Opening: 20 May 2022, 18:00

The artisanal object landscapes of ektor garcia (*1985) break with narrative forms that seek specific meanings without being oblivious to history. They are punk and queer. Through altered constellations, garcia continually produces new relationships that are open to meaning, resisting the urge to establish categories and hierarchies. Nevertheless, the works are reassuring through their sensuality, the sensitive arrangement of the objects and the many thematic traces that can be picked up.

At the Cabaret Voltaire, ektor garcia is showing a temporary constellation of colorful crochet, metal and ceramic sculptures – and, for the first time, handmade paper with copper wire and wool, which extend into the space. The works were partly created in Mexico City, garcia’s main residence, but also in Zurich, Berlin, Paris and Venice. In these places, the artist knotted, knitted, modelled and crocheted on a daily basis for the past weeks for the exhibition «nudos de tiempo». Due to his nomadic practice, his work is constantly exposed to new influences and perspectives. However, these do not become fixed; the works remain fluid at all times and refuse to be firmly attributed. This openness is also supported by the fact that the objects are detached from craft traditions due to the sometimes unusual combination of materials and techniques.

Some of the crochet works are reminiscent of US fiber art movement of the 1960s, which thematized gender division by means of female-dominated domestic work. garcia uses the emancipatory power of crochet, but expands the feminist material vocabulary: for works typically made of soft materials, he also chooses bulky materials such as leather or wire. garcia forms resistant objects such as chains from fragile terracotta.

Ceramics and textiles are some of the oldest and most important cultural techniques. Fibers, for example, were used as communication systems by advanced civilizations, folk art and protest movements. The knotted script Quipu originating in the Inca Empire was used from the 7th century onwards as a sophisticated counting system and for simple correspondence. In garcia's sensually knotted chains or meander motifs, traces of indigenous craftsmanship from Central and North America are mixed with folk art, pop cultural and digital influences. It remains unclear whether the crochet patterns follow a specific craft tradition, originate from the artist's imagination or emerge from arbitrary pattern templates on the internet.

garcia's exhibition «nudos de tiempo» is linked to the Dada heritage of the Cabaret Voltaire. Dadaists tried to find an artistic language that worked for everyone and criticized authority. To this end, they used materials that had not previously been associated with art and were committed to the process, the immediate «with» and «next to» each other. However, Dadaists used non-European cultures and appropriated "the Other" for a Eurocentric idea of art, ignoring colonial power relations.

The show at Cabaret Voltaire is ektor garcia's first institutional solo exhibition in Switzerland, curated by Fabian Flückiger and Salome Hohl in close collaboration with the artist.

ektor garcia earned a BFA at the Art Institute of Chicago and an MFA at Columbia University. Solo exhibitions have been dedicated to him by Henry Art Gallery (Seattle), Empty Gallery (Hong Kong), Progetto (Lecce), Sculpture Center (New York) and Museum Folkwang (Essen). His work has been included in numerous group exhibitions, including the Hangzhou Triennial of Fiber Art (China), the New Museum (New York), El Museo del Barrio (New York) and Prospect (New Orleans).

Invitation card ector garcia «nudos de tiempo», Cabaret Voltaire 2022

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