Nicolás Lamas at Meessen De Clercq / Brussels

Nicolás Lamas / Dysfunctional links

may 27, 2016 - july 16, 2016

Abdijstraat 2a Rue de l'Abbaye
1000 Brussels, Belgium


 For Dysfunctional links, Nicolás Lamas presents a corpus of new works with multiple interpretations suggested by tenuous shifts. It may involve an unlikely rapprochement between two objects unrelated to each other (reference to Lautréamont's well-known meeting) or an action enabling poetic flourishes, such as in the Parallel Worlds series, where pages from National Geographic magazine have been torn out by the artist, comparing two photos in an unprecedented rapprochement. These images, which are opposite yet complementary forces, evoke a potential story as well as reflection about the Westernised and exotic vision of other places (cultural and geographical). As the stabilising horizon line of the exhibition, this series also 'shows' the aesthetics of fragments which runs through the artist's work. We find this constant in many works, particularly in the broken body (head, hand, arm, foot) and spread around various parts of the gallery space, as well as in Ways to organize the world, a board which combines the methodology of archaeology (which is the science of comprehension of fragments par excellence) with instruction leaflets supplied by IKEA. His work examines the illusory longevity of modern industrial products and human activity, it consists of numerous strata which are superimposed (one year of empty National Geographics), which interact combining symbolic and poetic references. He concerns himself with the work of Man and the marks that we leave on the planet as well as the mysterious beauty of nature (c.f. the marvellous creature that is the snail, in Hand. The human arm is also a good example of his liking for upsetting the certainty of what the viewer sees; so this left arm which appears to be a right arm is completely covered in graphite (white arm that becomes black) and combines many contradictions (concave/convex; interior/exterior, plastic/mineral). The concepts of equilibrium (Level) and a void (National Geographic empty) are also recurrent like those of the absurd and the humorous allusion. While horizontality comes from Parallel Worlds, the verticality comes paradoxically from a slithering animal, whose shedding skin is crossed by a metallinked chain. The backbone of the exhibition, this work is the exact size of the artist with his arms raised. Measuring and understanding the world, associating the ephemeral and the lasting, conjuring up the symbolic and the real; these are all means used by the artist to feed and solidify his work. Nicolas Lamas creates alternative visions of reality, drawing inspiration from everyday life, from what he finds around him (the street, the city, Internet, nature). He appears to be constantly on the lookout, with his senses alert. His work focuses more on the development of ideas, his ability to generate new possibilities rather than on the conclusion or closure of a point of view. Irrigating new lands, roaming new territories; that is the dynamic to which he subscribes. Giving shape to conceptual ideas, consolidating knowledge while remaining wary of it, bringing in aesthetics as well as politics, questioning the ambiguity of complementary forces while seeking their point of intersection. Man has always created a vision of his environment for himself. Lamas reinforces the instability of this vision and challenges our certainties. 

Living in Ghent (Belgium), born in 1980 in Peru, artist Nicolás Lamas is, since being shown for the first time at Meessen De Clercq in 2013, more and more prominently internationally present. His practice is fed by a reflection on space, time, culture and science. Researching several scientific fields, as astronomics and physics, Lamas formalises his interrogations by divers media, playing with codes of ‘showing’, by confronting objects that seem opposite at first, as to let meaning and drama emerge. Lamas has had solo exhibitions at Sabot in Cluj (Romania), in Galería Lucía de la Puente in Lima (Peru) and at Meessen De Clercq. His work was previously exhibited in the Platform Centre in Winnipeg (Canada), at the Bienal de Fotografia in the MAC in Lima (Peru), at Witte de With in Rotterdam (The Netherlands) and at the Galerie Gabriel Rolt, Amsterdam (The Netherlands). In 2015 his work was shown in Lokaal 01 in Antwerp and in the Kunsthalle Mulhouse (France). In 2016, he has had a solo show at Arco and will exhibit in Milan with Brand New Gallery.