Artist: Juan Diego Tobalina
Exhibition title: Caja Pulso Espejo
Curated by: Armando Andrade Tudela
Venue: 80m2 Livia Benavides, Lima, Peru
Date: August 9 – September 15, 2019
Photography: Juan Pablo Murrugarra / all images copyright and courtesy of the artist and 80m2 Livia Benavides
80m2 Livia Benavides is pleased to present Juan Diego Tobalina’s newest solo exhibition “Caja Pulso Espejo”, comprising video and sound, installations, cyanotypes and drawings. The project begins with the phantom limb syndrome, a phenomenon that occurs in people who, after losing a limb, still feel the missing extremity. From that idea, the artist looks at the “mirror box”, a therapeutic device created to alleviate the feeling of loss through the reflection in a mirror where the lost member can be seen again. From there the artist makes different relationships with (the presence of) what is absent.
The main concern in the work of Juan Diego Tobalina is the concept of perception and the millions of subjectivities that build what we call Reality. He focuses on processes that involve the creation of unstable moments, relating them to the ephemeral, to be constantly between one phase or another. In that case absence appears as something really important, as it relates to a presence that has just left, and what remains of it. He works in this way with situations related to the mind, more specifically with psychology and psychiatry, exploring different manifestations, using tests that, under his own interpretation and manipulation, attempt to reveal the subjectivity that surrounds this topic. How and what produces the ghosts in our own minds.
In the words of the curator of the show Armando Andrade Tudela: “The mirror box is a device designed to recover the phenomenological sensations of an “absent limb”. That is, an artifact created to cope with the nightmare of what used to be present but is no more: an amputated phalanx, a hand, an arm and so on. The glacial load of the mirror reflecting something that is not but does the times of what was, that was there (and also reproduces its movements). For Caja Pulso Espejo, the third individual exhibition of Juan Diego Tobalina in the gallery, the artist uses this device to reclaim what lives in the shadows of his work: human figures reduced to open silhouettes, to floating profiles or hollow bodies as bottomless props , as material ‘outside of itself’ or images of Achiras and Zelenkoas Onustas, Andean flowers that grow in extreme temporary conditions and that reveal themselves as spectra of what time cannot wither ”.
Juan Diego Tobalina (Lima, 1982) is a multidisciplinary artist licensed by the Faculty of Fine Arts of the University of Barcelona (2008), having studied the first half of the career at the Universidad Catolica de Lima (2000-2003). He is represented by the 80m2 Livia Benavides gallery, Lima and member of the independent art project Bisagra (bisagra.org). He lives between Lima and Madrid. His work has been part of individual and collective exhibitions in Peru, Argentina, Spain, Italy, Denmark, Colombia, Sweden and France. He has won the “Passport for an Artist 2012” award and participated in residences such as “Cité Internationale des Arts” in Paris (2013), “Sommerakademie um Zentrum Paul Klee”, in Bern (2014) and Triangle France in Marseille (2018).