1st Floor Gallery
October 20 – November 18, 2016
Nadín Ospina (Bogotá, 1960) presents his latest project, titled Del otro mundo, which focuses on the fantastic and fictional production of the entertainment world: film, television, comics and the inexhaustible universe of pop collectibles. This series brings together many concerns that have been constant in the artist’s previous works: the detection and reaffirmation of cultural mergers and interactions, the allegorical representation of symbolic meetings as a metaphor of contemporary historical events, humor as a tool for reflection and the use of pop culture imagery with the consequent reappearance of fantastic creatures and Pre-Columbian references.
With 35 years of uninterrupted artistic work, exhibitions around the world and works in major international collections, Ospina is the creator of important pieces of contemporary art such as the San Agustín version of Bart Simpson, the Tumaco Mickey Mouse in his series El gran sueño americano and the Lego guerrilleros of Colombialand. It is not surprising to note that this new exhibition features characters like Mr. Spock, from Star Trek, or Tintin standing beside his rocket, all in contact with pre-Columbian beings.
The exhibition features a series of sculptures, installations and paintings intervened with objects and photographs, which reveal once again the artist’s concern in investigating the use of materials such as polyester resin, bronze, aluminum, and color. In Del otro mundo, the work takes a radical turn to go deeper into the universe of pop and vintage cult images, added to his obsession with the subject of pre-Columbian cultures and the evolution of contemporary history. For example, the series features a new character, or rather a new topic; the alien, an icon of fiction that becomes a metaphor for the foreigner and the stranger. The alien is a humanoid, a generic being: it is not the portrait of anyone in particular but rather a representation of “The other”.
The concepts of “The other” and “otherness” have been key topics of social science studies in an attempt to explain the intrinsic problems of human interaction. The idea of “The other” as opposed to the concept of identity defines the experience of confrontation with the strange, the alien, the different, the distant and the uncertain. “This theme of otherness, symbolically represented by the image of the alien, makes me think about current issues. I think of the social problems created by forced migration and how they reveal tensions expressed in concepts such as alien vs. indigenous and allochthonous vs. autochthonous,” explains the artist.
Del otro mundo is playful allegory, a nostalgic recreation of retro kitsch futurism and a metaphor of contemporaneity. Superman, Dr. Spock, ET, the Martians of Toy Story, the aliens of Roswell and pre-Columbian characters with a disturbing alien appearance are all walking through this runway of images.
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