graffiti writer may have been political after leaving his childhood town of Segovia, Spain. Still, his senses and sensibilities were fed by this World Heritage Site’s atmosphere and its historical arches, turrets, towers, churches, cathedrals, monasteries, and convents – and possibly the enormous Roman aqueduct.
Now returning here to mount his own exhibition in Esteban Vicente Museum of Contemporary Art, his aesthetics and reverence for holy places are also tempered with his age, this age – a fusion now tempered by maturity, but only just so. Creating most of his work on-site, the searching is the story, and the journey is as important as the destination.
Consulting, convening, channeling his formal studies, his street practice, wanderlust, and an ever-present rebellious streak, Borondo still knows how to alchemize the environment. And this place has hosted many; a former city palace of King Enrique IV of Castile, a home of nobles, then a hospice, a school of arts, and a museum. In what time are we living right now? Borondo will not trouble us with such matters.
Gonzalo Borondo. “Hereditas”. Museum of Contemporary Art Esteban Vicente. Segovia, Spain. From April 8 to September 26, 2021. Curated by José María Parreño
Stately, soaring, and ethereal projects can’t simply be neatly tucked away in your garage after they are exhibited.
That is especially true when the work is at the typical scale of Italian artist Edoardo Tresoldi, whose massive mesh sculptures wowed the privileged guests at Coachella a couple of years ago in Indio, California. Those Neoclassical and Baroque architectural ghosts transported the imaginations of attendees there, but now they physically have been transported to Rome. Given a second life in Parco dei Daini, Villa Borghese, the show will run this autumn until mid-December.
Calling the installation Etherea, Tresoldi has entered it
into participation for “Back to Nature”, a new exhibition project curated by
Costantino d’Orazio. The artist says the works have been redesigned and
rearranged for the occasion and are meant to be part of a dialogue with the
trees of Villa Borghese. It’s good to see these works in a new context and
finding they have a similar character, still triumphant but more subdued
BACK TO NATURE Parco dei Daini, Villa Borghese, Rome Promoted by Roma Capitale, Assessorato alla Crescita culturale – Sovrintendenza Capitolina ai Beni Culturali Until December 13, 2020 Free entry
Land art can be so satisfying sometimes because you merely need nature to be your willing collaborator and your idea can take flight. It’s the sensation of serendipity when you first made a cape for yourself merely by wrapping your blanket over your shoulders. One minute ago it was a blanket. Suddenly, you may fly. That’s how I discovered that I was actually Batman.
The Italian land artist Alberonero says that he discovered this project October 2nd only by totally immersing himself in his environment here in Central Italy’s Vallo di Nera area. He says he is interpreting the natural elements also as moments – necessarily so because the world is in constant motion, despite the static state in which we may imagine it to be.
The temporary environmental installation that he conceives of here is called Monte Immagine, and he says that it “consists of five installations within a single clearing made up of natural materials found in the local woods – such as tree trunks and branches – resins and colored fabrics that interpenetrate with the physical and atmospheric elements of the surrounding landscape. All the works use trees as pillars: raw materials that, in each installation, experience the site through different suggestions.”
With this spirit of interaction, with this willingness of your observatory powers, everything becomes an actor, and something that can be acted upon. With the participation of clouds, of breezes, one is more aware of fragility.
He speaks of the natural actors as “apparitions that temporarily inhabit the area before their dialogue with nature gets absorbed by the atmospheric agents.”
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