Magazine article Artforum International

Enrique Ramirez: Michel Rein

Magazine article Artforum International

Enrique Ramirez: Michel Rein

Article excerpt

For his first solo exhibition in France, "Cartograllas para navegantes de tierra" (Cartographies for Navigators of the Earth), Enrique Ramirez, a Chilean artist based, in Santiago and Paris, presented work that navigates the vast distances in between. Nearly all the works featured Ramirez's writing--prayer! ke Spanish prose--often set to the rhythm of waves.

La invencion de America (The Invention of America), 2013, a Dacron sail made by the artist's father and a separately framed text, functioned as a central icon. Inverting the worn triangular piece of material and containing it within a grid of twenty-seven thin metal frames, the artist transformed a symbol of passage into a schematic approximation of the South American landmass. The electric whir of Ramirez Pere's sewing machine envelops Mapa de Viento (Wind Map), 2012, a video projection that presents the maritime artisan in his orderly studio, stitching a sail for a yacht. His work surface has been covered by an expanse of reflective liquid that mirrors his hands, torso, and serene expression on an aquatic stage. The artist's. words (at times clumsily translated into English) float across the bottom of the projected video, knitting the dream of escape: "I am building a machine that will fly with the wind and will float on the sea, in order to cross the world for being able to see from the other side."

Ir-Volver (Go-Come Back), 2012, is engulfed by melancholy, like a sinking ship taking on water. Two pages ripped from the artist's passport and pinned with copper nails inside black frames are accompanied by text etched on glass: "Go: to navigate it is necessary to have a boat, a rudder, a sail, ... a friend.... Come-back: It is necessary to ... have someone from the family who expects you . . . it is necessary to be afraid."

Here, the romantic solitude of a voyage depends on the intimacy of good-bye and the anxious anticipation of reunion. …

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