Artist: Rocío Arévalo
Exhibition title: Sinestesias
Corator: Suset Sánchez
Dates: 14.06.2013 to 01.09.2013
Place: CAAM – San Antonio Abad. Las Palmas de Gran Canaria. Spain.
Hours: Tuesday to Saturday from 10am to 9pm. and Sundays from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.
Synesthesia is the most all-encompassing exhibition in Rocío Arévalo’s artistic career so far. At the halls of San Antonio Abad, we can see an inventory of the fundamental concerns that have shaped the poetics of this young Chilean-Canarian artist. That is to say: self awareness and personal identity, as defined by the physical limit of the body; the psychological, social and personal marks that originate from eating disorders; the biopolitical constructions of the subject (Somos lo que comemos –We are what we eat–, 2012-2013; Menú, 2013); the emotional bonds that form part of the sense of belonging to a particular community and the distances and perceptions –either objective or subjective– that are implicit in those social relationships. There are also the symbolic materials of a memory imbibed with experiences of displacement and emigration, as well as a nomadic childhood marked by the transcontinental and sensorial geographic drifts of the hippie counterculture at the end of the seventies (Bistec y papas fritas–Steak and French Fries–, 2013).
The show represents a moment of exploration in Arévalo’s work. It signalizes the transition towards a visual concept where the artist transcends self-reference and her own biography; instead, she creates images that delve into the social construction of an imaginary of food, nourishment and the social and cultural action of eating. Sometimes it functions as a metaphor of the world of contemporary art and the power relationships that are established when people fortuitously meet at a table (El arte de comer –The Art of Eating–, 2012-2013). Foodstuff, food, and the very action of eating are identified here as a cultural and anthropological space where the pleasure, the freedom and the physiological urges of the individual are put under stress. The prevailing image is that of a cultural event, basically local and private, which is reinterpreted and transformed, by the logics of the global market, into a number of things: a show, a sophisticated ritual and a territory for negotiation in the public domain (Ni crudo ni cocido–Neither Raw Nor Cooked–, 2013; Retratos comestibles –Edible Portraits–, 2013).
The exhibition becomes a portrait gallery where Arévalo proves her talent as a watercolorist. In some of these images, certain well-known faces in the Canarian society can be recognized: those of the artists, curators, critics, gallery owners –from inside and outside the island– who form part of the social contract of art. There are also anonymous characters and others belonging to the artist’s family album. These self-portraits, as well as the individual and group portraits, have something in common: the fact that they were captured to show the cultural gesture of eating. A vital and at the same timeerogenous gesture, which we paradoxically reproduce to bite and swallow, to spit and vomit, or, quite the contrary, to talk and tell things.
Meetings with the Director August 1