Kunsthalle Lissabon presents Shit-baby and the Crumpled Giraffe, the first solo show in Portugal by Naufus Ramírez-Figueiroa Guatemala, 1978). The exhibition opens on September 20 at 6:30 p.m., and is open to the public from September 21 to December 2, 2017.
In his work Naufus Ramírez-Figueroa seeks to confront historical narratives with personal memories. His relationship with the past, especially that of Latin America, is a tangle of History to which Ramirez-Figueroa accesses through his own biography. In his projects, which take the form of performances and installations, he uses the languages of folklore, science fiction and theater to reshape these events and their protagonists through his personal experiences.
For Kunsthalle Lissabon Naufus Ramirez-Figueiroa has developed a new installation that builds on his interest in childhood and the way the body functions or is trained to function, namely how we are trained as children to use the potty. His interest in this phase of life and what is projected in the infant universe is already evident in previous works, such as Illusion of Matter, recently presented in Tate Modern, Props for Erendira, presented at the 10th Biennial of Gwanju, or No se como decir no se, presented in Sultana Gallery.
Upon entering the exhibition, the visitor sees small and varied objects on the floor, which, after a careful inspection, are identified as potties and feces laboriously sculpted in styrofoam and painted with mineral pigments and epoxy paints. The resemblance to glazed ceramic objects is disconcerting. After this first encounter, the gaze turns to the end of the room where a larger sculpture dominates the field of vision. Approaching this sculpture reveals it as a child looking directly at a stork carrying a bundle of feces.
The whole floor of the exhibition space is covered by these sculptures depicting feces and potties, similar to jewels, and as the visitor progresses through the installation, she sees another sculpture, whose shape looks like a giraffe. This is the giraffe referred to in the title of the exhibition. The space is still crossed by a sculpture that resembles, in form, a serpent and that hovers over the whole installation. It is fecal matter born in the air, a levitated spirit expelled from the bowels of an unknown interior.
This installation, produced specifically for Kunsthalle Lissabon, is a product of the fantastic world in which Ramírez-Figueroa moves. The artist often works as a director who creates traumatic echoes, creating stunning images that evoke feelings that are both distinct and irreconcilable, that speak to us of both a violent past and a turbulent present, always with a certain amount of humor.
Naufus Ramirez-Figueiroa (1978) is a Guatemalan artist currently based in Berlin. He graduated in Media Art from the Emily Carr University in Vancouver, in 2006, and did his post-graduate studies in the Art School of the Chicago Institute in 2008. In 2013 he completed the program at the Jan Van Eyck Academie in Maastricht.
A selection of his recent solo shows include Linnæus in Tenebris, CAPC, Bordeaux (2017), Two Flamingos Copulating on Tin Roof, Mies van der Rohe Award 2017, Museum Haus Lange e Haus Esters, Krefeld (2017); God’s Reptilian Finger, Gasworks, London (2015).
His performances have been presented at LACMA in Los Angeles, the Guggenheim Museum in New York, Tate Modern in London, Kunst-Werke in Berlin and Koninklijk Instituut voor de Tropen in Amsterdam, as part of sixth edition of If I Can't Dance, I Don't Want To Be Part Of Your Revolution (2015/16).
Recently his work was included in Viva Arte Viva, 57th Venice Biennale (2017); Incerteza viva, 32nd São Paulo Biennale (2016); Burning Down the House, 10th Gwangju Biennale(2014).
In 2016, he was a resident artist at DAAD, in Berlin.
Kunsthalle Lissabon is generously supported by Ministério da Cultura/Direção-Geral das Arte, Maria and Armando Cabral Collection and Teixeira de Freitas, Rodrigues e Associados. The exhibition Shit-Baby and the Crumpled Giraffe is supported by Câmara Municipal de Lisboa - Pólo Cultural Gaivotas/Boavista.