En Zúrich, Suiza
Zurich Art Prize: Adrián Villar Rojas – Films Before Revolution
Adrián Villar Rojas became famous for his large-format, mostly ephemeral sculptures made of clay or mud. For instance, on the Weinberg Terraces in Kassel, dOCUMENTA(13) exhibited an impressive series of sculptures entitled “Return the World,” made in one hundred days in cooperation with his project team. In 2011 at the Venice Biennale, Rojas filled the halls of the Arsenale with his gigantic objects, and in 2009 at the 2nd Biennale at the End of the World, he had a sculptural whale beached in a forest in Southern Argentina.
Adrián Villar Rojas, who resides in Buenos Aires and Rosario, sets up his portable studio at the respective locations of his coming exhibitions, and develops site-specific installations and sculptures. The physical work and the material of wood, stone, cement, clay or mud are essential aspects of his practice. All of his works are based on drawings. Rojas continually fills notebooks and develops sculptures and installations from his conceptual sketches and drawn fantasies. His works are influenced by futuristic manga, contemporary literature and grunge music. The themes which repeat in his works include poetic and metaphysical ideas (within which there resides the possibility of exploring new parallel universes), and an interest in loss, decay, death and the state of humanity.
In order to keep his works alive, the artist documents the work process with photos and drawings, which in turn serve him as a basis for watercolors. It is a combination of emergence and depiction of sculptures, each time in new contexts. Rojas works within an art system that resembles a cycle: drawing is followed by sculpture or installation, which in turn gives rise to photos, watercolors and drawings that unite what has been with what is to be. The further developments manifest themselves from those moments that hark back to what was mentally and visually sketched.
For the first time, the exhibition at Museum Haus Konstruktiv pursues the significance of this cycle-like work framework and attaches considerable importance to the drawings and watercolors. However, Rojas would not be Rojas if these were not in turn presented in a site-specific installational setting. During the set-up phase, Museum Haus Konstruktiv will mutate into a kind of medieval builder’s hut, in which the artist and his seven-person team, with used furniture, a concert grand piano and various other materials, bring about a new universe that is worth immersing oneself in