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Main pageNews“Tool Bit”, a solo show by Damian Ortega is to be shown in the PinchukArtCentre in Ukraine

“Tool Bit”, a solo show by Damian Ortega is to be shown in the PinchukArtCentre in Ukraine

10 February 2011

PinchukArtCentre has the honour to present the solo exhibition of the Mexican artist Damian Ortega. The show entitled Tool Bit will be open from February 12 till April 17, 2011 in the PinchukArtCentre (Kiev, Ukraine) from Tuesday through Sunday. The admission is free.

Ortega’s exhibition highlights central works of his oeuvre in combination with two specially produced pieces for the PinchukArtCentre. Ortega will bring Nine Types of Terrain (2007), showing nine short 16mm projections of bricks falling like dominoes, in formations derived from Sun Tzu’s “Art of War”, and also Project for Social Housing (2007), Moises (2007) and two new sculptures, which are connected to the Ukrainian metal industry.

Damian Ortega: “I usually associate my works with a complex system to separate and classify objects in many parts. But I always have my attention on the simple, gestural ideas. I like tools as I like words. Sometimes I feel part of them when I can use and understand them. Sometimes I am on the opposite side and I feel how they make a bridge which divides me and separates me from the real things.

As the artist says, the selection of works is interesting in this show, because all of them are speaking of points of contact between the tool and matter. A crash, an impact, a knock between two different materials to make us understand and feel the instant of time, a second or a click of transformation from one thing to another.

In the first new work, Ortega brings an old experiment to life, combining molten metal with ice. Melting point are 9 metal landscapes made of lead, aluminium and bronze. It is an archaeological reminder of “ice-scapes” which Ortega covered with melted metal. The solid ice defined the solid form of the liquid metal and was subsequently destroyed by it. The sculptures are the carriers of the traces of the moment of transformation of a landscape.

In his second work made for this show and entitled Tool Beat Ortega shifts the creative manmade gesture to an automated industrial form, derived from the machinery of a steel production factory. The work focuses on the 4 moments of a simple mechanical gesture, heating and pressing repetitively a metal piece cut from a block of metal, which is formed into a wheel.

Damian Ortega’s work could be described as a gesture which becomes form through the use of daily objects or materials. An iconic work such as Módulo de construcción con tortillas (1998), where Ortega uses tortillas to build a molecular structure, is an example of how he makes an abstract humorous reflection on social reality. In other works such as Cosmic Thing (2002), Ortega uses a system of deconstruction for the classification of the object. Tools and objects become a visual language, transforming into a complex artistic statement which is loaded with symbolic meaning and referring to political, economical and social structures of today’s society.

The PinchukArtCentre is open from 12:00 to 21:00 every day but Mondays. Admission is free.

Damian Ortega was born 1967 in Mexico City. He exhibited at Tate Modern, London, Centre Pompidou, Paris, The Museum of Contemporary Art, Los Angeles, Kunsthalle Basel and recently had a large-scale solo show at the Barbican, London. He currently lives and works in Berlin and Mexico City.