Wednesday, September 25, 2013


On the occasion of the 30th São Paulo Biennial, Galeria Luciana Brito presents Mexican artist Héctor Zamora's most recent use of brick as a material. In Inconstância material ["Material inconstancy"], Zamora arranged twenty bricklayers in the gallery space, who toss bricks to each other in a circuitous pattern extending from the interior gallery to the gangway to the parking lot — lifting, tossing, and chatting as if it's a typical day at a construction site. Zamora brings the bricklayers inside to foreground the intimate processes by which our buildings and societies are constructed, and to suggest that (hierarchical) systems of construction and fabrication within the art world depend upon and reflect those of society. The service culture of art and its hidden mechanisms are called into question. The piece wonders who is serving whom in the art world, and what, if anything, is being constructed?

In Inconstância Material the endless but purposeless passing of bricks nullifies the act in terms of productivity. But the bricklayers are not just working — they're passing rehearsed comments back and forth along with the bricks. Zamora has invited the Brazilian poet and artist Nuno Ramos to create a spoken piece, Gigante ["Giant"] (2012), to accompany the physical one. Colloquial expressions that refer to parts of the body have been gathered and organized for the workmen to shout in a sequence that dismantles their phrasing, distributing a unified body on a circuit. This site-specific geometry of speech correlates with the shape of the movement. By momentarily formalizing bits of working-class language within the walls of the gallery, an uncategorizable moment between stasis and movement, work and leisure, art and life, arises. Typical of Zamora's oeuvre as a whole, Inconstância material suggests the possibilities for creativity and play even in the most confining of circumstances.

The ceramic brick is an object that continually recurs throughout Zamora's work. In projects like 6, da série Potencialidades ["6, from the Potentialities series"] (São Paulo, 2009) and ­­H20 (São Paulo, 2010), the brick itself is materially deconstructed; in other projects, most notably De Belg wordt geboren met een baksteen in de maag ["Every Belgian is born with a brick in his stomach"] (2008), the stratification of the laboring classes themselves is deconstructed.

(Taken from Elvia Wilk entitled "Tactics of suspension and deceleration — on Héctor Zamora", wrote for the catalogue published on the occasion of the exhibition Inconstância Material. Courtesy of Héctor Zamora & Luciana Brito Galeria).


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