JORGE TACLA: STAGINGS/ESCENARIOS
Jorge Tacla’s work is informed by abuses of power and the resulting destruction. His paintings often depict landscapes of cultural significance and the remnants of sites leveled by uprising and warfare, communicating the complex narratives these places represent. More recently, he has turned his attention to civil unrest. In Stagings/Escenarios, Tacla’s focuses on the proliferation of such scenes around the world while formally taking on a vertiginous spatial dynamic.
Prior to this body of work, Tacla largely excluded the human figure from his paintings, letting buildings and rubble suggest a human presence or intervention. His practice shifted after personally processing images of political rallies in the U.S., Chile, Lebanon and Hong Kong, China, in 2019-20. October 25, 2019, #4 (2022) is emblematic of this new mode, depicting some of the estimated 1.2million protesters that gathered across Chile’s capital, Santiago.
In Hidden Identities 160 (2021), the artist shows—in red, white, blue and black—the monumental plinth that once supported the statue of Confederate General Robert E. Lee in Richmond, VA, a recent locus of social justice protests in the U.S. Tacla’s crowds are abstracted to the point of unrecognizability, emphasizing the strength, dynamism and anonymous power of mass demonstrations, underscoring the need to protect the identities of those involved while inviting viewers to place themselves within the work.
Tacla paints with a mixture of oil and cold wax, creating a tactile surface that he compares to a skin. In these new works, he places the viewer at the center of the action, shifting their understanding of his discrete paintings while inviting them to question where they stand in relation to the whole. Hung traditionally or leaned against vertical wooden structures, his canvases are conceived as both stand-alone works as well as fragments of room-sized installations.
Tacla’s paintings also represent a space of social rupture. Some are defined by the new architectures that arise in the wake of catastrophe, others by the massing of social forces that represent change in themselves. Tacla perceives the devastation that results from such events as an opportunity to investigate structural systems that would otherwise remain unseen. These critical issues, and their situation in the larger, collective human experience, are the defining theoretical inquiries of Tacla’s work.
JORGE TACLA: STAGINGS/ESCENARIOS
Curated by Christian Viveros-Fauné
Cristin Tierney Gallery, 219 Bowery, Floor 2, New York, NY
September 9 – October 29, 2022
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