Movimento Aparente

DE 23/01/2018 - 24/02/2018 A



Vermelho presents Movimento Aparente [Apparent Movement], the second solo show by Nicolás Bacal (1985, Buenos Aires, Argentina) in the gallery. Moreover, this is the first time that the artist occupies the entire main building and façade of Vermelho with his research on the sensitive perception of time and emotional life. Through romantic inversions, Bacal presents works that use machines, methods and industrial materials proposing new ways of perceiving our surroundings.

From January 23rd through February 24th, 2018

On Vermelho’s façade, Bacal scratched an ellipse into the wall highlighting the various narratives that the gallery has lodged over the years, revealing traces of more than one hundred projects that have occupied the façade. A copper band, used to trace the geometric shape suggesting the activation of this memory through its properties of electrical conductivity (copper has the highest conductivity of metals).

In poetry and in narrative in general, an ellipse refers to the intentional omission of bits of continuity that allow the reader to fill in the gaps with their own experiences and understandings. In Apparent Movement, these gaps come through as inversions or deformations: in the first room, a ceiling fan does not blow wind nor does it cool the environment. Its blades move to the rhythm of a pointer clock, conducting our gaze to the ceiling, counting the minutes. The movement towards the heavens repeats itself in Un caño de gas señalando la estrella más grande sobre nuestras cabezas [A gas pipe pointing to the biggest star above our heads] (2017). The work shows a telescope that maintains only the tripod of its original form, replacing the set of lenses with a copper pipe made to install cooking gas in edifications. Bacal’s telescope is programmed to follow the star closest to the Earth during the exhibition; in this manner, the visitor can see the slow movement of the gas pipe throughout the day.

On the second floor, in Untitled (2017), 12 pallets of seven slats carry in themselves the one-year representation of the lunar calendar applied with plaster on the support already marked through years of industrial use. The industrial materials used, tightly linked to capital production, are now referring to daydreaming - left to the imagination.

Likewise, La arquitectura de la soledad [The architecture of loneliness] (2012-2017) mixes the Earth and the Cosmos, or science and fantasy. In the series of large woodcuts on paper that Bacal has been developing since 2012, interventions on pages of the atlas "The Cambridge Star" brings comments and notes, as in a notepad, on the images of the Milky Way. The result of these combinations is carved into plywood plates and manually printed on offset paper, bringing a varied combination of the celestial cartography: from constellations (which merges science and mythology); lightning storms; rulers, squares and protractors; doodles or, as in Apparent Movement, the blueprint of the iconic Telstar Ball.

The first soccer ball produced by Adidas for the World Cup in Mexico in 1970 became so famous that, to this day, the model of 32 pentagonal and hexagonal buds is a visual synonym of the football. Its name refers to the Telstar satellite that, for the first time, transmitted the World Cup signal to the entire world. Its black and white design was developed for the broadcasts of the matches making the ball more visible through the black and white images generated by the TV stations. The name Telstar (television star) was inspired by the satellite of the same name considering its spherical format with black solar panels similar to the ball designed by Adidas.

In Untitled (2017), the same blueprint appears cut into aluminum plates, once again connecting the soccer ball to the machine placed into orbit by man. The unfolded “satellite-ball” returns to the stars resembling a constellation.

Two slanting building blocks form Untitled (2017). The blocks in “italic” transform themselves into a seven-segmented typographic display (similar to those used in digital clocks), opening up an orthographic possibility for architecture, or even an understanding of them as numbers, a counting of time.

Returning to the first floor of the gallery, a bronze bell traces a steady elliptical trajectory that takes up the entire main room of the gallery in La Balística del minuto [Ballistics of the minute] (2017). Historically, bells are related to religious rituals, either to summon up worshipers, to mark moments of meditation or prayer or to announce or note moments or people of great importance. However, without a clapper, Bacal’s bell becomes the very clapper of the exhibition of the gallery, of his work and even, perhaps, of the cosmos.