Press release, June 2018
Galleri Nicolai Wallner is pleased to present "The Body is Lost Outside"
– A solo exhibition by Jose Dávila, which marks the first time this project has been presented.
Building on an interest in appropriation, re-contextualisation, materiality and balance, Dávila takes as his starting point the idea of the void – the existence of negative space, and the presence of what is left.
Plaster casting molds used in the production of ceramics have been placed throughout the space, their insides gilded in gold leaf. The molds come from a local ceramics factory in Guadalajara, where Dávila is based, which produces objects like cups and plates as well as more specialised pieces and artworks. The molds exist as remnants of a process, leftovers meant to be discarded or stored until their next use. Their importance is thus practical in nature, as the value they possess lies in their ability to create other objects. The molds, which are ultimately vehicles for producing other objects, are presented as the final result, changing their core nature status.
Within the context of the exhibition, the molds are arranged, forming sculptures. The conscious and delicate nature of their placement brings to mind Dávila’s continued exploration of gravity and principles of equilibrium. Some lie stacked on top of the other, rising up through the space, while others lie on the floor, creating configurations which go between feeling deliberate and intentionally loose.
There is a sense of tension that emanates from them, reverberating through the space. Shapes and figures become recognisable, as the gold exposes the negative space of the molds, revealing the nuances of their concave frame. Vases and other similar vessels emerge, a hand, the contours of a head. Their forms create a kind of visual vocabulary that feels both otherworldly and familiar, as if we are walking through an archaeological site whose origins remain obscure.
The landscape of The Body is Lost Outside encourages us to put together these juxtaposing narratives, to visualise that which has been removed, and to imagine what could be—shapes that are very familiar but are not complete, figurative forms halved, remnants of something that is present but no longer there.
Jose Dávila (b. 1974, Guadalajara, Mexico) has exhibited at PS1 (New York), MARTa Herford (Herford), Bass Museum of Art (Miami), Reina Sofia National Museum of Art (Madrid), Museo de Arte Moderno (Mexico City), Camden Arts Centre (London), Hamburger Kunsthalle (Hamburg), the Getty’s Pacific (Los Angeles) and Museo Jumex (Mexico City) among many others. His work can be found in the public collections of Centre Pompidou (Paris), Collection Inhotim (Brumadinho), the Albright-Knox (Buffalo), Collection Jumex (Mexico City), MALBA (Buenos Aires), MUDAM (Luxembourhg), Reina Sofia (Madrid) and the Tate (UK).
Opening: June 1, 5pm - 8pm. (17.00-20.00).
Exhibition period: June 1 – July 27, 2018.