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Alexandre Arrechea's Dardo Blando

Crane Arts, LLC's International Curatorial Exchange (ICE) Presents:

Alexandre Arrechea's Dardo Blando
Curated by Anabelle Rodriguez-Lawton
Alexandre Arrechea
Dates: October 4th - 17th, 2011
Location: The Icebox
Hours: Wednesday- Friday 12 - 6 pm (Tuesdays by appointment only)
Second Thursday Reception: October 13th, 6 - 9 pm

Soft Dart (2011) is Alexandre Arrechea’s initial proposal for the 54th Biennale di Venezia, where he is currently representing Cuba in a group show located in the island of San Servolo. The piece was originally meant to be projected on metal planks, and this choice of surface reflects the original meaning of the piece and its relationship with failure. The visual effect functions as a substitute for a certain reality. This is a piece that continues and expands the original idea presented in Black Sun (2009), a powerful 3-D animation exhibited at Crane Arts as part of the International Curatorial Exchange (ICE), and curated for Philagrafika 2010 by Anabelle Rodríguez-Lawton. The aesthetic of Soft Dart is somewhat reminiscent of socialist realism. It resembles the triumphalist images of communist graphics about work and progress. The piece functions as a trap for the eye and the ear. In this case, and in contrast to Black Sun, it has a sound component that accentuates the trompe-l’oeil. It gives the sensation that it is real until we realize it is all illusion. Presented on the metal planks the piece functions as a double-sided projection, while in the Icebox the projected “soft darts” slide unilaterally over the length of one of the long walls of the lengthy space.

AA’s bio

Alexandre Arrechea was born in Trinidad, Cuba, in 1970. He graduated from the Instituto Superior de Arte (ISA) in Havana in 1994. For twelve years he was a member of the art collective Los Carpinteros, until he left the group in July 2003 to continue his career as a solo artist. His public art involves concepts of power and its network of hierarchies, prohibitions and subjection. The spectator’s participation in the work adds to his contemplation. The prominence of surveillance systems and the accompanying obsession with control during our time has served as a key source for the work Alexandre began in 2003. Investigation into this issue led him to develop a body of work dealing with loss of privacy, fragility, memory, and the failure of control and power. Works such as the series titled The Garden of Mistrust (2003-ongoing), and Perpetual Free Entrance (2006) deal, to some degree, with troubles of accessibility or approach to art work. At present his interest is the limits of artwork itself. With that purpose in mind he created a particular installation for the 10th Havana Biennial. The work consisted of a house of steel divided into eleven sections. The extensions or separations between walls changed daily, depending of the rise or fall of the Dow Jones index.

The interdisciplinary quality of Alexandre Arrechea’s work reveals a profound interest in the exploration of both public and domestic spaces. This quest has led him to produce several monumental projects including Orange Tree (2010), commissioned in collaboration with Crane Arts for an International Curatorial Exchange (ICE) that was one of the independent projects for Philagrafika 2010. The 3-D animated piece Black Sun (2009), previewed in Crane Arts during Philagrafika 2010, was screened on the NASDAQ billboard in New York City, as part of the Times Square Arts Alliance public art program. The piece functioned as a visual paradox, as it futilely appeared to be attempting to wreck the NASDAQ façade while softly bouncing back without making a sound. As such, the work he’s currently doing is ultimately a provocative exercise of criticisms to the known structures of power in our time.

AR-L’s bio

Anabelle Rodríguez-Lawton was born in Aibonito, Puerto Rico, in 1973. In 1994 she earned dual B.A. degrees in The Visual Arts, and The History of Art and Architecture from Brown University, in Providence, Rhode Island. In 1996 she become the first appointed Director of Education in the Museo de Arte de Ponce. In 1999 she relocated to Philadelphia, where she has curated more than fifty interdisciplinary exhibitions of contemporary art, Pre-Columbian archaeology, arts and crafts, ethnographic artifacts, and including electronic music performances. In 2003 she received an academic fellowship from Temple University to develop a Ph.D. thesis in visual anthropology focusing on transnational Puerto Rican artists. Since then she has been awarded multiple grants to travel and study in Japan (Tokyo and Kyoto), Indonesia (Bali and Java), Cuba (Havana), and Europe (Berlin and Venice). In June of 2011 Anabelle traveled to Italy to conduct curatorial research and to complete an audience reception study in the Unites States Pavilion in the 54th Biennale di Venezia for the Indianapolis Museum of Art, the Pavilion’s commissioning institution. Upon her return to Philadelphia she has been curating the Diálogo 365 exhibition for Casa de Venezuela, a group show with new and recent artwork by 28 Latino, Latin American, and Caribbean artists from 14 countries. Diálogo 365 will open to the public in Crane Arts and Crane Arts Old School from October 7-25, 2011, with joint receptions being held in both buildings during Crane Arts Second Thursday on October 13 from 6-9pm. Anabelle is currently in the process of developing an experimental initiative in artistic, exhibitionary, and curatorial practices called The ~curARTorial LAB, located in the new Crane Arts Old School. She teaches Art History at The University of the Arts.

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