Capitulo IV: Historia
Abdelkader Benchamma, Simon Fujiwara, Sabino Guisu, Caleb Hahne Quintana, Guido van der Werve
September 15 – December 20, 2023
LagoAlgo brings together five artists whose works intersect in a journey through time, from a Prehistoric age to the Big History of today and tomorrow. Raising multiple points of view on time, this fourth chapter of exhibitions at LagoAlgo brings forward a transhistorical voyage through the past, the present and the future. Historia naturally reunites independent but conceptually interconnected projects by five international artists, Abdelkader Benchamma (France, 1975), Simon Fujiwara (UK, 1982), Sabino Guisu (Mexico, 1986), Caleb Hahne Quintana (USA, 1993) and Guido van der Werve (Netherlands, 1977).
At a time of unprecedented global turmoil and uncertainties regarding the future, the notion of History takes on a primordial stance as a need to reconnect with nature and culture becomes crucial to approach the times ahead. While boundaries between the geological and the cultural are increasingly blurred, humanity’s actions are significantly impacting the planet’s climate, ecosystems and future. Crossing time, from our primitive origins to the hypermodern society of tomorrow, the works of the five artists resonate closely with the increasing anxieties facing our threatened present and future. In doing so, the exhibition acts like a journey through two temporal perspectives: the first, geological and natural, which spans millions of years, and the second, cultural, which traces humanity’s occupation of the world through the history of art. By interconnecting these two approaches, the exhibition stresses on the necessity to study the present as much as the past to better understand and envision the future.
Abdelkader Benchamma‘s work is fueled by layers of literature, philosophy, astrophysics and esoteric reflections that question our relations with reality. His installation, Neither The Sky Nor the earth (2023), submerges the viewer into the myths and narratives that compose the world. All bearings are lost in the face of this destabilizing wave. Simon Fujiwara investigates the deeply rooted mechanics of identity construction for both individuals and societies through his iconic character Who the Bær, a 2-dimensional cartoon bear who is on a quest to “find themselves” in the age of hyper-consumerism and image saturation, questioning notions of identity in today’s shifting landscape of identity politics. Guido van der Werve’s videos are poetic explorations of the absurdity of existence and alienation. In Nummer acht, Everything is going to be alright (2007) we see a man walking in front of an icebreaker, challenging progress and warning against advancing without considering the consequences. Caleb Hahne Quintana captures the everyday life scenes of his generation, reflecting on the anxieties of today’s society. He depicts contemplative young adults, moving slowly and seemingly suspended in time, as they face the fast-paced present as well as the uncertainty of the future, proclaiming a need to take a pause and make the time to reflect. Sabino Guisu’s work traces the history of mankind in relation with the natural, the cultural and the sacred. Influenced by the Zapotec culture, contemporary art and peripheral cultures, Guisi evokes the constant threats of today by drawing a line between natural disasters, represented by the volcano, and human-made disasters, represented by the atomic bomb.
By Jérôme Sans