Irony is often the most effective vehicle for telling a story, even a sombre one. Subtle teasing, humour, playfulness and feigned ignorance are among the many ways that art can engage in social denunciation. Irony is a mechanism that creates distance with the issue it addresses and provides fresh and, almost always, disconcerting perspectives to unmask fallacies, introducing an intelligent dialogue. It is, above all, a type of criticism that allows us to question truths that were previously assumed to be fundamental. Should this not be one of art's primary missions?
Socrates asked questions in order to reveal the inconsistencies in the answers, as reflected in his paradoxical statement: "I only know that I know nothing." During the 1970s and 80s, irony acquired prominence with Duchamp as its primary proponent. Others such as Marcel Broodthaers, Bruce Nauman and Piero Manzoni raised irony to a new artistic level following their disenchantment with...optimistic modernist ideologies, such as the belief in the artist's ability to express his ideas clearly and powerfully. More recently we can cite artists such as Wim Delvoye, Mauricio Cattelan, and Banksy.
Currently there is general consensus that irony in art has lost its freshness and that, in many cases, it has become too "tidy" and responds to an intellectual mindset that is both contrived and monotonous. Let's be ironic! is a display of how, from the perspective of irony, serious subjects can be respectfully dealt with and enter into direct communication with both the head and the heart of the viewer.
This exhibition, curated by Eva Ruiz and Eva Mansergas, is organized within Crossroads Art Show as a meeting point for artists of different cultures who have resorted to irony as a tool to arouse new sentiments in their audience. This is an informal journey, but a committed one, that offers a view of the contemporary world through the prism of intelligent irony.
This selection of works from the Servais Family Collection takes us through the work of creators who employ irony in its many facets: Elmgreen & Dragset approach their socio-political subjects with wit. Carlos Aires, in his work Copia, addresses the universal theme of disillusionment with sarcasm. The most direct form of irony can be seen in the work byMeyer Peter: a wooden cane carries the logotype of a famous brand of sports footwear followed by the slogan "Just do it." The Cuban artist Adrian Melis, in his work Ovation, approaches Spain's turbulent political situation through a satiric meme of the Spanish Parliament. The irony of conveying a rabbit's tail as a trophy will never cease to amuse.
The show is meant to be irreverent. It is meant to be fun. Let's just savour the art of irony!
From 6-9 October 2016, Crossroads Art Show will showcase the highest quality contemporary art from around the world at The Old Truman Brewery in East London.
Imágenes de la Exposición
DIANGO HERNANDEZ, Years, 2008. Installation view at Federico Luger (FL Gallery), 2008. Courtesy Federico Luger (FL GALLERY)
Entrada actualizada el el 16 sep de 2016
¿Te gustaría añadir o modificar algo de este perfil?