On Thursday 5th February Spanish artist Gonzalo Borondo’s long awaited exhibition ‘Animal’ presented by RexRomae opened in Shoreditch at the pop-up gallery of the Shoreditch Newcastle Project Space on Redchurch Street. The idea of the exhibition is to create a multi-sensory journey through 8 thematic spaces set to explore our relationship to nature and our attempts to control it. The show incorporates a variety of styles utilizing painting,sculpture, video, performance and installation pieces. In this project Borondo enlisted the help of Carmen Main, Edoardo Tresoldi and Despina Charitonidi to collaborate on sectors of the exhibit.
Upon entering the exhibition space you are confronted with the first section Prologos in which 3 films made with a super 8 camera, in collaboration with Carmen Main, are projected on to the walls. The images in each film share symbolic relevance to humans alienation from nature.
Next you will enter The Passage (above) and be confronted by walls either side, on which hang the trophies of death, symbols of pride reduced to little more than sticks. This section was a collaboration with Despina Charitondi.
From here you turn the corner to my favourite sector of the exhibit, Entranas, a collaboration with Edoardo Tresoldi. Here Borondo has used scrap frames torn from houses to create a diptych of double images illuminated by slide projectors. On the front of the windows Borondo has painted in white and on the reverse with bitumen. He has then scratched images onto the front and back of each pane, creating two separate images onto the transparent surface, demonstrating the contradiction between shadow and substance to expose and conceal the hidden meanings in each piece.
Next you will enter The Order which consists of three sections itself.
Control, a collaboration with Edoardo Tresoldi, shows a series of cages which can be considered a metaphor for captive thoughts. The birds in the structure lose their essence and become one with their confinement, yet outside the cages they are fully formed and free.
Fear is made from spray paint used on bales of hay. Here is the depiction of a mother protecting her children, but in the process she projects her own fears onto them, irrevocably directing the fearless nature of childhood. The third part of this sector Captivity featured a pregnant women confined, an animal born into captivity.
As you turn the corner you reach section 5 La Carne, a collaboration with Carmen Main. Here a projector displays an animation of a girl prowling around a circle. Depicted as a domesticated animal, her need for control destroy her animal instincts. By trying to dominate her own instincts she forces herself into an illusory box, thus sealing her fate.
On the second wall hangs some of the individual frames used to construct the animation, presented in the form of an alter piece.
Turning the corner again will bring you to Eternal. A room where real grass and fake grass cover the left and right wall respectively. Over time the organic materials on the left will decay. The two sides of this installation are tied together by a single wreath, again comprised off half real and half fake flowers. This section sets to examine the human desire to leave a legacy, through the passage of time and the contrast between natural and artificial materials.
In the penultimate section of the exhibition Albeare you are presented with a spiral of faces scratched into small glass panels, staring out at the viewer and hiding letters only visible as the lights brighten spelling out a circular sentence around the structure.
In the final section of the exhibit, Epilogos, you are presented with many paintings from Borondo in two formats. Firstly regular canvas pieces and secondly paintings on 3 glass panels.
The three pieces painted onto the glass panels all feature hunters with their prey, all visible through the crossfires of the very weapons they use to hunt.
The exhibition runs until the 26th February, if interested, be sure to go along, it is certainly worth the visit in my view. This is certainly one superbly constructed exhibition that Borondo has created and I assure you my photos don’t do this exhibit justice. I for one shall not forget this exhibit any time soon.