Magazine article Artforum International

Javier Baldeon

Magazine article Artforum International

Javier Baldeon

Article excerpt

GALERIA ANTONIO DE BARNOLA

Attracted by photography and the potential it affords for manipulating the real, Javier Baldeon has recently favored this medium in his efforts to disrupt the systems that institutionalize the individual's submission to societal codes. The way he advertised the exhibition recalled the publicity that announces end-of-season sales, but with a twist. Slogans like "Get rid of your money and everything once and for all," "Spend beyond your limit," "Last Days," and "Huge Liquidation," were printed on backgrounds in shocking colors. Baldeon has taken advantage of the least sophisticated means of attracting attention to lure visitors to the gallery; his strategy is to make the visitor question to what degree his identity is a product of commercial and national propaganda.

In keeping with this line of inquiry, Baldeon presented six photographs under the heading "And they had overcome it." Though it is not immediately apparent, these images are based on money, national ID cards, and passports, underscoring our submission to a system driven by money and to a depersonalized identity. The acronyms for these three things, or what is associated with them, also create playful analogies: DNA, which represents the genetic code, DNI (National Identity Document), which represents our national ID card, and the word "money" (dinero) all belong to the same family. …

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