Art Out: Fantasy, Dream and Make Believe
Images by Aidan McLellan
Baxter St at CCNY is pleased to present an exhibition of photography and video, curated by photographer and educator Jerry Vezzuso. This exhibition brings together three outstanding emerging artists from Mexico who situate their subjects within vivid and liminal landscapes of fantasy, dream, and make-believe. The exhibition is held in collaboration with the Celebrate Mexico Now Festival and is sponsored by the Tierney Family Foundation.
Sergio Fonseca explores machismo, sexuality, and male personas in a video called Estriper. On a bare stage he performs seductively as a stripper, playing three iconic characters: a cowboy, a rapper, and a wrestler. In a second video, 180kph, he traces the path of a biker shooting across a desert horizon, timed to a popular ballad of longing and desire. Juan Carlos López Morales makes uncanny images that hint at a mysterious narrative, combining portraits with details of environments and figures to create a heightened sense of foreboding and déjà vu. His evocative photographs in dim light are singular glimpses that hover between fluid dimensions of the real and unreal.Roberto Tondopo depicts his niece and nephew at play, exploring their transition from childhood to adolescence as they enact stories from the artist’s own childhood that shaped his identity as he grew up. Part reality, part fiction, the remembered tales deal with violence and rites of passage.
The photographers in this exhibition have absorbed the influence of surrealism as well as the notion of magical realism. Although its antecedents go back to earlier authors, it is the Colombian writer Gabriel Garcia Marquez who is most associated with the popularization of magical realism, in his fictional weaving of a sense of the fantastical into the everyday reality of his characters’ lives. Salman Rushdie has written that “the trouble with the term ‘magic realism’, el realismo mágico, is that when people say or hear it they are really hearing or saying only half of it, ‘magic’, without paying attention to the other half, ‘realism’. But if magic realism were just magic, it wouldn’t matter. It would be mere whimsy– writing in which, because anything can happen, nothing has effect. It’s because the magic in magic realism has deep roots in the real, because it grows out of the real and illuminates it in beautiful and unexpected ways, that it works.” After Marquez, the Chilean Roberto Bolaño galvanized readers with a grittier version of reality in which violence, sexuality, and psychological intimacy permeate the narrative. The three photographers in this exhibition show evidence of these major influences, both visual and literary, adding to that lineage a contemporary sense of ironic playfulness and heightened self-awareness.
Baxter ST Camera Club of New York
October 21st - November 3rd
Hours: Tuesday – Saturday 12pm – 6pm
126 Baxter Street, New York, NY 10013
For more information, click here.