Artist: Martín Soto Climent
Exhibition title: The Contemporary Comedy: Glossy Mist
Venue: Clifton Benevento, New York, US
Date: February 20 – May 11, 2015
Photography: Courtesy of the artist and Clifton Benevento, New York
Featuring works by João Carvalho, Felix Manz, Iris Shady, Tashiro Tsuramoto, Lola Lago, John Brown, and Martín Soto.
Clifton Benevento is pleased to present the solo exhibition The Contemporary Comedy: Glossy Mist by Mexican artist Martín Soto Climent.
Inspired by an ancient text by anarchist Bao Jingyan (c. 300 AD, unknown), which illustrates the existential journey of a warrior facing death, Martín Soto Climent likewise presents the death of his artistic persona. Contradicting all normative protocol for his third show at the gallery, Soto Climent presents his new body of work in the form of eight participating artists in a group exhibition, as a part of his major project The Contemporary Comedy.
Emerging from a selection process––throughout which the artist functions dynamically as curator, producer, and critic––the works in the exhibition resonate with Soto Climent’s candid fascination with death, both physically and metaphorically speaking. Embedded with symbolic visual cues throughout, Glossy Mist plays with notions of identity, time, space, and the assumed trajectory of an artistic career within a normative capitalist socioeconomic system.
The 91 year-old calligraphy master, Tashiro Tsuramoto (b. 1923, Kawachi, Japan) debuts his lifelong work Hagakure, drawn largely upon his transformative experiences in a concentration camp in Mexico during WWII, through his present day dedication to Bushido meditation in Santo Domingo Ocotitlan, Mexico. Iris Shady (b. 1986, Greymouth, New Zealand) unveils a new sculptural practice that unearths archeological discoveries of the future. Seemingly unsynchronized with contemporary time or space, the artist suspends logic in order to facilitate a practice that relies on the presumed extinction of our own race, and the fossilized remains we leave behind. The work of Swiss-born Felix Manz (b. 1985, Zurich) evidences the artist’s own survival through minute modifications of newspaper photographs he renders with just an eraser and a black pencil. Legendary conceptual artist João Carvalho (1945-1982, São Paulo, Brazil) is included in the show, constituting the first exhibition of his work since his tragic and mysterious death during the height of the military dictatorship in Brazil. A series of portraits are included in the exhibition by dancer and choreographer Lola Lago (b. 1944 Tierra del Fuego, Argentina; d. 1977, Antigua, Guatemala as Lola Nicte Ha). The black-and-white photographs are configured in a way that suggests a certain time-based choreography, though her work has been said to elude all representation and corporeal possibility. American artist John Brown (1989, New York) makes his second appearance in this project, with plasticine sculptures that mold themselves to crumpled beer cans, a material found throughout Soto Climent’s early works. Lastly, Mexican painter Martín Soto (b. 1952, Mexico City) has engaged in an collaborative project with Martín Soto Climent that functions as a self-reflexive undertaking to negotiate their respective identities as artists functioning under closely the same name in Mexico City.
Individually, each artist functions to reveal an element of Martín Soto Climent’s introspective odyssey. Together, they begin to encapsulate the ethos of a far larger project the artist is embarking upon, using larger concepts as material for manipulation rather than his archetypal use of vernacular objects. Questionably real artists, or constructions of a calculated proposal, Martín Soto Climent creates deeply nuanced personas that unarguably disrupt the expectations of his work as we thought we knew it.
Martin Soto Climent was born in Mexico City in 1977. Recent solo shows include The Equation of Desire, (Kunsthalle Winterthur, Switzerland), Luster Butterfly, (T293 Rome, IT), The Bright of the Whisper, (Kunstraum Innsbruck, Austria), and All That I Never Was, (Michael Benevento, Los Angeles). Recent group exhibitions include CCA Wattis Institute of Contemporary Art, Cleveland Museum of Art, Palais de Tokyo and MCA Chicago. He lives and works in Mexico City where he co-founded the project space Lulu with independent curator Chris Sharp in 2013.
João Carvalho: Correspondence, 2015,
Martín Soto: Tight on Canvas (Martin), 2015
Tashiro Tsuramoto: Hagakure, 2015
Detail of Tashiro Tsuramoto: Hagakure, 2015
El Silvido del Fantasma, 2014
Iris Shady: Sleeper, 2015
Lola Lago: The Last Night I Woke Up in the Middle of a Nightmare, 2015
John Brown: Untitled (Colt 45), 2015
John Brown: Egg, 2015
Feliz Manz: Untitled (Nurse), 2015
Feliz Manz: Untitled (Obama), 2015