The Atlantic Center of Modern Art (CAAM) presented welcomes The rebel canon (The Wayward Canon), first exhibition in Spain of the British artist Mark Aerial Waller. The exhibition, curated by art historian and Grancanaria curator based in Eindhoven, Gemma Medina, opens this Thursday, February 13, at 8:30 p.m., and can be visited until next May 24, in the CAAM-San space Antonio Abad, from the Cabildo de Gran Canaria.
This first retrospective project dedicated to Waller’s work poses a tour of his work through a selection of representative works from his almost 25 years of artistic career, and incorporates a new piece created expressly for the exhibition at the CAAM, The flesh is gone of course … (Of course your skin has disappeared €).
Mark Aerial Waller (England, 1969) lives and works in London. His artistic proposals have a strong participatory character and fluctuate between video, photography and installation. His work “crosses the narrative languages of cinema, television and video art, and integrates multiple cross-references about cinema, music, art, astronomy, history, science and literature with elements of pop culture that coexist in our memory,” explains the Curator of the sample.
According to Gemma Medina, Waller’s work “dilutes the lines that characterize and delimit each of these areas, appropriating the film genres, the perception of time and space, shaking the logic of the public to give way to curiosity about unexpected This creates works of unlimited significance that fluctuate between the conceptual and the material, the cult and the popular, the work of art and life, allowing different levels of interpretation that vary from the public’s experience. “
Waller believes that the public is a fundamental part of completing the work of art. In fact, expanding the possibilities of the audiovisual medium by integrating the viewer “defines one of the characteristic lines of his career and becomes a fundamental element of this exhibition”, says Medina. In his works he combines objects, videos or live presentations to create a defined artistic experience in spatial, temporal and situation terms. He considers that art transcends and expands beyond the screen, proposing his works as video-sculptures, in which the viewer becomes an active part of each work.
Deacralize the avant-garde
Another of the fundamental lines of Waller’s work that is present in the exhibition is the recovery of the spirit of the avant-garde and the rupturist character they had at the beginning of the 20th century. In that sense, in works such as Phantom Avantgarde, 2010, or Yoga Horror, 2002, appropriates and reuses fragments of films considered cult at the time, to re-capture them before the public altering the established canons. “Her idea is to recover the potential of the avant-garde as an instrument to reflect and face the present,” highlights the curator of the exhibition.
The play Phantom Avantgarde It includes a video, a large mirror and a screen, trying to alter the conventions of the gallery and generate a different perception of space among the public. This piece presents an example of the importance that culture has in its work the role as a tool of thought throughout history, always present in its creations. With his work Waller questions how culture is transmitted and interpreted over time.
The public, the object of art, the multiple references that are integrated and the perception of time and space turn their works into multidisciplinary proposals combining languages from different media. One of the films presented at the CAAM, Time Together (2012-13), combines scientific data on the behavior of solar radiation and local events around the Baltic Triennial developed in Vilnius (Lithuania) with the realization of a series of suspense, so that brings a global perception about the cosmos to a fictional scenario.
At the beginning of his career, with just 20 years, Waller worked as a projectionist in the legendary alternative film cooperative of the British capital, the London Film-Makers’ Co-op, where he had contact with hundreds of classic and experimental film .
With this background Waller founded the platform in 2001 The Wayward Canon, as a space for film intervention, an initiative that the artist will activate for the first time in Spain on April 17, in the CAAM of Gran Canaria, coinciding with this exhibition, after having presented it in almost thirty cities in Europe, such as Oslo, Berlin, Vilnius or London itself, where he activated it in Tate Britain.
The platform was born from the idea of an alternative Cineclub, to activate and critically analyze the constellations surrounding a specific film. From that starting point a different approach was generated by the public, until it became fully participatory and experimental. With this, in each edition the public is invited to change their attitude, going from being a passive receiver to also being part of the activation around the film, that is, creating a collective experience on this side of the screen.
In the exhibition, the artist will offer the public the possibility of choosing how and when to articulate his journey, activating some of his works such as the aforementioned Yoga Horror, which invites the public to practice yoga and investigate the multiple references that are provided in it.
Once the exhibition is viewed, the public can go to the space enabled in the courtyard of the San Antonio Abad room, where they can sit, watch a music video of the 90s on a monitor or read some of the books and documentation that will be available of the visitors of the sample. The public, in short, can choose and enjoy a participatory experience with the work of Waller or stay in a more passive or conventional attitude towards each piece he contemplates.
As anecdotal fact, the work is projected in the area of the exhibition space converted into a patio-bar Time stops when you put it on, 1996 (Time stops when you put it on) the piece that Waller created at the beginning of his career for the collective exhibition Islands, Produced by CAAM and curated by Orlando Britto Jinorio, a project that raised the question of the contexts and conditions that differentiate artists from different island areas of the world from the rest of other latitudes.