Now on view until January 28th at SC Gallery in Bilbao, street artist/contemporary artist Isaac Cordal’s hapless little men are being subsumed into the machinery of our meaningless times, positioned in perpetual fog, adrift and submissive, unable to resist the march to a digital life that is in never-ending production mode. While the electronic prison walls of everyday existence appear to be closing in, perhaps Cordal’s dire scenarios are cautionary, not definitive, for our future.
His second solo exhibition here, he calls this collection “24/7”. As work life has implicated itself into every aspect of so-called “leisure” time, these color-drained scenarios present themselves as a series of connections without connectedness, trapped in their own cycles. In his essay that accompanies the exhibition, philosopher, curator and cultural critic Alberto Ruiz de Samaniego describes the insipid trappings of modern life as a disabling process of dumbing-down the everyman.
“His mode of existence is none other than stupefaction, a term that comes from the same root as stupidity. It is that of the individual who sees everything, but can no longer do anything.”
As ever, Cordal’s lead-heavy scenarios suggest that this is not a benign truth, but a profoundly catastrophic one. Using animals, machines, and dismally austere architectural forms that recall institutional incarceration, his balding concrete avatars are engaged with allegories that are inescapable. Yet de Samaniego suggests that the artist doesn’t want you to succumb, even as it appears there is no escape.
“We have to proceed from the astonished helplessness with which, like the man on the balcony of Isaac Cordal’s premises, we often contemplate and witness daily life,” he says, suggesting there is something more transformative at its root. “Each scene is a moment of crisis and describes the imminence of a tragedy, a catastrophe, a denouement – a catharsis, perhaps.”
Isaac Cordal’s “24/7” at SC Gallery in Bilbao will be open from December 17 to January 28 2022. Click HERE for more details.