Residenze #3: Juan Zamora — ORA (bajo al cielo de la boca)
and by appointment
Spanish artist Juan Zamora (Madrid, 1982) opens his first solo exhibition in Italy, at AlbumArte (Rome) on Thursday 23rd November 2017. Zamora has been artist-in-residence at the Real Academia de España en Roma in 2016. He won the prestigious Prize Fundación Princesa de Girona (FPdGi) de Artes y Letras in 2017 and he has also been selected for an artist residency at Residency Unlimited (New York) for 2018. His exhibition in Rome is curated by Paola Ugolini.
The event marks AlbumArte | Residenze’s third appointment, a cycle of events showing artworks that have been exclusively produced during the artist-in-residence period. The works are presented in Italy for the first time, in the exhibition spaces of AlbumArte.
The central body of the exhibition is a series of work developed between 2014 and 2016 during the artist’s residency at the Nirox Foundation of Johannesburg (South Africa), located in a place called ‘The Cradle of Humankind’, declared a World Heritage Site by UNESCO in 1999, where some of the oldest hominid fossils were found and the first form of language was born.
The project ORA (bajo al cielo de la boca) aims at reinterpreting, with the use of imagination, the evolution of Homo Sapiens’s first form of language, as the original root of all contemporary languages. The artist focuses his attention on the study of Khoisan languages (still in use in some areas of southwestern Africa) and their birth in relation to the rhythm and sounds of waterdrops inside caves.
After a show at the Museo Nacional y Centro de Investigación in Altamira in 2016, some works are adapted as site-specific and others created specifically for the spaces of AlbumArte. These include a series of drawings – some of which are unpublished – sculptures and video-installations, that create a mystical relation between the origin of humans’ oral language and the natural settings of its birth.
Juan Zamora’s works contain a constant dialogue between visual poetry and scientific investigation (from biology to archeology). Using natural materials and gestures that appear as simple, he covers more complex issues which are intimately linked to Human origin and essence, as well as to nature and its transformations.
The exhibition is realized in collaboration with the Real Academia de España en Roma.
The exhibition project ORA (bajo al cielo de la boca) has been developed thanks to the support of Nirox Foundation of Johannesburg, in collaboration with The Spanish Embassy of Pretoria.
Juan Zamora (born 1982, Madrid) deals with issues related to human existence and nature through an ecological and anthropological perspective, emphasizing the importance of the integrity of ecosystems in considering human interactions with the environment. He has worked as a profesor at The European University of Madrid (2007-2011), The Irvine University of California (2007-2008), The Long Island University of New York (USA, 2011-2012), The University of Pretoria and Johannesburg (2014) or el Instituto de Bellas Artes de Cáli (2015); Residency programs include The International Studio & Curatorial Program of New York (USA, 2011-2012), The Nirox Foundation of Johannesburg (2014 y 2016), Lugar a Dudas de Cali (2015), The Royal Academy of Spain in Rome (2015-16) or La Casa de Velázquez de Madrid (2017); National spanish awards include (2006), ABC (2009), Generaciones (2016) and Princesa de Girona de Las Artes y Las Letras (2017). Recent solo shows include ORA (Bajo el cielo de la Boca) at The National Museum and Research Center of Altamira (2016), “[kǀ]” at the Hazard Gallery of Johannesburg (2016) or “The Vulture Gryphus” at La Tertulia Museum of Modern of Cáli (2015); Group exhibitions include “Hybris” at the MUSAC Contemporary Art Museum of León (2017), “The dirty business show” at the Fundação Portuguesa das Comunicações of Lisbon (2016), and “Towards a new shore” at the NC-Arte Foundation of Bogota (2016).
AlbumArte | Residenze is one of the ongoing projects of AlbumArte, conceived and directed by Cristina Cobianchi. The project wants to reflect on the theme of ‘artist-in-residence’, realizing exhibitions and film screenings with works which have been exclusively produced during artist’s residencies and presented for the first time in Italy. Past projects: Residenze #1 | Flavio Favelli – Gianni Politi, a double solo show curated by Paola Ugolini, part of the events of Fuori Quadriennale (11 October – 26 November, 2016). Residenze #2 | Sabrina Casadei | A Thousand Miles Away, curated by Paola Ugolini and part of the events of Fuori Quadriennale (6 December – 31 January 2017). José Guerrero / Antonio Blanco ROMA – 3 VARIAZIONI, video projection (2017) and debate with the artists, art critics Ilaria Gianni, Paola Ugolini, Francesco Buonerba and Nicoletta Guglielmucci / Wonderlust #rome, in collaboration with the Real Academia de España en Roma (8th February, 2017). Elisa Strinna | THE MULTIPLE LANDSCAPE, video projection of Ascar (2017), followed by a debate between Elisa Strinna and Junghun Kim (South Korean artist), curated by Wonderlust #rome (15th November, 2017).