AnIMaL: 7 distritos

Releasing a space for malfunction and nonsense.

For the last few years, Gustavo Emé has been paying attention to the city of Lima, expressing his interest into elaborated images organized through the syntax reuse of the Paracas mantles. His works go from a careful drawing that shows the taste of the manual to baroque compositions that are made digitally, even though these works are made with programs and styles intentionally rudimentary. As if technology takes the most of them, showing its capacity of being seen archaic. 

This time Emé starts to experiment with space and nature beyond the paper, and the Chinese or printer ink. The appraisal of the drawer job remains but its results discuss with an apparently senseless furniture and elements extracted from nature: minerals, sand and horse mane. The wood structures give support to the drawing allowing an interactive relationship with the spectator, as inviting him to play with it. His aptitude shows a ludic will, related to what we can know intuitively as the ritual of how the artist draws: a way of carrying away with textures, patterns and balances that seem to obey an unconscious pleasure more than looking for a premeditated goal. In this way, he shares his experimenting process, his own freedom process. He makes his own an ancestral esthetic to nurture it with contemporary elements. Also, he sums up recognizable architecture and reproduces symbols of the local institutionalism like the city hall emblem, getting rid of its solemnity and empting (even more) their mottos. It produces a crossing between what wants to remain in time through the official culture and the chances to enjoy maladjustment to get lost in urban, visual and conceptual drifts. 

We are before the fragments of a city that is shown in pieces and without subjects. We recognize a gothic church, a modern building, the guard house of any wealthy district and a moto-taxi without its peculiar color. The animality that plays in the title with the word Lima, also appears to be dispersed subtly: the legs of our turkey buzzard neighbor, the gullet of a snake that we don’t know if is made of sticker, the horse mane and the artist hair who didn’t doubt to frame it. Some of his decisions seem to divert instead of clarify and interrupt the sense instead of promoting it. It doesn’t matter so much that some words written on wood come from an old zoology treatise, as the fact that many others are connected to his personal desires and concerns.

Even though, the automatic writing hides an uncertainty that is shown formally. Before the ordered organization of the drawings and the wood tangibility, there is something that seems to escape, unable of being reached for our necessity to find visible answers. The incoherent and scattered words are not certain clues. The different materials seem unable to anticipate the possible effect of their gathering in the space. The furniture malfunction dares us to imagine and release its uses.

Emé has kept distant from the market and the spectacular art. Nowadays, that distance gives him the freedom from who creates without waiting any reward or specific consequence of his acts. From this point, he can continue to connect art to play and share his question about what happens when you join certain things with others. His questions about what happens with subjectivities and the unconscious of certain animals, like us, when we live in a city like this, Lima.

Eliana Otta Vildoso
February, 2014.

Gallery view