This, the first individual exhibition devoted to the work of Paul Sietsema (Los Angeles, USA, 1968), brings together large-scale drawings along with the film Figure 3 (2008) as his considerations of the practices and the discursive and ideological environment of modern art in the West are displayed. During the five years it took to produce Figure 3, Sietsema documents the reconstruction of various artefacts from ancient cultures, reconstructing them using photographs and materials that differ from the originals. Far from wanting to supplant the originals with his works, Sietsema is more concerned with illustrating the passing of time. To film such objects he uses a 16mm format, carrying out experiments with light, colour and the materials of the objects in order to produce certain tactile effects; thus he is able to imprint a new kind of distance - the representation and rendering of the format, along with the typical elements of anthropology documentaries, scientific photography and experimental cinema.
Furthermore, the drawings present in the exhibition constitute references to the artist's work and offer reflections on commercial and colonial expansion in the West. These are joined by the movie Lecture Film (2008), in which the artist examines his work and production processes.
Over the course of his recent output, Sietsema has chosen photographs from the anthropology and ethnography books that he has collected. These images, primarily of lost indigenous and cultural artefacts, colonisations, Western expeditions and industrialisation, form the basis of his work. Sietsema reconstructs these objects in three dimensions as he aims to structure a type of loss caused by their representation. Through the images he builds a world that fluctuates between historical periods, documentation and fantasy, while at the centre of his work lies the matter of representation and its figurative and changeable character - the last escape of the subject towards abstraction, the result of cultural mediation.
Through his images, drawings, and objects - filtered through photography - Sietsema explores the way in which the media affects the viewer's perception of a subject whose identity is built by progressive absence and the resulting loss in the means of representing it.
Collection artworks included in the exhibition
3 June – 19 September 2022
Néstor Sanmiguel Diest
The Vicissitudes of the Automaton
18 May – 10 October 2022
Like the Ivy on the Wall
4 May – 5 September 2022
< Garden of Mixtures: Attempts to Make Place, 1995 -… >
Alejandra Riera (*)
8 April – 4 September 2022
Against the Extravagance of Desire
23 March – 29 August 2022
From Posada to Isotype, from Kollwitz to Catlett
Exchanges of Political Print Culture. Germany - Mexico 1900-1968
24 June - 14 October 2022
Chronicles of a Discourse
Galería Juana Mordó in Post-Francoist ArtMuestras documentales, Biblioteca y Centro de Documentación