Drawing upon History; Two Artists from Very Different Backgrounds Are Profiled in the Final Article in Our Series on the Artes Mundi Candidates. but, as the Visual Art Award's Chief Executive, Tessa Jackson, Discovers, There Is Plenty of Common Ground between Them
IN preparing for Artes Mundi we are now in the final weeks before the exhibition opens at National Museum Cardiff. Filling a good part of the art galleries on the first floor, the show will present work by artists shortlisted from all around the world.
With last-minute proofing of labels, arranging pick-ups at airports for those who have never been to the UK before and getting in contact with journalists and critics who might give us publicity, it's certainly a hectic time.
Each day becomes a round of problem solving and the clock's hands seem to move quicker than we can. Each morning in the shower I think, 'What will get forgotten?' In this series of articles, I have tried to trace some of the themes and content that lies behind the artists' work. With an extraordinary line-up of countries from where the artists originally hail - Albania, Bulgaria, Israel, Kyrgyzstan, Peru, Russia and Taiwan - it is surprising how much connects them and how many common concerns they reflect upon.
The last two artists I want to profile come from very different continents but are unified in their engagement with history and how they draw upon its events today.
Fernando Bryce stopped painting more than 10 years ago to work primarily in Indian ink. He examines how visual and written media create and convey a perception of a historical event, a country or a people. Adopting a drawing style that is reminiscent of mid 20th-century comic strips, he represents printed material he finds, from political propaganda to promotional literature.
Through this process of copying, he highlights the ways in which facts are established, culture is described and history is reported. His reproductions question the credibility of the printed page.
Born in Lima, Peru, Bryce has lived in Europe for more than 20 years. He first considered making copies or facsimiles after remembering how, in Peru, copies of museum objects travelled the country as educational tools when the real objects existed elsewhere in the world.
By carefully selecting the images he copies, he suggests how much history is packaged and re-packaged to suit its authors. …