Primal Reflex

Ernesto Solana

06.19.2019 - 10.15.2019

When describing his artistic practice, Ernesto Solana recounts his passion for collecting objects, his fondness for the exploration of landscape, nature, and a growing interest in the instincts that overdetermine us as a species. As if they were amulets endowed with magical powers, his works seem to collapse several narratives and visual references that allow thematic readings and associations, such as his interpretation of the concept of anthropocene -the present geological era whose beginning is understood as the period during which human activities began to affect the climate and the environment- the Linnaean taxonomy system, his admiration for the scientific installations of the American conceptual artist Mark Dion, as well as for the practice of the legendary Ana Mendieta.

 

Solana’s practice begins where an object —often an artificial or natural waste— stops him during a walk around the suburbs of Savannah, Georgia, or Guadalajara, Mexico, cities in which he spends his time. After taxonomic classification, the objects are then reconfigured into a sort of vertical tower that has something of Swiss artist Ugo Rondinone’s Seven Magic Mountains, and something of a totem. “For me totemic is not so much about North American totemism – the typical colorful wooden sculptures often carved by the native peoples of northwestern Canada,” Ernesto says, “but about the notion of endowing an object with new life and giving it reverence. And that is precisely what he seems to want to happen to his works in the context of the white cube of the contemporary art gallery: for us to pay them cult.

 

Rosario Güiraldes