Submission
Paulo Wirz

Quimeras


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Mythological creatures, chimeras are the composite symbol of all our unfulfilled wishes. Volatile, elusive, they seize our thoughts and turn them into unexpected reveries. These haunting ghosts grant our concerns the status of imaginary friends both intrusive as well as enveloping. They load the objects around us with the weight of real and fantasized memories, activating the personifying power of a possible interlocutor.

For his solo presentation at Laurence and Friends, in Geneva, Paulo Wirz invests the exhibition space with two site-specific interventions, altering the architectural perception and temporality of the space. „Auto-Retrato“ (Self-Portrait) is composed as an abstract painting, a complex outcome punctuated by the simplicity of its form, where the biggest window of the exhibition space loses its function of openness and expansion. If ivy knows how to impose its own rules, it is perhaps the attempt to arrange it that reveals to us its threatening and invasive power. Persistent, it weaves its mesh like neuronal connections, invading the living and the inanimate like our obsessive and nightmarish thoughts. Such as an anamorphosis, the ivy envelops and adopts the shape of the person it embraces, sometimes suffocating them in its path. Similar to weeds, it stands for the perpetual and inexorable wish to eradicate or at worst subjugate it.

This pictorial and dreamlike part of the piece invites us to apprehend the subjects that are next to it. The right side of the window now turned into shelves, imposes on the eye a rhythm of archiving, a red-felted receptacle, welcoming various types of archetypes. In this personal graveyard, various forms stand out whose potential usefulness seems to be defused. Specter of another life, the frozen memory of our apprehensions, these fruits covered in pigmented paraffin wax attempt to preserve what is destined to die. Their natural and organic forms remind us of visceral and vital parts of the human body, such as organs for example. Close to it, there are ready-made glasses, another element already present in previous works of the artist. Champagne, beer, wine, whisky, or shot glasses: transparent objects evoking the ghostly idea of a past moment, a moment spent alone or with others, they have the power to link immaterial thoughts with the material world. Some are even broken, suggesting an abruptly interrupted event, the evacuation of their own usefulness, and the activation of latent danger. Similar to a drop, the identity of the third and last element inside the shelf remains abstract. Their disturbing aspect, simultaneously, reflects and contains, rises and descends, fragile yet suspicious, is perhaps the fetish that we cannot keep, so unstable and dangerous is its presence. In addition to this window, the other windows are covered with a mirrored foil, in order to expand the whole room into a fictional and mental space, whilst also allowing and promoting, the reflection of the self.

„Amigos imaginários“ (Imaginary friends) is composed of different ready-made lampstands, arranged in a corner of the room as a floor installation. This unexpected gathering also functions as the main light source, not only illuminating the whole but also creating a very specific light condition for the piece to exist, adding a domestic feel to the room. Like ready-mades, these lampstands recall the presence of the glasses exhibited inside the windows. Borrowed from a game, they are pawns waiting for imaginary opponents, underlining the paradoxical immateriality of the exhibition.