WALTERIO IRAHETA (El Salvador, SS, 1968-) | DRAWINGS

OPENING Saturday July 11th (12-15 hours), 2009

Until July 31st, 2009

 

Walterio Iraheta’s name is associated with a generation of emerging artists at Central America’s scenario. Some have classified it, more accurately, as belonging to a so called “postwar generation”, making reference to the civil war that hurt El Salvador during the 80s decade.
Walterio Iraheta studied plastic arts, design and experimental engraving and was already known as a painter and author of installations before devoting himself to photography. His exhibit El lado olvidado del corazón (The Forgotten Side of the Heart) (2001) contained documents, printed pages and photographs, mixed with a sense of assembly that he still kept as a reference, even if it were to transgress it, the materiality and bi-dimensionality of painting.
His conceptual concerns have led him to very diverse explorations, with a variety of topics that range from matters that have to do with social memory and the collective trauma of post war (in the 2006 Exhumaciones {Exhumations} series) to ironical reflections on  the sexual and classist conditioning of notions such as heroism and power (in Kriptonita, {Kryptonite} also of 2006), or more recently (as in Mis pies son mis alas , {My feet are my wings} 2008), a clever combination of references that include fetishist implications and allusions to surrealism, along with a representation of footwear as a symbol of loss and absence.
Landschaft (2008) shares the preference for symbolic re-elaborations in an everyday context with the previous series. These are works that focus specially on forms and structures, occasionally opening up to certain lyric hues that are recurrent in Iraheta’s work. On the other hand, these photographs seem to originate in an observation exercise that is re-elaborated as an aesthetic gesture. They could refer to a quality of things, but deep down they make us pay attention to a way of looking at things.
Representation here is a way of codifying the author’s look, more than a support for the discourse. Even when Walterio Iraheta insisted on the social implications of this reflection on the tension between nature and culture (a topic which continues being important for many contemporary artists), as well as its ecological implications, he would not be able to divert us from the fact that we are before a representation exercise which is intensely concentrated on the aesthetic re-elaboration of forms. In a few words, the combination between rhetoric, dramatic character, and discourse in these photographs, may be interpreted as a personal way to relate with beauty. And of inciting a perception of beauty as something common and immediate.

By Juan Antonio Molina (translated by Leticia Consuegra)
Mexico City, June 1st, 2009

 

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