Dionisio González: The Dauphin Island – Venice
Galerie Richard presents Spanish artist Dionisio González’s fourth solo exhibition in New York titled “The Dauphin Island – Venice.”
The exhibition is composed of six photographs of Dauphin Island Series in 2011 and six photographs of the Venice Series (The Light Hours) in 2011. His digital photographs are visual, sculptural, photographic, architectural and urban related spaces. His photos always request preliminary historical, sociological, political, economical research before making his first picture. He mixes the past, present and future, confronting us to a condensation of time which stimulates the imaginary. Dionisio González works can also be considered as utopias which invite the viewer to deal with philosophical debates.
Dauphin Island, located off the coast of Alabama in the Gulf of Mexico is known for experiencing perpetual and devastating hurricanes. When a storm hits the small island of around 1,200 people, it often washes away much of the coastline with it, leaving residents to rebuild their wooden homes again and again following every big storm.
The artist explains: “my goal in this series of images, is to carry out project work, a sum of interventions, of alterations to space, based on pre-existing ‘cartography’ but paying attention to the want of proportion bequeathed by the territory itself, and almost to a certain suprarealism, a certain exaggeration and based on respectful usage of said territory. Locating for this purpose, small buildings or buildings on a scale that is symmetrical to the context, and executing them on those voids on the beach where vestiges indicate a prior presence. The idea is also to restore and accentuate the phantasmagoria inherent in the area, but using energy–efficient buildings, with recycled materials or materials with low energy expenditures, buildings which are in turn a nature observatory.”
At the opposite of Dauphin Island, a place that is continually being rebuild, Venice condemns itself to a perpetual immobility. The Venice project was defined after analyzing the designs put forward for the city by the greatest architects of the 20th century, but which never saw the light of day: It is a belated tribute to these abandoned attempts to change the appearance of a place that had remained the same for hundred of years. With astounding objectiveness, Dionisio González photographs the areas that should have housed those buildings and, using modern retouching techniques, inserts the renderings of the buildings to recreate them with the aid of the original drawings and projects of Frank Lloyd Wright, Le Corbusier, Louis Khan- attribute to Palladio and a reinterpretation of Ignazio Gardella’s Condominio Cigogna.
According to Dionisio González, the failure to construct these buildings lay in the scanty application –in other words, a lack of perseverance in pursuing the goal, due to the reluctance of the owners of the present palaces to confront them with contemporary ones, the financial revenues brought by tourists and the consideration to preserve Venice as a memorial for future generations.
“My photos are the result of a lot of research to identify the exact location of these absent buildings. I started off by taking simple photos of the areas, then added the buildings in 3-D, using not the original drawings but the ones already modified by the architects on the basis of the first re-examination with the contractors. In this way, I side-stepped their absence and created a possible Venice – What Venice could have become” or re-invent itself.
About Dionisio González
González lives and works in Seville. His work has been exhibited in many prestigious institutions and museums including The Museum of Contemporary Art, Cleveland; The Museum of Contemporary Photography, Chicago; The Museo Centro de Arte Reina Sofia, Madrid; The Museum of Contemporary Art (MOCCA), Toronto; the Museo de Arte de Sao Paulo (MASP); The Museo de Arte Moderno de Bogotá (MAMBO); The Museum of Contemporary Art, Bordeaux.
Artist talk with Dionisio González on Wednesday September 28th at 6 pm at Galerie Richard.