Luis Miguel Bendaña at Allen & Eldridge


Artist: Luis Miguel Bendaña

Exhibition title: Pig Trough

Venue: Allen & Eldridge, New York, US

Date: August 19 – September 9, 2015

Photography: images copyright and courtesy of the artist and Allen & Eldridge, New York


One aspect of Project Runway is that you can watch many episodes in a binge and you start with something like 16 contestants and by the end you have only one winner. Over a few flimsy hours one can observe the nonchalant death by firing squad of each of these young hopefuls. This is selection at its most natural. General priming for the natural order of things which any self respecting artist must learn to appreciate. If only a body could, for an instant, imagine death––one day you’re in and the next day you’re out.

The reality tv episode structure apes the chronological discontinuity of our experience: every phenomenon occurs at multiple locations in time, unfolding along a schizophrenic parallax. Event is foreshadowed, advertisement, event is discussed, advertisement, consequences of event are contemplated, advertisement… Documentation of the event proves finally that nothing has ever occurred even once. The content of a conversation between Heidi and Audrina is completely interchangeable with any other conversation between Lauren and Heidi or Lauren and Audrina or even a conversation between Brody and Lauren or Brody and Bruce or Brody and Caitlyn or Caitlyn and Kris or Kris and Kim or Kim and Khloé. These characters exist like smooth round spheres and rectangles on the digital soundstage of our collective trauma.

Architects, engineers, judiciaries and clerks beat and berate the slippery goo of reality into something concrete and objective–such are beams, buttresses and ice cubes. The importance of fashion designers, also, must not be underrated. Kim and Kanye have in time received their due share of capital because they had the wherewithal to anticipate that above all else, beauty is valued.

Empathy is abstract.

Luis Miguel knits a composition in a layer of polyester threads; something you might hide under if you still wanted to be seen. Knitting is elastic and its texture is soft and painful because it is so absorbent of memory. Like a magpie these bits of string are adorned with the clippings of paper [bills magazines notes gifts] that have entered the periphery of a consciousness and have been given so much weight that it is remarkable they can adhere themselves to a wall so ethereally. Maintaining an unordered archive of scraps reveals the artist’s utopian aspirations. But to hope, is also to wait (esperar). And as if by an elemental function of time, Luis Miguel’s knitted tableaus hang rigidly on a solemn white wall: vitrified, longing.

– SL 8/14/15





Salad, No onion (falls lifeless), 2015


Salad, No onion (falls lifeless), 2015 (detail)


Salad, No onion (falls lifeless), 2015 (detail)


Putrid Flower (Sandinistas), 2015 (detail)


Putrid Flower (Sandinistas), 2015 (detail)


Untitled (a rabbit I’ll always love), 2015


Untitled (a rabbit I’ll always love), 2015 (detail)


Kill the Vegetarian (Nicaraguan Flag), 2015


Kill the Vegetarian (Nicaraguan Flag), 2015 (detail)


Kill the Vegetarian (Nicaraguan Flag), 2015 (detail)


Pig Trough, 2015


Cherry, 2015


Cherry, 2015


Untitled (Miau), 2015


Untitled (Miau), 2015 (detail)