Galeria Nara Roesler is proud to announce the inauguration of Depose and Repose, an online exhibition showcasing works by Paul Ramirez Jonas, opening soon, on Monday October 19, 2020.
The presentation will be held in tandem with the artist's participation in the exhibition Monuments Now at the Socrates Sculpture Park in Long Island City, New York (USA), showcasing the work Eternal Flame (2020), which has been designed to recognize the importance of encounters and exchange. In response to this new installation, Depose and Repose will present Eternal Flame in dialogue with the artist's iconic Ventriloquist and Publicar series. The online exhibition will present sculptures ranging from 2010 to 2020, all of which work to denounce the tradition of public art as an insular practice, while calling for the celebration and foregrounding of popular voices.
Paul Ramirez Jonas' Ventriloquists and Publicar act as a reaction, or a counterpoint to the tradition of monumental sculpture, offering works that redefine the practice’s most fundamental pillars through formal, material, and thus, conceptual subversion. Notably, the representation of historical figures as bust sculptures is one of the most classic forms of monumental art practices, commonly made of solid, heavy, and impenetrable material such as stone or bronze. In Ventriloquists, the artist challenges the very principle of a bust by deliberately obscuring the identity of the figure through angular cuts to the face, stripping the idea of the sculpture as a specific, pointed, and singular homage. In addition, while most monuments are made of permanent materials, and are often out of reach—in this way inscribing the public space permanently—both the Ventriloquist and Publicar welcome the viewer’s inscription. In being either entirely or partially made of cork instead of pure stone or metal, and having been cut through, the works are built to serve as public bulletin boards: pliable, welcoming, and capable of absorbing any number of messages. In redefining the ways in which monuments can be constructed—in form, material, and scale—the artist challenges the concept of the public voice as a permanent, immutable, and singular force, calling instead for fragility, impermanence, and plurality. At a time when historical reparation is at the core of current artistic debates, Galeria Nara Roesler is pleased to share Paul Ramirez Jonas' insightful propositions.
In the occasion of DEPOSE AND REPOSE opening, Paul Ramirez Jonas will be participating in three virtual conversations. The first virtual conversation, After Monuments, will be hosted by Socrates Sculpture Park on October 22, at 6:30 pm, featuring the artist in dialogue with Jess Wilcox, Director of Exhibitions at Socrates Sculpture Park, Courtenay Finn, Chief Curator at The Museum of Contemporary Art Cleveland (MoCA) and Kendal Henry, Director of Percent for Art, NYC Department of Cultural Affairs.
Subsequent talks will take place in November and December, and will be hosted by Brooklyn Rail and Socrates Sculpture Park respectively.