memory. language, art. wittgenstein. books. ceramics.

all sorts of thinkings on memory, language, art, wittgenstein, books, etc, while I am getting on with my MA

Wednesday 20 October 2010

Oscar Munoz: how to be political and metaphysical

I have only just come across Oscar Munoz. Prof. Catherene Ewes suggested him at the tutorial yesterday.
I find this work terribly alluring. The subject is sensitive. The performance is simple. It could be political and metaphysical at the same time.

In Columbian artist Oscar Muñoz’ “Re/trato,” a 2003 video projection that was displayed in the Latin American exhibition at the 2005 Venice Biennial, a hand repeatedly tries to paint a portrait on the concrete sidewalk. As soon as the brush finishes one part of the painting, the other part begins to disappear. The artist paints with water, and the hot sun evaporates the image before it is completed. The portrait can never be seen as a whole. This work uses an ethereal material--water--to address the transitory nature of human existence. Munoz also uses appearing and disappearing portraits in his artworks as a metaphor for the numerous people who have mysteriously disappeared in his native country.