A new series of Peruvian works at 20 Hoxton Square Gallery explores the idea of time and its surroundings of space
This month, Peruvian creativity arrives in London with the exhibition ‘Bruma’, at 20 Hoxton Square gallery. A collective project, the artists present a series of works that explore the idea of veiled realities and unconscious mystique. The idea of time and how it interacts with surroundings and space, the collective audience and perspective binds to form a collective that alters according to the observer. We caught up with gallery director Alexander Dellal to find out more…
Dazed Digital: How did the idea for the exhibition come about?
Alexander Dellal: I had a conversation with Mario Testino about Peru in general and we ended up discussing some of the artists Mario was interested in from Lima. The more we spoke, the more apparent it became that many of these artists were working with Revolver Gallery. Generally speaking I am not a great supporter of group shows in the context of nationality, and this group of artists didn’t give me a feeling of artists sitting under a flag, as they have a great synergy between them in terms of there relationships and common themes outside of the physical place they are from. Despite this, it is very much a Peruvian show of Peruvian artists. Mario put me in touch with Renzo, the director of Revolver, and another conversation began from there.
DD: What attracted you to exhibit works by these Peruvian artists? What does their work have to offer?
Alexander Dellal: It initially began more as an understanding of Revolver Gallery itself and, as you may or may not know, inviting foreign galleries to collaborate at my space in Hoxton Square has been one of the key focuses of the 20 project. From my conversations with Renzo, what I learned was that the gallery was conceived as a result of the symbiotic relationships between all the artists the gallery represents. They studied together, lived together and worked together and despite the differences in practice, shared a common reaction and understanding of the world on a local and international level. These are the attributes of a beginning of a movement. An aspect of the emerging artist eco system I find it frustrating in London is that there seems to be a focus on the individual, which may or may not be the result of a Facebook generation where the individual is king, but I find it is great restraint in progression and pushing individual artists to the next level. So, to answer your question it is the group I am interested in and the fact that by understanding one of these artists, you open a door into the progression of this movement and the ideas that make it.
DD: How did you and Mario work to realise this project? How did Mario become involved in the exhibition?
Alexander Dellal: Mario acted as a facilitator in the fact that he has a relationship with both Revolver and myself. He is an artist in his own right and has an understanding in how these collaborations have to be approached and played a huge part in helping to bring us round the same table and push things forward. He is also an avid collector of many of the artists involved and gave some insight into understanding the work.
DD: The exhibition is called ‘Bruma’. Can you talk us through the theme of veiling?
Alexander Dellal: The title came to be from a literal and metaphoric sense of the word. It is the Spanish word for veil or cover, which pays homage to the city of Lima through referencing one of its defining characteristics of the white mist and fog that engulfs it for most of the year. It is also a references an idea of layering, both literal and metaphoric, encouraging and insinuating the observer to reveal the undertones in the works. It plays on themes of darkness vs. light and ideas vs. process. There is a built in obstruction of preconceived ideas in culture that is slowly thinning through globalization and moving towards a common understanding that is realized through the differences in each artist’s practice. Bruma refers to the importance of the ideas and concepts driving the work, which ultimately are obstructed by its manifestation, the veil. This is where the common thread between these artists lies and what the focus of this exhibition is.
DD: What is your relationship with the Revolver Gallery?
Alexander Dellal: It is a new relationship born out of this project. We are independent galleries however have come together as part of the 20 projects program, continuing from where we left off with the Aaron Curry exhibition with Veneklasen/Werner. Through these projects, I like to think we are bringing talented, especially interesting galleries and projects to a London audience. Past that, our relationship is one of mutual respect.
DD: Do you have any other projects coming up you can tell us about?
Alexander Dellal: I have a space in Berlin (84 Wallstrasse), where we will be exhibiting new works by sculptor Alex Hoda over Gallery Weekend (April 29th –May7th). After BRUMA, we are opening a show of new works by painter Laurence Owen at 20 Hoxton Square (May 5th – June 18th). We also are working on a few surprise projects taking place in Venice over the Biennale. All will be unveiled on the website shortly.
Bruma will be running at 20 Hoxton Square Gallery March 24 – April 30 2011