Víctor Vázquez’s “El reino de la espera—Revisited” is an exhibition/installation that alludes to an earlier multidisciplinary project, the 1990 El reino de la espera [The Realm of Awaiting], which focused on loss during the AIDS/HIV pandemic. The new exhibition explores loss, absence/presence, the body, artefacts, and memory, and how they resonate in the context of a new pandemic and other natural disasters.
“El reino de la espera—Revisited” opens on February 1, 2022, at Seraphin Gallery (101 Greenwood Avenue, Suite 350, Jenkintown, Pennsylvania). For a discussion about the work, see our previous post, Víctor Vázquez: A brief interview with Repeating Islands. See excerpts from the interview below.
The artist explains:
“While in the past, the focus was on the deterioration or declining presence of the body, here, it had more to do with absence, an absence that is simultaneously—and painfully—present.”
“My new work focuses on the absence/presence of the subject, rather than on the concepts of expectation, waiting, or “awaiting” another realm. In my use of coal and charred fragments, I [. . .] allude to what is left: memories, the vestiges that are left behind. [. . .] To a certain extent, the mound represents a tomb. At the same time, upon closer observation, it is also a map of Puerto Rico, but not literally—it is simply a reinterpretation of a map. And from here, I include the issue of mourning, especially in the context of the pandemics (then and now), bringing it from the specific to the general. [. . .] Coal, in this particular case, refers to the idea of what is left: remnants, exhumed bones, a body, a fossil; it is also an aesthetic element. I am trying to establish a relationship between the ephemeral state of the spirit (denoted by the ethereal, soft, translucent curtains) and what is grotesque, crude, raw.”
Read the full interview at https://repeatingislands.com/2021/12/11/victor-vazquez-a-brief-interview-with-repeating-islands/
For more information and a photo gallery, see https://www.seraphingallery.com/upcoming-exhibitions